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How to Manage a Child Support Order Across State Lines

When divorced parents live in different states, there are a number of issues that they have to deal with. One of these issues is child support. When a custodial parent needs child support from a non-custodial parent that lives in a different state, it can be confusing to decide which state’s court to turn to for assistance.

Typically, a state court can enter an order that requires child support payments from a parent in another state only if the out of state parent has a specific connection to the other state. The connection provides the court with what is known as “personal jurisdiction” or “jurisdiction over the person” which is a set of rules that determine whether or not a state court may hear a case involving a certain individual.

When deciding which state will hear child support cases when parents live in different states, a court turns to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This law includes rules for each step of the process when attempting to obtain child support across state lines: establishing child support, modifying child support and enforcing child support.

Under UIFSA, a state may get (or retain) personal jurisdiction over a non-custodial parent under certain circumstances:

  • The non-custodial parent is personally served (provided a copy of documents in person) with a summons or notice (official document that tells them he or she is directed to come to court) within the state.
  • The non-custodial parent agrees to have the court in a particular state hear the matter voluntarily.
  • The non-custodial parent fails to object to the jurisdiction issue. 
  • The non-custodial parent lived with the child in the particular state (at any point in the past).
  • The non-custodial parent lived in the state prior to the birth of the child and provided prenatal expenses or support for the child.
  • The child lives in the state as a result of the acts or directives of the non-custodial parent.
  • The non-custodial parent engaged in sexual intercourse within the state, and the child may have been conceived by that act.

If you need assistance obtaining child support or enforcing child support across state lines, please get in touch with one of the experienced family law attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm. We can help you in establishing child support, modifying child support or enforcing child support, depending on your situation.

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