Child Support: Can I modify my payment in federal court?

Posted by William H. Sherman on Apr 28, 2015 | 0 Comments

Question:   I am writing because I pay too much child support.  I have three jobs.  I work in Marietta, Woodstock and in Smyrna.  I make decent money but nothing great.  When I got divorced five years ago I actually made more money than I do today.

But my ex-wife took me back to court and got the child support modified so I have to pay even more money.  We went to the Cobb County Superior Court.  The reason we divorced was that my wife developed a cocaine habit and I caught her cheating on me.

The problem is the judge just didn't like me.  He pretty much said that.  I understand that with four kids you pay a lot of child support.  But the amount that I'm paying makes it hard to pay for my car, house and my small boat.  I've given up golf, hunting and I rarely drink anymore.

Since the judge dislikes me, I'd like to try to get my child support modified by another judge.  I'd like to bring a case in federal court so the judge won't know me and will be fair.  Can you help me bring my child support case in federal court?

K.G. in East Cobb, Georgia

Answer:   You cannot bring your child support modification case in a federal district court.  The only place to attempt to have the child support order modified is in the Cobb County Superior Court, where the support order was entered.

A federal district court lacks jurisdiction to invalidate or otherwise review a state court's decision in a support matter. Ankenbrandt v. Richards, 504 U.S. 689 (1992).  The United States Supreme Court held that the domestic relations exception to federal jurisdiction "divests the federal courts of power to issue divorce, alimony, and child custody decrees.” 

And in D.C. Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983), the Court held that district courts do not have jurisdiction to review state court decisions or claims "inextricably intertwined" with the merits of the state court determination.  Your matter is, of course, a state court determination.

If your present financial circumstances change, then you may be able to successfully modify your child support.

About Us

Need information and answers from an East Cobb child support lawyer?  We're always here to help you.  Call us now at 678-215-4106. 

Take advantage of our lengthy and valuable experience as child support attorneys, including serving as a Magistrate Judge, an Assistant Attorney General and as a Senior Assistant County Attorney. 

When you need an East Cobb child support attorney we will answer any questions you have and help you navigate through the entire process.  We handle cases throughout the Atlanta metro area and North Georgia.

About the Author

William H. Sherman

With a professional background that includes serving as a Senior Assistant County Attorney and as an Assistant Attorney General, attorney William H. Sherman has great experience, a broad range of legal knowledge and a proven record of success.  Each of Mr. Sherman's clients gets the full benefit of his experience.  Because attorney Sherman has worked for governmental organizations, large corporations and clerked for a judge, he has handled a wide variety of cases from negotiation and trial to successful appeal. Mr. Sherman is very proud of his reputation as a problem-solver who is always available to his clients.  Active in the community, Mr. Sherman and his wife, attorney Valerie Sherman, support many community organizations, sports teams and charities.  Call him now and let his experience work for you.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

What our clients say...

“I just wanted to write to say that I feel so lucky to have chosen the Sherman Law Group as my attorneys. I was going through such a very difficult legal situation. It was emotionally charged and draining. But Valerie Sherman and Bill Sherman were so supportive, hardworking and helpful. I loved that the firm was always updating me and letting me know what was going on in my case. You always returned my calls and emails. Thank you all for making it work out great for me.”

What our clients say...

“I wanted to thank you for giving me back my life after many awful months. My family and I want to thank you very much for representing my case. We are so grateful to have such wonderful attorneys like you. I know I can rely on you. We will always recommend you to those who are in need of the services of a law firm. We were so happy and excited this morning as we heard the announcement by the Judge. You are such wonderful people at The Sherman Law Group.”