What Happens to Your Child Support if You or Your Spouse Move to a Different State?

We live in mobile society where individuals often move across state lines for many reasons. One may relocate to pursue a degree, find a new job, or be closer to family. Considering the commonality of this experience, you may be wondering if relocating makes a difference for your child support order.


States across the country have adopted different laws concerning family law matters and child support enforcement. In order to tackle this issue, the states have adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This Act addresses situations in which a potential conflict may exist regarding a child support order entered in a state where one or both parties no longer reside.


In Flynn v. Flynn, the NJ Appellate Division took up a similar issue. In this case, the parties divorced in Pennsylvania and included a provision in their settlement that NJ would assume jurisdiction of the case once the wife moved there with the children. Eventually, both parties were living in NJ, but the father brought a motion to emancipate his 18-year-old son based on PA law. The NJ trial court extended the child support duration based on NJ law. The Appellate Division reversed this decision under the UIFSA as Pennsylvania issued the controlling order and PA law should control any amendments.


While the UIFSA can provide clarity to the state law that controls child support orders, it can also have unintended consequences for parties involved. If you are considering filing an application to modify an existing support order after moving across state lines, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney. To schedule a consultation with the experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Sara McArdle, please call our office at 973-366-5244.