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Georgia enforcement of child support out of state


This blog has discussed various parts of the way the state of Georgia implements its policy that children should be supported by the abilities and effort of both their parents. In cases of divorce or parents who do not live together, this is generally done through the issuance by a family court of a child support order obliging a non-custodial parent to pay a certain amount to help support the child. We have also touched on a number of ways single parents can enforce these orders, including motions for contempt, and suspension of driving and professional licenses. But what happens when a non-custodial parent doesn't live in Georgia, or moves out of the state?

The federal government has a law known as the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. This statute was passed in an attempt to make it easier and more efficient for states to collect the support owed for the support and maintenance of children within its borders. One of its main effects is to help states with jurisdictional problems that may crop up in interstate cases. Because family issues are generally handled at the state level, each state court might have trouble maintaining jurisdiction to enforce orders that it has issued. UIFSA allows that if a person has sufficient ties to a state, such as having engaged in sexual intercourse that might result in a child within its borders, a family court may exercise jurisdiction over him or her.

While notice and other legal requirements still apply, this allows states such as Georgia to issue orders regarding child support for children that live in the state. Further, by registering such orders in another state, Georgia can request that the state in which a non-custodial parent lives take enforcement action on its behalf against those who fail to abide by such orders.

As can be imagined, such a federal framework is a lengthy and complicated legal document. Certain procedures must be followed, and getting them wrong can result in delays or impediments to receiving the child support a parent deserves. Because of this Georgia residents may wish to consider consulting an experienced family lawyer in such cases.

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