Modification of an Out-of-State Child Support Order

Nevada’s version of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (“UIFSA”), codified in NRS Chapter 130, governs the issue of whether a person may seek to modify an out-of-state child support order in Nevada courts. According to UIFSA, if a state has issued a child support order, that state has continuing and exclusive jurisdiction to modify the child support order so long as one of the parents or the child continues to reside in the order-issuing state. (NRS 130.205).

When a State has continuing and exclusive jurisdiction, other states must respect the issuing State’s jurisdiction and must not attempt to modify the order, except under certain circumstances. There are only two circumstances in which the issuing State loses continuing and exclusive jurisdiction: 1) both parties consent in writing and on the record in the issuing State; or 2) both of the parties and the child have moved from the order-issuing state. Nevada only has the jurisdiction to modify a sister state’s child support order if both parents and the child live in Nevada or if both parents consent to Nevada’s continuing and exclusive jurisdiction.

Under NRS 130.611(1)(b), if one of the parents or a child lives in Nevada, but the other lives in the order issuing state, Nevada may modify the child support order if the parties have filed a written consent in the order-issuing state for Nevada to modify. Under NRS 130.611(1)(a), when all individuals reside outside of the order-issuing state, but the parents live in different states, the parent who seeks modification must seek it in the other parent’s state. In other words, under these facts, modification must be done in the non-moving party’s state.

UIFSA conflicts with NRS 125A.325 which gives Nevada jurisdiction to modify an existing custody order so long as the child’s “home state” is Nevada and the child is currently living in Nevada. In certain circumstances, this results in giving Nevada jurisdiction over custody but not child support. In other words, that a court has legal authority to modify custody from one parent to another does not mean it has authority to modify child support. If you are living in Nevada and are subject to a child support order issued in another State, either as obligor or obligee, you may seek to register your child support order in Nevada for enforcement regardless of another State’s continuing and exclusive jurisdiction described above.

This would benefit you in that if either party were to defy the issuing State’s order in any way, you would be able to litigate the issue in Nevada. Registration is a relatively simple process. You must give the court basic information and a certified copy of the issuing State’s order.

The only glitch is that the other parent may contest registration on the basis that Nevada does not have personal jurisdiction over him or her personally. So long as Nevada is the child’s home state (i.e. has lived here for at least 6 months) it will be difficult for the other parent to successfully argue that he or she is not subject to personal jurisdiction in Nevada.

Jessica H. Anderson
Reno Family Law Attorney