In re T.B., 07-10-00377-CV, 2012 WL 751950 (Tex. App.–Amarillo Mar. 8, 2012, pet. denied)
This was a case I recently handled at the trial level. This case involves the Attorney General’s enforcement of an Alabama child support order under UIFSA. This case arose under Chapter 159 subchapter G of the Family Code.
I successfully contested the registration before the associate judge and the referring court. I relied on section 159.607(a)(1) for my argument. The Texas trial court found that Alabama did not have personal jurisdiction over Quackenbush to order child support.
The Attorney General appealed this decision to the Amarillo Court of Appeals and successfully argued that the Full Faith and Credit Clause from the United States Constitution required Texas to accept the Alabama ruling. The Amarillo Court reasoned that even though the Alabama trial court cited erroneous facts to give itself jurisdiction over Quackenbush, he should have appealed the ruling in Alabama rather than relitigate this issue during registration proceedings in Texas. Alabama’s finding of jurisdiction stood, and the enforcement order received full faith and credit.
The Texas Tech Law School family law clinic handled the appeal, and they did and excellent job.
“Quackenbush may have been successful on appeal had he ignored Alabama completely. The lesson learned is that once a party appears in a foreign state, he better litigate all the way through the appellate courts.” —Bill McNamara
“If you’re handling a child support case involving a court order from another state, be sure to review Chapter 159 subchapter G of the Family Code.” —Bill McNamara