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Non-Custodial Parent Living in Another State

Intergovernmental Case Processing:  Intergovernmental Cooperation

Federal Law requires that states help in establishing and enforcing support when one party resides and/or works in another state.  The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) is the law that establishes cooperation between states.  All states have an office, the Central Registry, to receive incoming child support cases from other states.  They review the out-of-state requests to make sure that the information provided is complete.  The request is then sent to the local child support agency in their state.  Once the local child support office receives the case the requested action is processed.

How will paternity be established if the father lives in another state?

Because state paternity laws vary widely, it can be difficult to establish paternity across state lines.  Most states have either a long-arm statute or other laws such as UIFSA that enable them to establish jurisdiction over the alleged father in another state, or refer the case for prosecution in the state where the father lives.  If an attempt is being made to establish paternity according to the laws of the other state, the UIFSA petition sent to the state must include all the information required.  Frequently, genetic tests will be ordered to help the court in the other state determine paternity. 

Who will handle my case in the other state?

The establishment of a child support order, or the enforcement of a child support order, will be handled by the child support agency in the obligor's state of residence.  the BCSE will contact the other state and work with them as appropriate.

If paternity is established in another state, will the support order also be entered in that state?

Yes.  The BCSE will work with the other state to establish a support order.

What happens if a child support obligation is not paid by the obligor living in another state?

The child support enforcement agency in the obligor's resident state will use the enforcement methods available in that state's child support laws, many of which are similar to West Virginia's law.  The obligee should notify the BCSE when the support order is not paid.

The father of my child has left the United States.  How can I get my court order for child support enforced?

The federal child support office and many state child support enforcement agencies have agreements with foreign countries to recognize child support orders made in either country.  You will need the same kind of information as  is required for enforcement in this country and as much specific address information as you can find.  If the obligor works for an American company, wage withholding may work even if the country he lives in does not have any agreement to enforce a United States' court order.