I live in Hawaii and got divorced here. My ex lives in California. Does that subject me to California law?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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I live in Hawaii and got divorced here. My ex lives in California. Does that subject me to California law?

I live in Hawaii and got divorced in the Family Court of Oahu. My ex then moved to California with the four kids. She was awarded child support, plus 4 years alimony. She now says that, under California law, on top of the child support I already pay, I am also required to pay a share of daycare and ‘activities’ which include field trips, music lessons, etc.

I have been fully compliant with the terms of the divorce decree as issued by the Family Court of Oahu for the entire time. She is now threatening to sue me in a California court for these additional costs which are not in my divorce decree or part of Hawaii State law. Does she have a case?

Asked on August 1, 2018 under Family Law, Hawaii


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

So this is a complicated question.  The simple answer is that you need to contnue to comply with the Court order of Hawaii.  It was the "home state" of the children prior to divorce.  However, their new "home state" is California if they have lived there more than 6 months.  And the home state of the children now have jurisdiction to enter in to support orders on their behalf.  Will the law in California apply?  Yes.  I would speak with an attorney and raise issues like UIFSA and  "could have been anticipated but not negotiated for" in the stipulation of settlement and divorce decree.  Ultimately, though, I think you will be responsible.  California has the power to modify the agreement. Good luck.  

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