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Enforcing child support orders across state borders

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2018 | Child Custody And Visitation, Firm News

One the most vexatious post-divorce issues is enforcing an order for child support when one or both of the divorced parents has moved to another state. Fortunately for California residents facing this problem, the state has enacted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), a law that significantly eases the problems of enforcing a support order in another jurisdiction that has adopted the same law. The law was adopted by California and the other 49 states in response to passage of an amendment to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.

A person who obtained a valid order from a California superior court requiring the payment of child support can ask the court to send a request to the court having personal jurisdiction over the payor spouse requesting issuance of an order for support. When the court that receives the request issues its own support order, that order then becomes enforceable against the payor parent. The payee parent can use the collection mechanisms in the state where the payor spouse resides. These mechanisms usually include wage garnishment and judgment liens against real property.

The procedure is reciprocal. The parent of a child residing in another state can collect support in California by asking the court that issued the original order for support to request the California court having personal jurisdiction over the payor spouse to issue an order requiring that parent to meet his or her support obligations.

Persons wishing to invoke the UIFSA can contact the California Department of Child Support Services for assistance. Nevertheless, the procedures for obtaining an order for support under the UIFSA can be complex. Anyone considering invoking the law may wish to consult an experienced family law attorney for advice on the procedures for obtaining and enforcing an order for support.