If my ex-wife has custody of our daughter and they live in anotherstate, in which state can I petition the family law court?

UPDATED: Jan 23, 2013

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If my ex-wife has custody of our daughter and they live in anotherstate, in which state can I petition the family law court?

I live in Ohio. We have a child support order and at that hearing all that was offered was supervised visitations.The child support agency told me I could petition the family law court but I don’t know in which state I need to do that. Also, does it make a difference that my fiance and I both have full-time stable jobs and our own seperate vehicles for transportation while my ex-wife is living on welfare and has no vehicle?

Asked on January 23, 2013 under Family Law, Ohio


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You would start with the court that entered the current order.  If that order was entered in Ohio, then that is where you would want to start because that is the order that you are seeking to modify.  If the order was entered in one state and then she moved to Ohio, then the suit could be transferred to the new state where the child lives.

As for the second part of your question, if you are a responsible person and there have never been any issues that really justified supervised visits, then you have a good chance of obtaining more access to your daughter.  If you want custody of your daughter, it will help that you seem to be able to provide a complete, loving environment for your daughter.  No attorney can guarantee a result, but if she is living on welfare and is not meeting the needs of your daughter, then you have a better chance of getting custody.  However, in the end, the judge will make the decision based on what is in the best interest of the child. 

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