Enforcing a Child Support Order Out of State
One easy way to enforce your child support order when the other parent is out of state is to have the courts send a garnishment order directly to the other parent’s employer. Under federal law, all employers must honor child support garnishment orders from other states. An employer can’t refuse to garnish an employee’s wages for child support just because the garnishment order comes from another state.
If you don’t know where the other parent works, there is still hope for enforcing your child support order. Every state has passed some version of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (“UIFSA”), which is a law that is designed specifically to enforce child support orders from one state against a parent who lives in another state. By using UIFSA, which usually requires hiring an attorney or contracting with your local child support office, you can ask the courts, the child support agencies, and/or a private attorney in the state where the other parent is living to enforce your child support order. The courts in that state must enforce your child support order just as if it was a child support order issued in that state.
Many states also have criminal laws that govern child support orders. If a parent fails to pay child support as ordered, your local prosecutor’s or district attorney’s office can file criminal nonsupport charges against the parent, even if he or she lives in another state. Your state can extradite, or bring the parent back to your state from another state, because he or she is charged with a crime. State felony nonsupport charges can result in various sanctions, including incarceration, home detention, and probation.
Failing to pay child support is also a federal crime, so you can ask the federal prosecutor or district attorney for your jurisdiction to bring charges against the other parent. Like state criminal laws concerning non-payment of child support, the other parent can be incarcerated or placed on probation for failing to pay child support as ordered.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
Additional Child Support Articles
- Understanding Child Support
- Calculating Child Support
- Enforcing a Child Support Order
- How to Modify a Child Support Order
- Intercepting Tax Refunds When a Parent Fails to Pay Child Support
- Can Child Support Payments be Automatically deducted from a Parent's Paycheck?
- Do I Have to Pay Child Support if I Don't Get to See My Children?
- Do I Need a Lawyer to Establish or Enforce a Child Support Order?
- Child Support FAQ
- What Is Child Support?
- What Is Child Support Used For?
- When Can A Child Support Order Be Changed Or Modified?
- How Long Must Child Support Be Paid?
- What Other Items Do Formulas Consider?
- My Husband And I Have Decided To Use Artificial Insemination To Have A Child. Will The Donor Be Obligated To Support The Child?
- Can The Parent Limit The Amount Of Future Child Support That Is To Be Paid To The Other (Custodial) Parent?
- Can One Parent Be Ordered To Pay Child Support Even If She Never Married The Other (Custodial) Parent?
- I'm Marrying A Man Who Has Children From A Previous Marriage. He Regularly Pays His Child Support. Since I Earn More Than My Fiance, Am I Held Responsible?
- If The Obligor Parent Doesn't Pay, Can Visitation Be Stopped?
- My Wife Has Threatened To File For Bankruptcy. What Effect Does Bankruptcy Have On Child Support?
- My Income Dropped Dramatically When I Was Laid Of My Job And Cannot Make My Child Support Payments. Is There Anyway I Can Lower My Child Support Payments?
- What Efforts Can Be Taken To Collect Child Support From The Parent Who Does Not Pay?
- What If The Obligee Does Not Spend Any Money On The Child?
- What Is The Parent Locater Service?
- What Other Collection Remedies Are Available?
- What Effect Does Bankruptcy Have On Child Support?
- What Is Child Support, And How Is Child Support Determined?
- What Factors Are Used To Calculate Child Support Payments? Can The Amount Of The Payment Change Over Time?
- Is A Father Who Never Married The Mother Still Required To Pay Child Support? What If The Father Is Not Allowed To See The Child?
- What Happens To A Father Who Refuses To Pay Court Ordered Child Support?
- Does Every State Follow The Same Formula In Calculating Child Support?
- Can A Child Support Order Be Changed Or Modified?
- My Ex Is Not Making Child Support Payments – What Can I Do?
- How Is Child Support Ordered And What Exactly Is It?
- When May Maintenance And Support Be Awarded By A Court?
- Can the amount of support payments be changed?