Angele Warwick appeals from an order denying her motion to
increase child support. She filed an action under the Uniform
Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA), K.S.A. 38-1301 et seq.,
to restrict visitation with her children by her former husband,
Robert Gluck, a nonresident of Kansas. Gluck appeared through
counsel and sought extended visitation with the children, but
objected to Warwick's several motions to increase child support
on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction to consider
them. The issue on appeal is whether the district court had
personal jurisdiction over Gluck for the purpose of increasing
child support. The district court found that the action was
initiated by Warwick under the UCCJA which "specifically excludes
jurisdiction toward or any increase in child support."
Warwick and Gluck obtained a divorce in Philipsburg, St.
Maarten, a protectorate of the Netherlands, in February 1983. By
the terms of a separation agreement, Warwick became the guardian
of the parties' two minor children. Gluck became the children's
co-guardian. He agreed to pay $100 a month for child support.
In June 1983, Warwick and the children moved to Johnson County,
Kansas. On May 3, 1984, Warwick filed a petition pursuant to the
UCCJA in the District Court of Johnson County, requesting that
the court restrain Gluck from removing the children from its
jurisdiction, order him to undergo a psychological evaluation,
and supervise his visitation with his children. The court issued
an ex parte order granting the requested relief.
In response to the petition, Gluck filed a motion to dismiss,
contending that the court lacked jurisdiction under the UCCJA.
Alternatively, he asked that the court permit his children to
visit him in St. Maarten during the summer.
The court held a hearing on May 24, 1984. Gluck appeared
through counsel. On redirect examination, Warwick was asked by
her counsel how much Gluck paid for child support. Gluck's
attorney objected "to this in this proceeding," arguing that the
UCCJA does not provide a basis for an order increasing child
support. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court held that it
had limited jurisdiction under the UCCJA and entered orders
permitting Gluck to visit his children in Kansas City during the
first ten days of June and requiring the parties to undergo a
professional evaluation to determine the advisability of
visitation in St. Maarten.
On August 1, 1984, Gluck filed a motion requesting that the
court allow his children to visit him in St. Maarten for
approximately two weeks prior to the start of school. Two days
later Warwick moved for an increase in child support. She
acknowledged that the UCCJA "does not provide for the plaintiff's
motion herein," but asserted that the court has jurisdiction to
increase child support "under the common law concepts of parens
patriae." In his response to Warwick's motion, Gluck contended
that the court lacked personal and subject matter jurisdiction.
On November 27, 1984, the court held a hearing on pending
motions. It granted Gluck visitation with his children in Kansas
on weekends, but rejected his request to take the children to St.
Maarten. The court expressed doubts about its ability to enforce
an order increasing Gluck's child support obligations. The order,
entered on March 1, 1985, states, "Child support will not be
increased at this time."
On July 8, 1985, the court granted Gluck's request for
visitation with his children during the summer in Kansas City and
in Naples and Fort Myers, Florida, where they were to visit their
On October 17, 1985, the court addressed motions filed by the
parties. In an order filed on October 24, 1985, the court denied
Warwick's motions to increase child support and to impose
sanctions for Gluck's failure to comply with discovery requests
concerning his financial ability to make increased child support
payments. The court held that the UCCJA "does not confer on this
Court any jurisdiction to vary child support orders."
Warwick filed a timely motion to alter or amend the October 24
order, contending that the court erred by holding it did not have
jurisdiction to increase child support. In his response, Gluck
argued that the court's ruling was correct because he had "not
been personally served nor voluntarily entered his appearance in
the case." In the alternative, Gluck contended that child support
should be decreased, not increased, or that Warwick should be
ordered to share in transportation expenses incurred in
On December 4, 1986, before the court ruled on the motion to
alter or amend, Warwick filed another motion to increase child
support. She asserted that the "court has jurisdiction over the
parties and the subject matter under the common law doctrine of
parens patriae" and that Gluck had submitted to and had invoked
the court's jurisdiction by seeking affirmative relief in the
case. On May 15, 1987, the court denied the motion to increase
child support. In a journal entry filed on May 29, 1987, the
court stated, "[T]his is an action initiated by the petitioner
under the Uniform Child Custody Act and the Uniform Child Custody
Act specifically excludes jurisdiction toward or any increase in
By its terms, the UCCJA does not grant a court subject matter
jurisdiction to order a party to pay child support or any other
monetary obligation. The UCCJA grants the court jurisdiction to
make a "custody determination." K.S.A. 38-1303(a). "Custody
determination" is defined as "a court decision and court orders
and instructions providing for the custody of a child, including
visitation rights; it does not include a decision relating to
child support or any other monetary obligation of any person."
K.S.A. 38-1302(b). (Emphasis added.)
Although a court is not granted subject matter jurisdiction to
decide child support issues by the UCCJA, the jurisdiction of a
Kansas court to modify a child support order of another state is
well-established and is based on the common-law duty of a parent
to support his or her child, Keller v. Guernsey,
227 Kan. 480,608 P.2d 896 (1980); and on equity principles, Burnworth v.
Hughes, 234 Kan. 69, 670 P.2d 917 (1983).
On appeal, Gluck does not contend that the district court
lacked subject matter jurisdiction to order an increase in child
support. Rather, he contends that the ...