Does the mother or father of your child live out of state? If so, you may think it's virtually impossible to force them to cut your child support checks reliably, but that's not the case. Whether you're the payor of child support or the payee, your child support agreement is governed by the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, a 1992 law that sets federal standards for enforcing child support arrangements from state to state.
This law is one of several uniform codes the federal government crafted to make enforcement of certain laws, which can vary from state to state, easier by establishing set rules. Under the UIFSA, only one state's orders can be enforced at a time. That state's order is called the controlling order, and if there's any question, the UIFSA will give guidance as to which is the controlling order.
However, in order to get another state to enforce your Florida child support, there must be an existing order and that order must be registered with the courts in the state in which your child's other parent lives. If that's the case, the controlling order can be enforced by the out-of-state court in multiple ways.
• Property seizure
• Suspension of business or professional licenses
• Revocation of driver's license
Enforcing an Out-of-State Child Support Order
If you're the parent who lives in the state where the controlling order exists, the good news is, it will probably be hard for the child's other parent to have it moved to their state. Often, only the state that issued the controlling order can make that kind of change.
If you're owed child support because of a divorce or if a court was involved in forcing the other parent to pay child support, you probably already have an order. If not, we'll need to contact a local child support agency to obtain one that can be enforced outside Florida.
You should be aware that you may have to attend court hearings in the other state. That rarely means any actual travel, as most courts do allow you to attend these types of hearings via telephone. But you may have to make time during the workday to attend.
We highly recommend hiring a qualified Florida child support lawyer to help ensure your child gets everything they're entitled to, especially if the relationship between you and the child's other parent is contentious.
Once the order is in place, that doesn't mean it's final. If circumstances change, you can always go back to court. Sometimes, the amount may be decreased due to circumstances, and sometimes, it may be increased.
What If I Don't Have a Child Support Order?
Usually, the family court will issue the non-custodial parent a child support order, which is based on the state's laws and a formula that includes the number of children and each parent's financial situation, at the time of the divorce when other arrangements regarding the children are being made. Even if you reached a settlement out of court, you still need to have it approved by the court to ensure it's enforceable.
If you didn't get a child support order during the divorce or if you and the child's other parent were never married, that doesn't mean you're stuck. We can help you get such an order, which may require going to court.
How Do I Get Help?
If your out-of-state spouse isn't paying child support, whether an existing order is in place or not, you can contact the Orlando child support lawyers at Draper Law Office at 866.767.4711 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
If you're the out-of-state parent, you still need legal representation to ensure the original order is enforced fairly.