Mississippi Dep’t of Human Services v. Porter (Mississippi 2017)

No. 2016-CA-00383-COA (Miss. Ct. App. 2017)
June 2017

UIFSA does not require an initiating tribunal or registered child support order for a responding tribunal to have subject matter jurisdiction to establish a support order. Additionally, UIFSA calls for the responding state to apply its laws and procedures to the order, including its age of majority. The state of Illinois requested Mississippi’s assistance in establishing a support order against a father who had relocated to Mississippi. The father appealed the order arguing that the Chancery Court did not have subject matter jurisdiction and applied the incorrect age of emancipation. The appellate court upheld the Chancery Court’s jurisdiction. The court explained that UIFSA, as adopted by both Mississippi and Illinois, governs the establishment of support order when parents live in two different states and sets forth the procedure. Since this was an action to establish an order, no initiating tribunal or order was necessary and the Chancery Court had jurisdiction to enter the order. The appellate court also found that Mississippi statute clearly states the responding tribunal should apply the law of its state to determine the duty of support and the amount.