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.