Child Support and Relocation

A group of moving boxes. One of them has packing tape resting on it

Out-Of-State Child Support

Every parent regardless of marital status has the responsibility to provide for their children. If you have been ordered to pay child support, those payments are not optional. What if one parent decides to move out of state? What happens to those child support payments?

Here is what you need to know about child support and relocation out of California.

Federal Law

Whether a person responsible for child support relocates into or out of California, the U.S. Constitution states that any lawful judgment or order made in any of the 50 states is entitled to enforcement in any other state. Simply put, other states must enforce California child support orders just as California must enforce a child support order of another state.

Moving out of the state where your support order was created and into a state where no child support order exists for your name does not excuse you from meeting your obligations.

Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

One way of simplifying child support enforcement across state lines is the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This act serves as a means to identify which state has the authority to modify a child support order and how an out-of-state child support order will be enforced in a different state. To put this act in simple terms, the UIFSA serves to regulate finalized child support orders.

If a couple gets a divorce in California and one party is awarded child support, that payor is responsible for making those payments on time regardless of where they live. If, for example, that payor decides to move out of California to another state and stops paying child support altogether, then the person receiving payments has the right to seek enforcement of their California child support order through the UIFSA. Likewise, if a couple was divorced in another state and a child support order was put in place, the person receiving payments can seek enforcement of their order through the UIFSA if the payor moves out of that state and into California.

Working with an Attorney If Your Child Support Goes Unpaid

As mentioned previously, child support orders are not optional; if you have an order in place to pay child support, then you must make those payments. If your ex-spouse is ordered to pay support and relocates out of state while pausing payments, you have the right to seek enforcement of your child support order through the UIFSA. It’s important that you speak to a family law attorney who can guide you through the UIFSA process and explain your other civil options in this scenario.
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