Under New York State law, parents have a legal obligation to provide support for children until they reach the age of 21 years. While this may seem a simple concept, disputes often arise over the amount of child support and how it relates to custody and visitation. At times, a parent may even need to pursue legal action to enforce a child support order.

When parents live in different states, the situation can be even more complex. Your rights and obligations are the same in many ways, so you should discuss your circumstances with an Otsego County child support lawyer. Still, you may find it useful to review some information about child support across state lines.

How Child Support Obligations Arise

Under the New York State child support law, a parent may have the legal responsibility to pay child support to the custodial parent when ordered as part of the divorce process. However, the obligation may also arise when parentage is established through a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity or in official court paternity proceedings.

Regardless of the details, child support may extend across state lines in one of two situations:

  • The child’s parents reside in different states during the divorce process or after establishing paternity; OR,
  • Parents both reside in New York, but one needs to relocate for a job, family, or other reasons.

Enforcement of Child Support Orders

The legal obligation to pay child support is not extinguished if parents live in different states or one moves. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) applies to all states, including New York. This statute contains provisions on the procedures for enforcing child support obligations, making the process consistent even for different states. UIFSA also covers:

  • Withholding income from the payor’s wages;
  • Diverting tax refunds for purposes of satisfying child support;
  • Filing a lien on property to meet child support obligations;
  • Reporting delinquencies to credit bureaus; and,
  • Other methods of enforcing child support.

Child Visitation Across State Lines

Visitation rights do not cease if parents live in different states, but they may be affected by distance. Logistically, it may be more difficult for a parent to exercise visitation rights. The situation will also have an effect on child support for various reasons, such as:

  • If a parent moves for a job with an increased salary, this will impact the amount of child support;
  • When parents have roughly equal visitation, child support tends to be lower because each parent is contributing during their time with the child. Relocation will limit equal visitation, so the non-residential parent may need to shoulder more of the burden.

A New York Attorney Can Assist with Child Support Across State Lines

Please call the Colwell Law Group, LLC at 518-864-0564 or visit our website if you would like to know more about child support in different states. We have been representing parents in child-related issues in the Capital Region and Upstate New York since 2005, so we have the experience and knowledge to advise you on your rights. Our child support lawyers are happy to explain your legal options after conducting a consultation to review your circumstances.