How Interstate Child Custody and Child Support Laws Work

When you are filing for divorce and there is a child involved, things always have the potential of getting messy. When you throw in the fact that one parent is going to reside in a different state than the other, joint custody and child support interstate can get murky and complicated. However, there are laws in place that affect interstate child support, visitation, and child custody when one parent resides in another state. These laws, known as Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction And Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), are designed to ensure a child custody and child support order is enforceable across state lines. Here is some information you should know if you are going through a divorce where one parent lives in a different state than the other.

The primary purpose of UIFSA is to ensure that a child support order is enforceable across jurisdiction boundaries and different state laws. Through registration of the order, collection and modification of child support can be pursued in another state. Before this law was enacted there wasn't much child support enforcement could do if the non-custodial parent moved out of state and failed to pay child support. Since the order was for that county or state, other states wouldn't go after the deadbeat parent. However, this law was designed and passed to hold all parents accountable for their child support, regardless of where they live. If you are awarded child support and the other party moves out of the jurisdictional area that awarded the support, you need to file a UIFSA petition to protect your support, regardless of where the other party moves.

There are a few different purposes for the UCCJEA law. UCCJEA applies to child custody cases. This law ensures that one parent can't be awarded custody in one jurisdiction, only to have the other parent file for custody in another jurisdiction. This law also ensures that the original order is enforced throughout the United States, not just in the jurisdiction where the case was tried. This prevents one party from taking the child out of state and having the custody agreement become unenforceable. A UCCJEA affidavit should be filed with the court if either party is moving out of the jurisdiction in which the award was granted. The affidavit does not void the original agreement, it just ensures both parties understand that the agreement is binding in any jurisdiction or state.

If you need to file a UCCJEA affidavit or a UIFSA petition, you can fill out the UCCJEA and UIFSA forms and file them at the court house yourself. US Legal Forms offers a UIFSA and UCCJEA form that allows you to protect your visitation rights, child custody, and child support, and resolve these matters without the restriction of state boundaries.

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