Which statehas jurisdiction to enforcingmy divorce decree if we were divorced in one state, I live in another, and my ex-spouse lives in ayet anotherstate?

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Which statehas jurisdiction to enforcingmy divorce decree if we were divorced in one state, I live in another, and my ex-spouse lives in ayet anotherstate?

I would like to know if I can change the termination date or modify the alimony. My ex has not remarried, gotten a job, or trained for one. She did have a job at the local USPS office and then quit after a short time. She now buys and sells on Ebay. 8 years ago we were granted a divorce in OR. She lives in WA and I’m in CA.

Asked on July 28, 2011 California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is not as uncommon a question as one might think  Often people go their separate ways aftera divorce and then need to refer back to the decree for modification.  I am sure that your divorce decree states that the court in which it was granted retained jurisdiction over the matter.  But the key is obtaining jurisdiction - the right to make a decision on the case - over the parties to the action as well as the subject matter of the action.  And in some states - such as Georgia - there can actually be conflict with where to bring an action to modify versus contempt leaving a party to fight a case in two separate courts.  You can not lose with the Court in Oregon that issued the order.  Call your attorney there to check on procedure.  Good luck.


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