Under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U. S. Constitution, states must give
full faith and credit to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of other
states. The purpose of the Full Faith and Credit Clause is to avoid conflicts between
states in adjudicating the same matters. A state is not required, however, to afford
full faith and credit to a judgment rendered by a court that did not have jurisdiction
over the subject matter or the relevant parties.
Analyzing whether the one state must afford full faith and credit to a judgment made
by another state thus requires a two-tiered analysis:
first, we must consider whether the original court had jurisdiction, thus entitling
the judgment to full faith and credit; and
second, we must determine how much credit the judgment is entitled to receive.
We give “full faith and credit” to a State court judgment or order that establishes
a parent-child relationship for intestacy purposes in the NH’s State of domicile if
it appears to be valid under the law of the State that issued the order.