Your ex is moving to another state. You fear that you might not be able to get them to pay up the child support they already owe. Fortunately, there is a federal act that requires all states to uphold a child support court order when a non-custodial parent relocates to their state.
A parent relocation also often requires the court to change custody and visitation orders. This is to reflect the change in visitation schedules for the non-custodial parent and the parenting time the custodial parent has with the child. A custody order may also contain domicile restrictions that protect the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent and allow the children to spend time equally with either parent. The court may also change child support amounts as part of a relocation.
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)
The UIFSA protects parents who need to collect interstate child support. It gives a state the right to enforce a child support order issued in that state even though the non-custodial parent may have moved away. UIFSA also outlines procedures that allow the state where the order was issued to send a withholding notice to the new state. This states the amount, frequency, and duration of child support. It will also state any amounts of child support owed and other specifications relating to the payment.
Out-of-State Enforcement of Child Support Orders
You or your attorney can file a motion to enforce a child support order across state borders. The court in the other jurisdiction can enforce child support arrears by requiring employers to withhold part of the parent’s paycheck to meet their obligations. This applies even though the parent is no longer in the state where the original child support order was issued.
While there are criminal penalties for parents who do not meet their child support obligations, in many circumstances it is more difficult to file criminal charges in another county or state. Your lawyer or law firm will have to file the criminal charges in the state courts where the existing orders were issued. The other parent must appear in court or be extradited for the case.
Locating Your Ex
If you are having trouble locating your ex, you can use parent locator services. These are available from your local Child Support Enforcement Agency or your state. Your state will contact the other state that you believe your ex has moved to.
The Child Support Enforcement Agency often has access to more data and resources to locate your ex. This includes new hire data, change of address information for driver’s licenses, and credit bureau data that the agency can use to locate your ex.
Once you’ve found the other parent’s new address, you can now contact them and proceed with legal action.
Modification of a Child Support Order
Any case for the legal modification of child support orders must be filed in the court that issued them. The only exception is if both parents move to a new jurisdiction. This provides the courts in the new jurisdiction the right to change the orders. The parent that is seeking to modify the legal orders should file the case to modify the orders in their new state.
In many cases, a relocation will require a modification of child support orders to establish new visitation and access schedules. The parent with primary physical custody may also request additional child support from the parent moving to another state.
Relocation will also affect geographic or domicile restrictions. If one parent decides to move to another state, the need for the current domicile restriction will be negated. Parents will need to decide if the restriction should stay in place. Alternatively, the custodial parent may now move to another state if they wish.
The legal process is much easier if parents are in agreement about the new arrangements. However, if parents cannot agree, they will hire a lawyer to present their case to a court judge.
Get A No-Cost Case Review From An Experienced Attorney
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