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What happens to child support when one parent moves away?

The requirement to pay child support follows a parent wherever they go. If one parent moves away—even to another state—Michigan and interstate laws demand that the parent continue to make the mandated payments. We’ve outlined below the regulations surrounding this process.

Notification of the move

If one parent moves away, they must notify their local Friend of the Court office of the move. Note that if a parent with joint custody wants to move more than 100 miles away from the other parent, then the other parent or the court must first agree to this move.

Enforcement of child support from another state or country

If the support payer moves outside of Michigan, the Friend of the Court will verify that the support recipient continues to receive court-ordered payments. In addition, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) is in place to ensure that there is no suspension in child support. The UIFSA is in effect in every state across the country. Under this act:

  • Moving to a new state does not create a new order for child support in that state.
  • If a legal order of child support has been issued in Michigan, this state has “continuing exclusive jurisdiction,” meaning the order can only be changed in Michigan.
  • If a support payer moves to another state (or foreign country that participates in UIFSA) and fails to make child support payments, that state or country can use the UIFSA to collect payment.

Payments from outside of Michigan

If a parent responsible for paying child support moves outside of Michigan, they continue to make payments through the Michigan State Disbursement Unit.

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What happens to child support when one parent moves away? | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC