Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to Understand Interstate Child Support Laws


A lot of questions surrounding child-support regulations used to come up when the parents lived in different states. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act has helped clear up a lot of the confusion.


Difficulty: Moderate



Step One

Understand that most states have passed the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, a law that lets courts in different states cooperate with each other and that clarifies what happens when the parties in a support case live in different states.

Step Two

Know that before this law was passed there was a lot of confusion about child support. Sometimes courts in two different states would order child support payments and the parent would be responsible for paying under both orders.

Step Three

Realize that under this law, the state where one parent and the child live has the power to issue a support order.

Step Four

Recognize that, under this act, states cannot interfere with support orders made in the state where one parent and the child live.

Step Five

Be clear on the fact that one state can modify another state's order only if neither of the parents nor the child live in the issuing state, or if both parents now live in the state where the modification is sought.

Step Six

Ask the court for a determination of which order applies if you have more than one.

Step Seven

Consider that no matter where a support order is collected or enforced, it will be governed by the laws of the state in which it was issued.

Tips & Warnings

  • Enforce your support order in any state by simply registering the order in the state where you wish to enforce it and requesting enforcement. Income withholding orders can be sent to employees in any state without registering the order in that state. Amounts collected in other states will be subtracted from the amount due on the order in the issuing state.
  • Contact the family court in the state where you wish to register a support order from another state.

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