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Understanding UIFSA for child support in Texas

When a Texas couple divorces, there are times when one former spouse will move to another state. If this is the case and there is child support that must be paid, some people may be confused as to how this is handled under the law. This is where the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) comes in. UIFSA was enacted for child support to be collected across state lines. Knowing how this works can help to settle disputes and address other divorce legal issues.

When parents do not live in the same state or do not have a child support order, it is possible to establish one. One can be established in Texas even if one parent does not live in the state. Under UIFSA, Texas can deal with the other state to establish the order. With UIFSA, only one order can be active at a time. It is possible to register orders in different states so they can be enforced or modified. These orders will be enforced as they would be by the state in which they are registered.

For the order to be registered, one state will send the documents to the other state. The responding state will subsequently register it and inform the parent who did not make the request that there are 20 days to object. If there is an objection, there will be a hearing to settle the matter. Collecting delinquent child support can be done through UIFSA even if the parents are in different states. To collect, it is not necessary to have help from the state in which the supporting parent lives. For example, an order to withhold income to pay the child support can be done by the state in which the custodial apparent lives. Modifying an order is possible through UIFSA and it is based on the state that issued the order, the states in which the parents and children live, and the controlling order. If one party is still in the state that issued the controlling order, the state can make a modification.

In the past, it was difficult for different states to keep track of child support and other legal issues that arise with a couple that is no longer together and shares a child. This makes UIFSA useful. Many people are not aware of UIFSA or do not know how to deal with a child support disagreement that crosses state lines. Because of that, it is wise to discuss the matter with a divorce lawyer.

Source: texasattorneygeneral.gov, "UIFSA -- The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act," accessed on Jan. 3, 2017

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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