Validity of Mediation Agreements and Jurisdictional Limitations

divorce lawyer Kristen BuzzelliQuestion:

We reached a memorandum of understanding in mediation that neither party will seek to change jurisdiction of the case. We have both moved out of the original issuing state and now live in the same state albeit in separate homes.

My ex-wife wants to modify child support through the new state we both live in despite the agreement that we would not change the jurisdiction.

Can she change jurisdiction to the state we are now residing in and disregard our mediation agreement?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Missouri divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

Generally, a memorandum of understanding from mediation has no legal or binding effect unless it is filed with a court and integrated into a court order.

Additionally, jurisdiction over child custody issues are covered by Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).

Under UCCJEA, the home state of the child is defined as the state where the child has resided for six months prior to commencement of the proceeding.

Even if your child was living in the original state for the past six months, that state’s court has the right to decline jurisdiction on the ground that another state is a more appropriate forum since both parents now live in a different state

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UCCJEA and Divorce

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Missouri Divorce Lawyer Kristen M. Buzzelli, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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