If a child support order is obtained in another state and the custodial parent and child move to California, there are a few steps that need to be taken to enforce the out-of-state order.
All fifty states have adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). The UIFSA governs when more than one state is involved in cases establishing, enforcing, or modifying child or spousal support orders. The UIFSA helps to determine the jurisdiction and power of the courts in different states and establishes which state’s laws will be applied in the proceedings.
California’s version is codified in California Family Code section 4900 et al., which outlines the general procedures for enforcing support orders or income-withholding orders issued by another state. Specified documents must be submitted to the California tribunal to register the order. Then, the registered order is enforceable in the same manner and subject to the same procedure as an order issued by California. It becomes a California judgment for any arrearages and subject to the same defenses as any other judgment. Although California lacks jurisdiction to reduce or modify the support arrearages, it has the discretion to determine the manner in which the judgment will be enforced.
The Certified Family Law Specialists* at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri have decades of experience handling complex and heavily disputed interstate child and spousal support enforcement issues. If you have a child or spousal support enforcement issue, please contact the Certified Family Law Specialists* at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri, who can provide you with an in depth analysis regarding your case. Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.
*Certified Family Law Specialist, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization