If you have been ordered to pay child support, there are very few circumstances that will allow you to change the court order. Child support orders are based on the income of both parents as well as the percentage of time each parent resides with the children. Child support payments will need to be made until the child reaches the age of 18.
It is very simple when both parents live in California, but what happens when the other parent moves away with the child? Are you still obligated to make the same child support payments?
California Family Code Section 7501 and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
Under California Family Code Section 7501, a parent who has primary custody of a child has the right to choose where the child lives. A parent can choose the residence of the child under any circumstance, as long as it does not remove or hinder the rights or welfare of the child.1
Although different states have their own laws regarding child support, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act ensures that other states honor and uphold a child support order made in California. If you have been ordered to pay child support in California, this order will remain the same if your child’s other parent moves to another state with the child. All states must enforce child support orders just as they were made California.2
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act serves many benefits for children today, including:
Parents can no longer abduct their own children.
Prior to passing the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, it made legal sense for some parents to abduct their child and move to another state. For example, a child support case could occur in California, but after the case was completed, a parent could forcibly take the child to Colorado where he or she had no ties to the court. In Colorado, the parent could then modify the child support order through the Colorado courts.3
It establishes a “Home State.”
Child custody and family court’s jurisdiction is based on the child’s relationship with the state. In other words, a child’s “Home State” is where he or she has lived for the past six months leading up to the beginning of the child custody case.
This means that a child does not have to be physically present in the state for the court’s jurisdiction to apply. If the case occurred in California and the child’s home state is determined to be California, the custody and child support orders will apply no matter where the child is moved. This is also known as Home State priority.
State courts must follow the orders established in the child’s home state.
Prior to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, states were undermining the interpretation of the law by other states. For example, families could find loopholes in other state’s laws and move their children there to obtain a more beneficial result. States would then issue conflicting custody orders.
Now, if a California court orders child support for a particular child, federal law requires that every other state honor those orders. The state where the case occurred also has the exclusive right to protect the original outcome.
Call the Child Support Lawyers at Wallin & Klarich Today
You can rest assured that whatever child support orders made in your California child support case will hold up regardless of where the custodial parent moves your child. That is why it is absolutely critical that you achieve the best possible outcome in your child support case.
The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully handling child support and family law matters for over 30 years. With offices located in Orange County, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Torrance, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville, Ventura, San Diego and Sherman Oaks, our knowledgeable attorneys are available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.