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How can I recover child support from an out-of-state parent?

Failure to pay child support is a problem that is disturbingly common in Westchester County and throughout New York State. While there are strategies that the state can use to recover delinquent payments, a factor that can increase the difficulty in pursuing a parent for failure to pay child support is if the would-be supporting parent lives outside New York. Fortunately, there are methods to recover these payments.

When a custodial parent lives in New York and the other parent lives outside New York, there can be an inter-state case filed with the Family Court. This is based on the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). The concept behind this law is to prevent a parent from leaving the state and thereby, trying to end a child support dispute in the hopes that they cannot be pursued over state lines. This law can also be used for counties in New York City and New York State that are not side-by-side.

When the case is filed in the home county, the petition will be sent to the state or county of the respondent. The respondent will subsequently be served with the petition and be compelled to appear in court in the home state or county. It is not required for the petitioner to appear in the respondent's home state or county.

When there is a child who is living outside of New York or in a county that is far from the respondent, the respondent will appear in the court where he or she resides. The hearing will be held in the same way as it would be if it were in-state, but the information will be transferred via electronic or other means without the need to appear in the same courtroom.

Parents who are in a child support dispute with a parent who is living in a different area of New York or in a different state entirely should be aware of UIFSA. With child support being as important as it is, the financial needs of the children are primarily. Contacting a lawyer who is experienced in all aspects of child support can help with a UIFSA case or any other issue related to child support.

Source: NYCourts.gov, "What If a Custodial Parent Is Seeking Support from a Parent Who Lives Outside of New York State, or in a County in New York State That Is Far from the Child's Home County?," accessed on April 11, 2017

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