Collecting Child Support When the Other Parent Moves Out of State

Learning that your child’s other parent has moved out of state can be scary if child support payments are involved. Fortunately, there are several ways to continue collecting your child support across state lines. Probably the easiest approach if the other parent has moved to take a new job is to send his or her new employer a new income withholding order. Federal law requires employers in every state to honor these orders regardless of which state issues the order.         If you don’t know who the new employer is, or don’t even know which state to look in, there is help available locally to find the other parent. Did you know that federal law requires every employer to report every new hire or re-hire to a national database used for this purpose?

The Child Support program under the State of Florida Department of Revenue is able to access this other nationwide databases to locate the other parent.

Does the other parent have pension/retirement accounts? Even if the parent is too young to withdraw funds from those accounts, you may be able to collect child support from them. You will first have to ask the court to enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, also known as a “QDRO.” Under federal law, the QDRO must be honored in every state and may give you access to funds from his or her pension/retirement accounts to pay the child support obligation.

If other methods fail, certain penalties, civil and criminal can be imposed on parents who fail to pay their child support. For example, driver’s license requests and license renewal requests can be denied, a request for a passport may be denied, the IRS may redirect a tax refund due to the other parent to you for child support arrearages, or criminal charges can be brought against the other parent.

Collecting child support payments from an out of state parent can feel like an overwhelming task. Contact an experienced family law attorney to review your case and suggest the most effective approach to securing your child support payments from the out-of-state parent.

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