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Enforcing an order for support in another state

People in Baton Rouge who have endured the emotional upheaval of the divorce process often assume that the entry of the court order terminating the marriage will also terminate the stress of the divorce. Even if life becomes calmer for all parties, unforeseeable events can play a role in causing significant post-divorce anxiety. One of the most common events is the relocation of one ex-spouse to another state. Such a move can result in tardy or non-existent support payments, regardless of which spouse moves. The Louisiana Legislature has enacted a law intended to limit the anxiety of such events.

The statute is called the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. The statute has been enacted by all states, and it provides uniform procedures for enforcing child and spousal support orders across state lines. The act governs obtaining an order for spousal or child support, enforcement or modification of such an order, the assertion of jurisdiction over the spouse who has moved and the determination of paternity. The act sets out rules for determining which state has personal jurisdiction over the parties and also establishes deadlines for filing motions and responses.

Cases under the statute come in two types: initiating cases and responding cases. An initiating case means an action brought by the spouse entitled to receive either spousal or child support filed against a former spouse who has moved to another state. A responding case means a case in which a spouse is responding to such a motion. The law also specifies the procedures required to initiate a case in another state or respond to a case filed in Louisiana.

The statute attempts to provide straightforward and unambiguous answers to complex legal questions, such as which state has jurisdiction, which state laws apply and what grounds are available for challenging a motion to enforce an order for support. Anyone having difficulty collecting support from a former spouse living in another state may wish to seek advice from an experienced family lawyer.

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