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.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.
Andrew Nickolaou

Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew also handles record expungements and sealings. If you have questions about this article, contact Andrew today by clicking here.