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Out-of-State Child Support Orders

Registering a support order of another state is quite simple, as long as both sides agree. A letter needs to be sent to the court where the order is to be registered requesting registration and enforcement of the order.

With that letter, the following information and documents must be provided:

  • Both a certified and uncertified copy of the order to be registered
  • Sworn statement showing the amount of any arrears on the order, if any
  • Name, address, social security number, employer name and employer’s address of the person obligated to pay on the order
  • Name and address of the person or agency to which support payments are to be made
  • Description of any property in New Jersey owned by the person obligated to pay support for purposes of execution.

Once this information is received by the appropriate court, the court files it as a foreign order and the order can then be enforced in the same ways that a New Jersey support order can be enforced.

This information could be sent to the support enforcement agency of New Jersey that acts to enforce the support order or income execution without registering the order. This is done through an administrative proceeding. If the party responsible for payment of support objects to this administrative procedure, the agency then acts to register the order.

If the Other Party Contests the Registration

Upon registration, a Notice is sent to the nonregistering party who may contest the registration of the order within 20 days of receiving the Notice. If no contest is made, that is the end of it. If, though, the nonregistering party contests registration, the court will schedule a hearing. At the hearing, the nonregistering party may seek to vacate the registration, defend claims of non-compliance and challenge both the remedies being sought and amount of any claimed arrears.

Limitations of Registration

The registration of this out-of-state support order does not allow New Jersey to modify the order of support. Jurisdiction over modification in support remains with the state issuing the order. The rules of the issuing state, even upon registration in New Jersey, govern the registered order as to amount and duration of the order. Though, in the collection of arrears, the length of time during which it can be collected is taken from the laws of whichever state has the longer time period for collection.

What to do if You Need More Than Enforcement or do Not Have a Support Order Yet

If you need to modify the support order or establish a support order with an out-of-state resident, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) may be the way to go. Interstate travel can be avoided through telephonic or electronic court appearances. Because all states use UIFSA, treatment of support orders is consistent between states under this act with the states working together. The ruling state law is generally that of the child’s home state. UIFSA, in effect since 1998, has resulted in eliminating multiple support orders from different jurisdictions as was once commonplace.

Whether you decide to register your out-of-state support order to enforce it in New Jersey or you have a New Jersey order that you want to register in another state, be aware of the limitations of registration alone. Bringing a UIFSA action affords you a broader range of remedies.

If you need to discuss registration of an out-of-state support order in New Jersey, registering a New Jersey support order in another state or actions under UIFSA, call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen for a free initial consultation at 201-845-7400.

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