Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Case Law Development: Jurisdiction to Enforce Child Support Orders

The Ohio Court of Appeals traces issues of jurisdiction over child support orders in a case involving a Mother seeking to enforce child support orders from Puerto Rico in the Ohio courts. 

Mother had registered and sought to enforce an order of support and for arrearages issued by the court in Puerto Rico. The entire family had lived in Puerto Rico, where the original child support ordered had been issued in 1971.  After the divorce, all the parties had moved to New York. The court noted that, at that point, New York had effectively obtained exclusive and continuing jurisdiction. Thus the Puerto Rican court was without jurisdiction to have issued an arrearage judgment at that time.  However, Mother subsequently moved back to Puerto Rico with child.  Thereafter, the court had jurisdiction to issue a new support order for the child's prospective care. The court held that, although Puerto Rico did not have jurisdiction to enforce the 1971 support order for arrears that accrued after New York obtained jurisdiction, it did have jurisdiction to enter a support order for the prospective care of the child. 

Thus, the trial court's judgment regarding the registration of the Puerto Rico support order concerning the child's prospective care was affirmed. However, the trial court's order which enforced Puerto Rico's attempt to collect the arrears stemming from the 1971 order was vacated, and the case was remanded for recalculation of arrears that accrued from 1971 until 1976.

Cruz v. Cumba-Ortiz, 2006 Ohio 1362, 2006 Ohio App. LEXIS 1230 (March 23, 2006)

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I am the father in this incident. I did not live in puerto Rico (New York)or was served with the original order. The mother moved to P.R. and filed the divorce and support order. There is a second assignment of error in this case. The order that P.R. registered was a modification of the 1971 order, I have a copy so my Attorney will indicate in court. I never was allowed to participate in the modification and Puerto Rico has not allowed me my due process. I did file in P.R. to obtain a new order but they refuse to allow me my day in court. The child in this case is a disabled adult of 35 years old.

Posted by: Luis Cumba | Apr 1, 2006 2:02:55 PM

As of today this case is being reviewed by the Ohio Supreme court. An oral argument was held and all relevant case law was presented. This case involves a mother who continued to move on without court or N.C parent notifications and resurfaced years later without regard for the child in her earlier years. To date I still have not have Due process in Puerto Rico where I have not lived since 1953 as a child. All court cases in Puerto Rico was presented by "ASUME" their version of Child Support. The support they sent to Ohio was extremely high for my salary and health and for the living standards of Puerto Rico.

Posted by: Luis Cumba | Jul 20, 2007 5:20:43 PM

This case was finally resolved in Puerto Rico overruling the Ohio Supreme Court, since Puerto Rico had original jurisdiction. I did litigate this case in the two areas. In Ohio the ruling was URISA was in effect and in Puerto Rico UIFSA ruled. Puerto Rico ruling took effect and the subsequent order established in 1973 prevailed. Ohio Supreme court ruled erroneously.

Posted by: luis cumba | Nov 15, 2011 5:27:01 PM

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