Matter of Salminen v. Vassallo
Support Magistrate Kathryn Baur
Mother sought an order of support from child's father. The child resided with the mother in Finland. Father moved to dismiss arguing New York lacked subject matter jurisdiction to issue a child support order as the parties entered into a maintenance agreement in Finland. As such, father argued Finland retained continuing exclusive jurisdiction to modify the agreement, given that mother and child still resided in Finland. The court noted where one party lived outside of New York, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) applied, stating Finland was a state within the meaning of Family Court Act §580-101(19), thus UIFSA applied. It also found the parties' agreement acknowledged father's paternity of the child, and obligated him to pay monthly child support from Dec. 1, 2001 and ending Nov. 30, 2008. Mother argued the agreement expired in 2008, but it was not a court order. Yet, the court found otherwise, noting the agreement stated the amount of support to be paid, and contained a start and end date, which was signed and listed as a Decision of Authority from the Helsinki Commune. As mother and child resided in Finland, same had continuing exclusive jurisdiction despite expiration of the agreement, and father's motion was granted.