How Can I Collect Child Support If My Ex Leaves the State?
Enforcing a child support order is a trying, stressful task, even after an amicable divorce. Your co-parent may argue with you about the high costs of payments, scheduling visitation, or other court requirements. But, at the end of the day, Pennsylvania’s family courts offer you several resources to hold them accountable and ensure that your child is taken care of. However, you may feel lost if your ex ever leaves the state.
Are Child Support Payments Enforced Across State Lines?
Given that child support is court-ordered, your co-parent is required to continue making payments until your child becomes a legal adult or is emancipated. Whether that parent moves to New York or across the country to Oregon, you and your child are entitled to full child support payments in a timely manner. Luckily for you, Pennsylvania child support orders are enforceable in other states in accordance with the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). In addition, if the other parent refuses or fails to make payments, you can you petition the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) to enforce a child support order and establish jurisdiction over the other parent to assist you in receiving payments.
However, it is important to know that you must determine whether your county court has jurisdiction under the UIFSA. Jurisdiction relies on several requirements and, in Montgomery County, these include:
- The other parent must be served a summons while within Pennsylvania.
- The other parent must agree to the summons from a Pennsylvania court or fail to contest it.
- The other parent must have lived with your child in Pennsylvania at some point in time.
- The other parent must have lived in Pennsylvania and provided pre-natal payments or child support before the child was born.
- Your child lived in Pennsylvania due to the actions of the other parent.
- Your child was conceived with the other parent in Pennsylvania.
If your case fulfills at least one of these requirements, then a Montgomery County court may establish jurisdiction over an out-of-state parent in order to enforce child support payments. During this process, the court is required to follow specific procedures and inform the other parent of their rights and requirements. If this approach does not work, you may be able to petition the other parent’s state of residence to enforce the order.
How a Family Law Attorney Can Advocate for You and Your Child
If your child’s parent has moved out of state and is refusing to make child support payments, you have options. At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., our legal team can guide you through the process of getting the support your child needs from an out-of-state parent, including:
- Petitioning the Montgomery County court, Chester County court, or BSCE to enforce your child support order.
- Requesting to have the other parent’s wages garnished.
- Requesting to have the other parent’s licenses suspended.
- Filing contempt of court charges for your ex failing to obey a child support order.
Do not allow your child’s other parent to ignore their parental duties. Reach out to an experienced Montgomery County family law attorney at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C., today to learn how to enforce your child support order. Call our office at (610) 645-0100 and schedule a free case evaluation.