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What Is the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)?

If you have been ordered by a court of a certain state, and then you move to a different state, you will still be required to comply with the court order from the original state. This is just one of many implications of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). It is an important piece of legislation; a uniform act drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in the U.S. Here, we will discuss what exactly the UIFSA is and some of its implications.

What is the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)?

The UIFSA accomplishes several objectives. Effectively, the Act gives a state “long-arm” jurisdiction over a child support debtor even where the debtor is a nonresident. The general rule is that a court has jurisdiction over residents, but UIFSA provides an exception. The UIFSA is the go-to piece of legislation to determine jurisdiction and power of courts in different states when more than one state is involved in either the establishment, modification, or enforcement of a child support, or spouse support, order. Furthermore, the UIFSA dictates which state’s laws will apply in proceedings pursuant to the act. This can make a big difference as there can be a range of differences in the laws of various states.

When a state puts a child support order in place, it is said to retain “continuing exclusive jurisdiction.” This is true as long as one of the parties to the order continues to reside in that state or if both parties agree to transfer jurisdiction to another state. This state will be the only state-authorized to modify the original child support award. This makes it set that there will only be one support order in effect at any given time.

In child support modification proceedings, there may be questions about which state’s laws will apply. Pursuant to the UIFSA, the laws of the state with “continuing exclusive jurisdiction” will apply. As previously stated, this will be the state that put the original child support order into effect unless both parties agreed to transfer jurisdiction to another state or if neither parent nor the child lives in that state anymore. It should be noted, however, that the laws of the enforcing state will apply for purposes of enforcement proceedings.

Once established, a child support order can be sent to any other UIFSA state and be registered there. Registering the order in another state will permit the authorities of that state to enforce the order. Registration, however, will not grant that state any authority regarding modification of the order.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Jurisdictional issues can be complicated, but can also have significant impacts on your family law case. For jurisdictional questions or concerns, talk to the knowledgeable team of family law attorneys at Orlando Family Team. We are here to answer your questions and provide you with sound legal counsel. Contact us today.

What Is the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)?

When it comes to family law matters, there are both federal and state laws at play. The intersection and overlap of these laws, in addition to the laws themselves, can be incredibly complex and difficult to navigate, and yet they address critical matters that will likely come into play should you need to do something such as establish or modify a child support order. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) is one such important federal law that will be relevant to your case.

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)

Drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in the U.S., the UIFSA is a uniform act that places limits on the jurisdiction empowered to establish and modify child support orders, as well as take steps towards the enforcement of child support obligations within the U.S.. As an aside, jurisdiction refers to a court of law’s official power to render legal decisions and judgments relating to a particular case. Without jurisdiction, a court is not authorized to make binding legal judgments over certain matters.

Every state in the U.S. has either opted to adopt the 1996 version of the UIFSA or a later version. The UIFSA is implemented every time more than one state is involved in the establishment, enforcement, or modification of a child or spousal support order in order to determine the jurisdiction and legal authority of the courts in the different states. Furthermore, the UIFSA is utilized in order to determine which state’s law will be applied to the proceedings. This can be critical as there can be many significant differences in child support laws between different states.

The UIFSA also provides for various methods of direct interstate enforcement of child support. It grants a custodial parent the ability to have an order mailed to the obligor parent’s employer requiring the employer to withhold payment for the benefit of the child. It also provides for the custodial parent to have an order mailed to an out-of-state court in order to have the other state enforce the child support order.

There are other various provisions of the UIFSA, including those providing for issues incidental to paternity. The UIFSA also requires that each state establish Child Support Guidelines. Such guidelines are to be used by court and state child enforcement agencies in order to determine the amount a non-custodial parent is obligated to pay to the custodial parent to support the child. Child support guidelines should consider a few important things, such as:

  • The needs of the child
  • The present and future well-being of the child
  • Other dependents
  • The non-custodial parent’s ability to pay

Florida Family Law Attorneys

For help unraveling the complex laws involved in your family law case, talk to the knowledgeable attorneys at Orlando Family Team. We will walk you through these laws and their relevance as well as protect your best interests. Contact us today.