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News : Child Support Last Updated: Apr 6th, 2006 - 21:26:08

How To Collect Child Support Across State Lines
By Trina Nudson
Mar 13, 2006, 15:55

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In todayís mobile society, a parent who owes child support might live in one state, while the child and the other parent live in a different state.  This article provides resources on how to enforce child support across state lines.


In enacting welfare reform, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Congress mandated the enactment of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act of 1996 (UIFSA).  All states were required to enact UIFSA to remain eligible for the federal funding of child support enforcement.   Section 466 (42 U.S.C. Section 666)  Today both Kansas and Missouri, and indeed all fifty states and three territories, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the District of Columbia have adopted the UIFSA. 


UIFSA governs the establishment, modification and/or enforcement of a support orders across state lines.  In addition, UIFSA also authorizes interstate determinations of parentage without an accompanying establishment of support, or in a contemporaneous manner to determine parentage and establish support.  Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (1996), Prefatory Note, Page 8, Section E.




Where To Initiate Child Support Proceedings


A state may enact jurisdiction over a nonresident to establish, enforce, or modify a support order or to determine parentage if the individual:


(1) is personally served within the state;


(2) submits to the jurisdiction of the state by consent;


(3) resided in the state with the child; 


(4) caused the child to reside in the state;


(6) engaged in sexual intercourse in the state and the child may have been conceived by that act of intercourse;


(7) asserted parentage in the putative father registry maintained in this state by the appropriate agency; or


(8) there is any other basis consistent with the constitutions of this state and the United States for the exercise of personal jurisdiction. 


(These provisions are found in UIFSA Section 201.  The Kansas child support statute is Kansas Statute 23-9,201.  The Missouri child support statute is Missouri Revised Statute 454.857.)


Suppose you want to initiate an action to collect child support from someone who lives in another state.  You have three options.  First, you could file an action in your state and obtain personal jurisdiction of the respondent in one of the above eight categories.  Second, you could initiate a two-state process by filing proceedings seeking to establish a support order in your state, which would then forward your proceedings to the state having jurisdiction.  Third, you could file a suit in the respondentís state of residence.


To initiate proceedings you may retain private counsel.   In Kansas you may request the assistance of Social and Rehabilitative Services (SRS).  For services provided by the SRS, click here.





How To Enforce A Child Support Order From Another State


To enforce a support order in another state you can contact the child support enforcement agency in the state where the other person lives.  You could register the support order in the state having personal jurisdiction of the respondent.  You might then be able to garnish the wages or accounts of the respondent.  You could also contact child support enforcement in the state having personal jurisdiction of the respondent.  To find the child support enforcement agency in any state, click here.



Modification Proceedings


The original court has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction as long as the state remains the residence of one of the parents or the child.  All parties can file written consents to move the case to another state.  (UISFA Section 205; Missouri Revised Statute 454.867; Kansas Statute 23-9,205)  If both parents move out of the state, then the original court no longer has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.


To modify an existing support order you must file a pleading to modify in a court having exclusive and continuing jurisdiction.  If there is no state which has exclusive and continuing jurisdiction then you must register your current support order in a state having personal jurisdiction over the respondent.  After registering the current support order you must and file a pleading requesting a modification of the existing support order in that same state.


Need help collecting child support across state lines? 


Please call Trina Nudson at (913) 438-4636

or send e-mail to



To learn more about child support, click here.


Visit our home page at .



This information is only for general educational purposes, and not for legal advice. Laws change, and their application may vary significantly depending on your circumstances. If you need legal advice, you must consult a licensed attorney.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.


© 2006 Scott Wasserman & Associates, LLC


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