Yes. All 50 states, including North Carolina, have passed a law called the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which makes it possible to quickly enforce child support orders across state lines, when necessary. The UIFSA simplified the process for doing so, as well.
The UIFSA was passed to make child support collections easier
Before the UIFSA, when child support payers moved across state lines, it became much harder to collect support. (This wasn’t necessarily because anyone was trying to dodge their child support obligations. Collection can be needed for a variety or reasons).
Every time a child support payer moved out of state, the payee had to do one of two things: 1) get their out-of-state order enforced in the new state or 2) get a new order from the new state.
Exactly which one was needed or allowed differed from state to state. Each state had its own rules or had negotiated agreements with a few other states. This irregular legal landscape led to thorny questions like when one state court could modify another state court’s orders.
Everyone’s goal was to collect as much court-ordered child support as possible, but the lack of uniformity was getting in the way of that goal.
The UIFSA resolved some of these problems by giving each state the broadest possible authority to collect court-ordered child support. At the same time, it limits a new state’s authority to modify an existing order.
If you are receiving child support and your ex is about to move out of state, you will need to register your North Carolina child support order in your ex’s new state of residence. This allows that state to enforce your order through their court system.
If you or your ex just moved to North Carolina, you will need to register your order here. Once an order is registered in North Carolina, it can be enforced, as necessary, by North Carolina’s courts.
You should register your order even if your ex has been paying child support regularly. You don’t want to wait until you have gone for months without payment to get your child support order registered.
The process of registering an order isn’t simple, so a lawyer should help you. There are many underlying issues involved in enforcing an out-of-state child support order.
In any child support matter, sure to hire an experienced, compassionate attorney who will go the extra mile to help.