A few weeks ago, we discussed, in a very broad way, the federal law known as the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, or UIFSA. We touched on the fact that this law makes it possible for a Georgia family court, which normally has jurisdiction only within the state, to enter an order of child support against a person in a different state, if certain requirements were met regarding that individual’s ties to Georgia through the child involved in the action. But what happens if a person moves out of state after a support order is entered or lives in another state and doesn’t pay the support ordered?
Normally, it is difficult for a state to enforce its courts’ orders on people in other states due to jurisdictional and other technical legal issues. In this case, however, UIFSA has provisions for allowing the enforcement of child support orders across state lines. Section 602 of the statute sets out the requirements that need to be met to register an already entered order of support in another state. Generally, one needs to send the new jurisdiction copies of the original order including a certified copy, verified statements regarding amounts of payments made and arrearages owed and information about the obligor and the obligee.
When a support order is registered in another state, that order can be enforced as if it was that state’s own order. This means taking advantage of options such as motions for contempt, or the state being able to enter income deduction orders to withhold the child support from a non-custodial parent’s paycheck, or other options, such as interception of tax refunds and suspension of driver’s or professional licenses.
Given our increasingly mobile society and the technological advances that make us all more interconnected every year, it is only common sense that child support orders be able to be enforced wherever the non-custodial parent is residing. Running away from one’s responsibilities is now not only immoral, but also less likely to be successful.