Friday, December 9, 2005
Case Law Development: Personal Jursidiction under UIFSA Based on "Acts and Directives" of Non-resident Parent
The Ohio Court of Appeals interpreted its Uniform Interstate Family Support Act ("UIFSA") which allows a court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident parent when the children are present in the state as a result of the "acts and directives" of the non residential parent.
The court reviewed a number of cases from other jurisdictions intepreting this provision and concluded that "where there is a pattern of abuse or harassment, the resident parent will be considered to have fled as a result of the 'acts and directives' of the non residential parent and, as such, personal jurisdiction is appropriate under the UIFSA statute." However, in this case, the trial court had not only ordered custody and support under the authority of that act, but also had granted a divorce and split the marital property. The appellate court thus reversed and remanded, holding that UIFSA grants a trial court jurisdiction limited to the exact language of the act. Thus “the trial court had no authority to grant a decree of divorce or to make a division of property.”
Sneed v. Sneed, 2005 Ohio 6413, 2005 Ohio App. LEXIS 5776 (December 5, 2005) Opinion on the web at http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/3/2005/2005-ohio-6413.pdf (last visited December 9, 2005 bgf)