People who begin a divorce proceeding often view the entry of the final order by the court as the last step, and they are often unprepared for events that may follow. One of the most common of these unexpected events is the decision of one spouse to move from California to another state. If the couple has no minor children, such a move may have little or no impact. But if the couple has minor children who are the beneficiaries of an order for child support, the move to another state by one spouse or the other may have the potential for disrupting the provisions entered by the divorce court regarding child and spousal support.
This disruption is caused by the joint difficulties of obtaining jurisdiction over the spouse who has moved and then enforcing an order requiring the ex-spouse to make all delinquent payments. California and the other states took a significant precaution against such disruption by enacting the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. This statute, with minor modifications from state to state, establishes uniform procedures by which a spouse entitled to receive child support can commence an action in the state where the former spouse resides to obtain an order compelling the ex-spouse to make all delinquent support payments.
The creation of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act made it very easy for custodial parents who were owed child support to obtain jurisdiction over their ex-spouse and to get the court to enter the necessary order. The act also reduced the costs to the parent seeking the order by creating procedures that could be handled by U.S. Mail. The states who are party to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act also created state agencies charged with the responsibility to help recipient parents to follow the procedures required by the act and recover the funds due them.
As with any law requiring a court appearance, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act has a number of moving parts that can sometimes cause difficulty for the parent trying to recovery back support. In such cases, a knowledgeable divorce attorney can provide invaluable assistance.