Lis and the Single Girl: Changing One's Child Support

My ex-husband wants to move to another state and is talking about changing the terms of his child support — can he do that? I don't want him escaping his obligations just because he doesn't live next door.

Fear Not. I know the thought of your ex moving across state lines can give you a panic attack, worrying that you'll end up with a stack of bills — but it's not called "the long arm of the law" for nothing!

When the non-custodial parent wants to move to another state, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act ensures that he (or she) continues to take care of you and your children. The UIFSA is true to its name. It's a Uniform Act that's been adopted in every state to address the widespread problem of some deadbeat dads (I know that term has been getting an angry response, but it happens to be true in some cases) escaping their child support obligations. The Act seeks to address cross border problems by placing significant limitations on the circumstances in which a given state may make or modify in order. That means if a court in State A makes a family law order in accordance with the appropriate jurisdictional rules, that state will have exclusive and continuing jurisdiction to modify the order.

For example, if your ex wants to reduce his child support, he would need to bring proceedings in the state where you live. Your home court will then determine the appropriate amount of child support.

Additionally, the Act makes it easy for you to keep tabs on your ex-husband to ensure he continues child support with direct interstate enforcement rules. In other words, you (as the caretaker parent) can have an order mailed to his new employer, which requires his new boss to withhold pay for the benefit of your child. It also allows you to have an order mailed to the court in his new home state to enforce the contract.

Bottom Line: I know its difficult dealing with custody proceedings and child support but know your rights-no matter where your ex-husband decides to reside.


• U Penn Law Archives
Divorce Source
Interstate Family Support Act

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Lis Wiehl joined FOX News Channel as a legal analyst in October 2001. She is currently a professor of law at the New York Law School. Wiehl received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College in 1983 and received her Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Queensland in 1985.In addition, she earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1987.

Lis is also the author of The 51% Minority — How Women Still Are Not Equal and What You Can Do About It . ( Watch the Video ) and Winning Every Time: How to Use the Skills of a Lawyer in the Trials of Your Life

To read the rest of Lis's bio, click here.