Pennsylvania Family Law and Divorce
Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.

Pennsylvania Child Support Topic of the Week: The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

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The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), was originally drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. This Conference is set out to examine issues of national importance - one of which is to ensure that there are mechanisms in the courts among different states to establish and enforce an existing support order. UIFSA also applies to Paternity actions when a Father has moved to a different state. In today's blog, your Pennsylvania Child Support lawyers explain this act and the impact it may have on your case. 

What is the purpose of UIFSA?

UIFSA determines the jurisdiction of courts to enforce or modify an existing support order. One of the policy rationales behind this uniform law is that there are now defined standards for enforcing a support order when parents or ex-spouses move from state-to-state. Essentially, UIFSA prevents a parent or ex-spouse from escaping their support obligation in one state by establishing interstate safeguards to allow for efficient enforcement in all states.

How does UIFSA work?

UIFSA operates under what is called "Continuing Exclusive Jurisdiction" - which means that only one state's support order should govern at a given time. The state where the initial support order was entered is the state that has continuing exclusive jurisdiction. As such, only one state should have jurisdiction to modify the child or spousal support order, and any other state should give that order full faith and credit, meaning another state should honor that order established in the first state.

How does a state lose jurisdiction over an existing support order?

If none of the litigants or the child(ren) live in a particular state any longer, then that state loses continuing exclusive jurisdiction over that support order. Additionally, the parties can allow another state to assume jurisdiction. However, this is not automatic when one of the parties becomes a resident of another state. Once continuing exclusive jurisdiction is lost, the support order is able to be modified by any state which is able to assert subject matter jurisdiction.

If you are facing a child support issue in Pennsylvania, contact our Allegheny County Child Support lawyers today. Our team can provide you with the legal guidance and representation needed throughout your PA child support case. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.

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