(1) "In Mississippi, petitions to modify foreign child support orders are
governed by Mississippi's version of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act," codified in Mississippi Code Annotated sections 93-25-1 through XX-XX-XXX (Rev. 2004). Nelson v. Halley, 827 So.2d 42, 44(¶ 8) (Miss.Ct.App.2002). The UIFSA governs the question of subject matter jurisdiction, it may be raised at any point during the proceedings. Esco v. Scott, 735 So.2d 1002, 1006(¶ 14) (Miss.1999).
The Mississippi Supreme Court, in set forth the basic
framework of the UIFSA:
The first step under the proceedings authorized by this state's version of UIFSA is to file the foreign judgment in an appropriate chancery court. Once the judgment is registered, the subject matter of this state's jurisdiction on that foreign judgment depends on the residences of the individuals affected. The subject matter is alterable by consent. Regardless of consent, the judgment can be enforced much more readily than it may be modified.
at 45(¶ 10).
Child support provisions are governed by Mississippi Code Annotated section 93-25-101 of the UIFSA, which states the following:
(1) If Section 93-25-107 does not apply, except as otherwise provided in Section 93-25-108, upon petition, a tribunal of this state may modify a child support order issued in another state which is registered in this state, if, after notice and hearing, it finds that:
(a) The following requirements are met:
(i) Neither the child, nor the obligee who is an individual, nor the obligor resides in the issuing state;
(iii) The respondent is subject to the personal jurisdiction of the tribunal of this state; or
(b) This state is the state of residence of the child, or a party who is an individual is subject to the personal jurisdiction of the tribunal of this state, and all of the parties who are individuals have filed consents in a record in the issuing tribunal for a tribunal of this state to modify the support order and assume continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.
(2) Modification of a registered child support order is subject to the same requirements, procedures and defenses that apply to the modification of an order issued by a tribunal of this state and the order may be enforced and satisfied in the same manner.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in Section 93-25-108, a tribunal of this state may not modify any aspect of a child support order that may not be modified under the law of the issuing state, including the duration of the order of support. If two (2) or more tribunals have issued child support orders for the same obligor and the same child, the order that controls and must be so recognized under the provisions of Section 93-25-21 establishes the aspects of the support order which are nonmodifiable.
(4) In a proceeding to modify a child support order, the law of the state that is determined to have issued the initial controlling order governs the duration of the obligation of support. The obligor's fulfillment of the duty of support established by that order precludes imposition of a further obligation of support by a tribunal of this state.
(5) On issuance of an order by a tribunal of this state modifying a child support order issued in another state, the tribunal of this state becomes the tribunal of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.
Miss.Code Ann. § 93-25-101 (emphasis added).
To put the issue simply, if the parties to a child support order move to different states, the payor must seek modification in the payee’s state of residence. See Patterson vs. Patterson, 20 So.3d 65, 69-71 (Miss. Ct. App. 2009)(California no longer had exclusive jurisdiction to modify after a mother and child moved to Mississippi and the father to Maryland. Maryland, not Mississippi was the state with jurisdiction to hear the mother’s petition to increase child support.) Ironically, if the payee is seeking modification, they must go to the payor's state. This is a very complicated area.