Does New York have the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act?

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) has been adopted, in some form, by every state in the United States.  New York’s version of the law may be found in the New York Family Court Act Article 5-B.    The Act became necessary since parents and children end up having connections to multiple states.  A mechanism to determine which states have the power to initiate or modify a support order in each particular instance was needed.  The law also provides which state’s law should be applied when looking at child support issues.  New York and Long Island Child Support Lawyers have to sort out interstate support issues on a daily basis.

The child support laws can vary widely from state to state, therefore which state law is being applied is an important determination.  For example, people are required to support their children until age 21 in New York, unless they are sooner emancipated, while in other jurisdictions the age is 18.   The guideline amount of child support to be paid is different from state to state as well.   In New York, the guideline amount of support for one child is based on 17 percent of income while elsewhere different guidelines apply.

If there are proceedings simultaneously going on in two different states, the Act will help deterrmine which state should exercise jurisdiction.  If New York issues a child support order under New York law, New York will continue to have exclusive jurisdiction over the order, provided the child or one of the parties still lives in New York or consent has not been given for another state to assume jursidiction.  New York employers, under the law, are supposed to treat income-withholding orders from another state the same as an order made in New York.  Orders from other states can be enforced by the Support Collection Unit in this state, as long as there is not a contest to enforcing the order without registering it.

Orders from out of state can be registered in New York to be enforced.  Once an order is registered in New York this state should recognize and enforce it but not modify it unless the issuing state no longer has jurisdiction.  Then the requirements under the law for New York to exercise jurisdiction still need to be met in order to modify the order.

A UIFSA case can be started in the New York Family Court to ask a court of another state to issue a support order over a resident of another state if no support order is already in effect.  For out of state or out of County residents that have support proceedings in a New York Family Court, the out of jurisdiction party can file a request to appear in the case over the phone to be considered by the court.  This can help ease the burden of travelling to appear.  It also helps to have a local lawyer appearing in person on your case, to ensure proper treatment, if you are requesting or appearing in the case telephonically.

Child support can be a difficult topic when dealing with one jurisdiction.  If multiple states are involved the laws and the nuances are even trickier.  For more information about child support or other family law issues please click around the blog and our site.  Feel free to call about your free initial consultation.  It would be our pleasure to speak with you about it.

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