In Ugochukwu, the ex-husband appealed a lower court decision, arguing that the court below should have applied English law to determine the amount of his outstanding support payments. The NC court held that the lower court was not bound to apply the British laws because the ex-husband did not clearly articulate the English law or its applicability.
The case was based on an English support order from 1999. Both parties moved to the U.S. and registered the support order in an Ohio court. Until 2000, the ex-husband paid the ordered support. In addition, he also paid $2,000 per month. He said this was for advance support payments, but the court below held these were gifts to the ex-wife.
After going into arrears, the ex-wife sought the missed payments and move to modify the child support based on a substantial change of circumstances. The trial court granted her wishes. The ex-husband appealed. His appeal contested that the court below should have applied English support guidelines.
Unfortunately for the ex-husband, his pleadings did not sufficiently meet the "burden of bringing such law to the attention of the court." Thus, his appeal on these grounds was dead in the water.
The moral of the story is that parties need counsel that thoroughly understands the substance and procedures of the foreign and local laws to ensure the application of the appropriate law in these international support order cases.