UT: California Court Has Jurisdiction over Child Support Where Mother and Child Live in Utah, Because Father is Away from Utah on Active Duty Stationed in California

Husband and Wife are from Utah.

Husband has been in the military, stationed in California, for some time now.

The parties divorced while Husband was stationed in California and the divorce was entered in California.

Wife returned with their child to live in Utah.

Husband seeks to have the amount of child support he must pay revisited in a Utah court, where the amount of child support would likely be lower.

But the Utah courts refuse to hear the case, holding that California has jurisdiction because Husband is still stationed there.

Husband is seeking a new hearing on the jurisdiction issue, and two branches of the service will be putting their two cents in.

It isn’t clear whether Utah would have taken jurisdiction of their divorce had it been filed there in the first place and, if so, why the divorce wasn’t filed there.

Utah’s rulling seems to run contrary to the spirit of federal law and contrary to the law in at least some US states.

And, under all the facts of this particular case, simply unfair.

Florida, for example, recognizes Floridians who are stationed elsewhere in the military as Florida residents, and will exercise jurisdiction over their divorces.

But that does not preclude the place where they are stationed from exercising jurisdiction.

Read more in this Salt Lake Tribune article: Marine from Utah can’t take divorce case home.