Is child support order void if there's already a pending case? 9 Answers as of April 10, 2013

I asked a question about child support order being void but I did not explain it very well so I will try to better explain. Okay my now ex wife and I had filed for a divorce that was to rule on divorce child support and custody in family court civil. We went before the judge and he told us to come back with our joint parenting plan because we agreed in court but we did not go back to finish the proceedings so there was a case pending. Years later, I myself went back and got sole custody of my child because she hid our child and child support in the court that actually has subject matter jurisdiction. I won by default but before I did, my ex wife went to administrative court to get a child support order. She must have told them there where no cases pending. They ordered child support that I did not even know of. Now I was wondering since there was a case pending already in a higher court and administrative court did not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case, can it be rendered void? I found this online it says: the judgment will usually be rendered void, having no legal force or binding effect According to Rule 12(h) (3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures federal court must dismiss a case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction upon motion of a party or sua sponte, upon its own initiative. I was wanting to know if this is the case, can I get the back child support I supposedly owe purged? Thanks and any advise would be greatly appreciated.

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Cantin Lawyers PC | John Morris
The short answer is maybe yes, you could get the order vacated and a reimbursement if you paid something. I base this on your statement that your ex got a support order despite the fact that you got custody, and ordinarily the custodial parent is a recipient of child support. Reopening a judgment of child support and vacating it is a bit of a process, and since orders are presumed valid unless properly challenged, you will need to address directly the support issue so it doesn't come back to haunt you. Do not assume its void.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 4/10/2013
Mark A. Manning, PC. | Mark A. Manning
I would love to answer this question but I am confused. In Michigan the Family Division Courts of the State have jurisdiction over child support/custody/parenting time matters. The case can proceed to the Appellate Courts of the State but only as to those issues which are being appealed. Child support remains typically in the purview of the Family Court. . I am unfamiliar with any administrative court that has jurisdiction to interject itself into family court proceedings. You mention the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, normally the Federal Courts would have no jurisdiction over typical family court matters.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/10/2013
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
If a court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, it has no authority except to dismiss the case. But be careful with words and meanings: personal jurisdiction is one thing (and if you were not served, the court probably does not have it), and subject matter jurisdiction is a different and more fundamental issue. You would really benefit from a skilled family lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 4/9/2013
Carey and Leisure | John Smitten
Yes I agree with you, you have to file the necessary motions to straighten this out.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/9/2013
The Law Offices of Tres A. Porter | Tres A. Porter
You should consult with a family law attorney in your area immediately. I am not familiar with any Federal Court dealing with child support. Such an issue would be very unusual as child support is a state court issue. There are some federal laws in place on the issue of children, but they mostly deal with domestic violence and child abduction or settling jurisdiction between states on issues about custody or visitation. Child support is not normally in federal court I therefore have some difficulty with your applying a Federal rule of Procedure to what is almost without doubt a state court issue.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/9/2013
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    This situation doesn't sound like a California case, so I will hold off on commenting directly on the substance of the matter, however I can tell you that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure don't apply to state courts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/9/2013
    Pingelton Law Firm | Dan Pingelton
    The best advice I can give you is to stop representing yourself. You're doing a bad job of it and it will cost you way more than what you'll spend to get a good lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 4/9/2013
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Before you do anything, talk to a divorce lawyer. And do that soon.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 4/9/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    In the first place, the federal rule will not be applicable in a state action. Very commonly however there will be a similar state court rule. In order to answer your question the record of the two cases will have to be examined. If the original divorce action was dismissed due to lack of progress the the jurisdiction of the original court would have been lost, and it might well be that the second cause of action is the correct one. If the original case was never closed, then it would be prior in time and take precedence. You really ought to see an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/9/2013
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