July 2016 | No. E2015-01877-COA-CV, (Tenn. Ct. App. 2016)

Catalano v. Woodcock (Tennessee 2016)

In a divorce proceeding, the requirements for service by publication must be strictly complied with or any resulting order will be void for a lack of personal jurisdiction, which can include the child support order. In this case, mother served father with notice of the divorce by publication. The court granted the divorce but reserved setting child support until father could be personally served. Several years later, the State of Tennessee filed to set support on behalf of mother. The child had reached the age of majority, but qualified as a disabled child, so the State relied on the validity of the order to set current and retroactive support. The father argued the child support order was void because he had not been properly served with the divorce action. Since there was no valid support order, the court did not have subject matter jurisdiction to set support. The appellate court agreed and dismissed the petition for child support.

Sign up to stay up-to-date with news and resources.

Sign Up

YoungWilliams does not endorse the reports or opinions expressed by non-YoungWilliams authors, nor do we endorse the entities that initially released or published the materials posted on our website.