The baby was born in the United States but has been living in Brazil for 6 years. The mother is a Brazilian citizen.

1 Answer 1


Can a woman living in Brazil collect child support from someone in the United States?

Yes. There would need to be first, a legal establishment of paternity if that is not already in place, and then an application to a court for a child support order.

The question of whether one should proceed in a U.S. court or a Brazilian court is a tactical one that would be evaluated based upon the circumstances by the lawyers involved in doing so.

Generally, that would open the door to child custody proceedings as well in the same, or a parallel case.

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    @Joshua There is no right to a trial by jury on the issue of child support in the U.S. A decision of a Brazilian court would be made under Brazilian law and then probably honored in a proceeding in the U.S. to repatriate the Brazilian judgment in a U.S. court as a foreign money judgment as provided by statute. The Brazilian ruling might also be given res judicata or collateral estoppel effect by a U.S. court if the Brazilian court had jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter under U.S. jurisdictions principles.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 10, 2023 at 19:10
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    There is plenty right to not be sued in a country that you have never set foot in though.
    – Joshua
    Aug 10, 2023 at 19:16
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    @Joshua Brazil would have jurisdiction over child custody. Jurisdiction over child support alone would be where the child was conceived, the place where the defendant resides, and any place that the defendant was served with process. If the father participated in child custody litigation in Brazil, the Brazilian court could also have jurisdiction to impose a child support order incident to the custody order. Whether there could be jurisdiction in a Brazilian court based on the residence of the child, if the father defaulted in a Brazilian custody case, is a close call. The facts aren't clear.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 10, 2023 at 19:37
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    @Joshua there's no right at all not to be sued in another country.
    – DonQuiKong
    Aug 10, 2023 at 19:59
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    @Joshua This is also an inaccurate statement of law. If there is no court order in place, either parent can take a child outside of the country and establish permanent residence there without the approval of the other parent. Six years later is, in any case, far too long to complain about removing a child from a country in the absence of a violation of a court order (you might be able to bring a U.S. custody action over the removed child in the first six months or so). After six years, Brazil is the child's legal home.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 10, 2023 at 20:09

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