Interstate Enforcement

The most difficult child support cases to pursue are those in which the parent obligated to pay child support lives in One state and the child and custodial parent live in another. However, all states are required to pursue establishment and enforcement of support obligations as vigorously for children who live outside their border as for those under their own jurisdiction. Federal law requires states to work through the necessary steps that lead to enforcement within specific time frames.

State enforcement agencies must cooperate with each other in handling requests for assistance. However, it is not a simple matter for one state to enforce the court orders of another state. Each state has an independent court system with varying laws, practices and traditions. Matters of family law have traditionally been under state and local governments, and, in general, citizens are under the jurisdiction of courts where they live.

Direct wage withholdings can be used to enforce a support order in another state if the non-custodial parent’s employer is known. However some states do not allow direct wage withholding for unemployment benefits, worker’s compensation and in some cases, even employers. In that situation, the CSE office in that state will accept our wage withholding along with a request to set up a case in their system for disbursement of money only to our state. For out-of-state orders, it is our policy to complete a request (UIFSA package) to the state of non-custodial parent’s residence requesting enforcement, wage withholding, etc. as differences in arrears and/or orders can and do exist.