Will My Divorce Orders Be Enforced Outside of New York?

When you divorce in New York, all orders associated with the dissolution of your marriage will be enforceable if you move out of state. Certain federal and state laws protect your rights.

If you have divorced in New York and want more detailed information about your rights in other states, contact our family law attorneys at the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr. LLC.

Registering Your Divorce Orders in Another State

When you move from the state where your divorce was granted, you will want to register any orders with your new state and community. That process will look slightly different depending on the location.

The court will typically require that the order is “domesticated” before enforcing it. In this context, the orders from another state are considered “foreign” in your new state of residence. Through a process called Domestication of a Foreign Order, the court verifies that the judgment is valid. Completing this process makes the order fully enforceable.

Domestication is generally done by mutual agreement, although the other party can attempt to block the registration based on limited grounds, such as the order being invalid.

If you have moved to New York, our law firm can take care of all the required paperwork and ensure all steps are followed to make your orders fully enforceable in the Empire State.

Enforcing Child Custody Orders Across State Lines

The federal Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) governs child custody. All with the exception of Massachusetts has adopted UCCJEA (Massachusetts follows the previous Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act). New York’s UCCJEA is part of the Consolidated Laws of New York, Chapter 14 (Domestic Relations), Article 5-A. Registered custody orders are fully enforceable.

The state that issued the original order retains jurisdiction, including modifications. If the child and both parents no longer live in that state, the authority to modify custody can be moved to the child’s new home state.

Enforcing Child Support Orders in the U.S.

The federal Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) has been adopted in all 50 states and U.S. territories. UIFSA controls child support orders, making them equally enforceable throughout the U.S. New York’s version of the law may be found in the New York Family Court Act Article 5-B.

The New York law makes child support orders enforceable even without registration.

In addition to enforcement, UIFSA prevents two states from issuing competing support orders. One parent cannot move to another state for the purpose of retrying their support case for a better outcome.

The state that issued the original order retains jurisdiction for modifications. If neither party lives in the initiating state, then the jurisdiction moves to the state where the party responding to a modification or enforcement action lives.

Enforcing Spousal Support Awards in Other States

The UIFSA, which controls child support orders, also protects spousal support judgments. If the paying spouse moves to another state, the receiving spouse can register the order in the state their former spouse now lives. If the receiving spouse moves, they should likewise file the support order in their new state.

Enforcement mechanisms vary throughout the country but typically include the following:

  • Suspending the obligor’s driver’s license
  • Garnishing their wages
  • Levying their personal property
  • Sending them to jail (contempt of court)

Petitions to change the support order (reduce, increase, extend, terminate) must be made in the state that issued the original spousal support order.

Learn more in a confidential consultation. Schedule by calling (845) 605-4330 or completing our online form.

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