Anthony Brown

Dear Anthony: I live in California, but my co-parent and our child live in New York. When it comes to financial obligations as a parent, which state’s laws will apply?

The answer depends on how long your child has lived in New York.  There is a federal statute, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act of 1997 which gives “exclusive and continuing” jurisdiction to a child custody matter and, for the purposes of this question, a support obligation issue, to the “home state” of the child.  This is defined as the state where the child has lived continuously for the last 6 months.  So if your child has lived continuously in New York for the last 6 months, the laws of New York will apply in determining your support obligations.