By Ronn Bisbee
Although “jurisdiction” and “venue” both refer to the proper geographical location in which a child support matter may be heard, “jurisdiction” generally refers to the proper state, while “venue” refers to the proper county within a particular state. Family Code Section 17400(n) determines proper venue, depending on the circumstances.
Family Code Section 17400(n)(1)
Notwithstanding any other law, venue for an action or proceeding under this division shall be determined as follows:
(A) Venue shall be in the superior court in the county that is currently expending public assistance.
(B) If public assistance is not currently being expended, venue shall be in the superior court in the county where the child who is entitled to current support resides or is domiciled.
(C) If current support is no longer payable through, or enforceable by, the local child support agency, venue shall be in the superior court in the county that last provided public assistance for actions to enforce arrearages assigned pursuant to Section 11477 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(D) If subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) do not apply, venue shall be in the superior court in the county of residence of the support obligee.
(E) If the support obligee does not reside in California, and subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D) do not apply, venue shall be in the superior court of the county of residence of the obligor.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if the child becomes a resident of another county after an action under this part has been filed, venue may remain in the county where the action was filed until the action is completed.
(o) The local child support agency of one county may appear on behalf of the local child support agency of any other county in an action or proceeding under this part.
Serving Orange County, San Diego County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County, and Ventura County. We enforce California child support orders and spousal support orders anywhere in California, and in many cases, nationwide, under the the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA).