Often parents reside in different states which can create problems for both parties in a child support case. The new UIFSA statute (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) tries to smooth the way for fewer problems created by parents residing in different jurisdictions.
A court order for child support will follow the custodial parent and the child to wherever they relocate to. An initiating state will either register the order for enforcement themselves, or complete a UIFSA application to send to the state where the noncustodial parent resides. Done by UIFSA, the receiving state is then responsible to obtain and enforce the child support order.
Registration is the easiest way to go when the noncustodial parent and his employer are located and there is already an existing court order in place. The initiating state will be able to serve their own notice of assignment directly to the employer of the noncustodial parent in the different state, and be paid directly. It is much easier for one agency to be involved sometimes on less complicated cases. UIFSA is required when the noncustodial parent is unlocated, uncooperative, hiding assets, and/or if there is no court order in place. Once a UIFSA is filed with the receiving state, that state will proceed to locate the noncustodial parent & his or her assets, establish paternity, set a child support amount, and then serve the notice of assignment and enforce the order.
Often times there are errors or there are differences in the accounting methods, or one state may intercept the noncustodial parent’s taxes & fail to notify the other state. Therefore, noncustodial parents should always keep good records of their payments.
International child support enforcement is also available. Contact your local CSE agency to determine if they have reciprocity with the country where the noncustodial parent resides. California has reciprocity with Mexico, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany and many other countries.
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FAIR AND REASONABLE -- Courts will approve child support arrangements they deem "fair and reasonable,” so the amount that the state guidelines produce will not necessarily be the amount awarded by the court.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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