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Can a Child Support Order Be Applicable in Multiple States?

Divorces are a stressful process for parents and their children, but it can feel worse for spouses that have to move away to different states. Many divorces that involve one of the parents moving out of state usually result in one parent retaining primary custody and the other having to pay for child support. While this may seem like a fair trade-off initially, the parent who moved might want to make some changes to the court order, either to decrease the amount of payment they owe or potentially to get more custody of their child. Couples that are states apart might be confused on how the process works. It’s important to be aware of some basics before you search for the best lawyer for divorce in San Antonio, TX, to help you out with your post-marital logistics.

New State, Same Initial Order

One common misconception is that a spouse is not bound to pay child support if they are not in the same state as their ex or their kid. This is not true. No matter where the court order was established, you still have to pay the amount of money you agreed to after you separated from your spouse.

Failure to make those payments can result in hefty lawsuits and potential jail time if you try to avoid the court hearing altogether. Not only do those fines and late fees add more to what you already owe, but the court takes current interest rates into account when determining your final payment. Parents who don’t pay for years would have to pay more under today’s standards even without taking in court fees and lawsuits into account.

Modifying The Order

While a child support court order can last for a long time, it’s not permanent. Child support typically ends once the child turns 18 or graduates high school. However, the noncustodial parent may try to make a request to change the court order before that happens.

The state that initially ordered the current child support standards will have jurisdiction as long as at least one of the parents is still living there. If both parents are no longer in the initial state, then there may be conflicting child support orders that can confuse both parties with their contradictions. However, the original state will still be the deciding factor even after the parents and children have moved (unless the order is successfully modified in another state).

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