When a single parent takes a job in another state, or has to move cross-country to care for an ailing parent, one of the challenges they deal with is the issue of child support. How can they collect child support payments when they no longer live in the same state where the other parent does? Or if the other parent moves and no longer pays child support in the state where their lives, how does the primary caregiver access those much needed funds?
Answer: The 2008 Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)
In 2008, the federal government passed the Uniform Interstate Support Act. This was done to comply with international obligations under the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance.
In 2014, the UISA was amended to require that each state enact these requirements as well, as a condition for receiving federal funds for state child support programs. Failing to enact these amendments by 2015’s legislative session would result in loss of important funding.
How does UIFSA work here in the US?
Under UIFSA, only one state or foreign country at a time can issue a child support court order. In other words, someone can’t be ordered to pay child support in Texas, and then again in Michigan. If Texas was the first state to issue the order, then that order would stand and no other state may issue a second or supplementary order.
This is because the state or foreign country that issues the original order holds what UIFSA calls “Continuing, exclusive jurisdiction” (CEJ) of the order. Under certain circumstances, CEJ can be transferred to another state or foreign country.
So what is the law in Michigan? Are we in compliance with federal regulations?
In Michigan, UIFSA is codified as MCL 552.2101.