When a couple divorces and there are children from the marriage, in almost all cases one of the parents will be required to pay child support to the other parent. This obligation remains in place even if one or both of the parties moves to another state. Your experienced Rhode Island child support attorney can help you understand your obligations or the obligations of the other parent.
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
Sometimes one party is ordered to pay child support to another party, but then one of the parties moves out of state. In the past, it would be very difficult to hold the payor accountable for any child support they owed in these scenarios. In fact, sometimes the payor would move out of state for the primary purpose of avoiding child support. In order to address this issue, Congress passed a law to help make it easier for child support obligations to be enforced across states.
This law is called the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). The first version was created in 1992 and it has been revised several times since then. The act helps to determine which state’s laws should govern any given child support situation. State laws regarding child support can differ significantly, so it is important for courts to know which laws to apply.
Child support is governed exclusively by the laws of the child’s home state. If there is only one support order and at least one of the parents continue to live in that state, then that is the state that has continuing exclusive jurisdiction over the matter. The state that issued the order can also enforce it even in other states. This law also provides enforcement mechanisms between states.
Case at Issue
In a case heard by the Court of Appeals of Indiana, a Rhode Island father attempted to modify the amount of child support that he owed. He then challenged the amount found by the court in this appeal. The facts of the case are as follows: a couple had six children together then divorced in 2002. The father was ordered to pay child support. Both he and the state filed motions to modify his child support obligation. The father also moved to emancipate the children. The court says that they gave the father many opportunities to testify about the emancipation and child support issues he brought up. However, the father stated that he would not testify because he did not have the discovery he needed. Therefore, the court dismissed his petition.
The state later moved to reopen the petition and the motion was granted. At that hearing the court held that the father’s child support should be lowered as of the date the petition was filed. The court also emancipated the children a couple years later, which terminated the father’s child support obligations. This modification lowered the father’s arrears from $11,176 to $2,551. However, the father argued that the lower amount was still too much and that the court abused its discretion by accepting the child support plan that had the highest amount of arrears. However, the appeals court upheld this calculation as it was most accurate.
Contact an Experienced Rhode Island Child Support Lawyer Today!
Whether you live in the same or a different state as the other parent, if you are having child support issues, you should consult a skilled Rhode Island child support attorney right away. The knowledgeable child support attorneys at Bilodeau Capalbo, LLC can help you make sure that your children are being properly supported. Call (401) 300-4055 or use the form on this web site to contact us today for a free consultation.
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