Multi-State Issues

California law also pertains to the modification of child custody, visitation and support orders that were issued outside of the state. California’s Court’s ability to modify these out-of-state orders are subject to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980. California’s Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) sets the procedures for attaining, enforcing and changing child support orders when at least one other state is involved. This law, along with the Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act, makes sure that a single state only attains jurisdictions over child support at any given moment.

UIFSA allows a party to register the out-of-state support order in California so that it is enforced here, just like an order that was initially attained within the state would be enforced. The U.S. Secretary of State may make federal declarations of reciprocity for child support. However, the states themselves may make their own arrangement with foreign jurisdictions as well, until the U.S. Secretary of State has made the declaration, but with the approval from the Attorney General of the foreign jurisdiction’s reciprocity of child support orders that are made in California.

The party who is not registering the order has a right to notice of the registration of the support order. He or she also has a right to know of the date of enforceability and the amount owed, and a right to request a hearing. Furthermore, he or she can contest the validity of the support order must prove at least one of the following:

  1. The Court who issued the order lacked personal jurisdiction.
  2. The order was issued through fraud.
  3. The order has been modified or suspended.
  4. The court that issued the order stayed the order pending an appeal.
  5. California law provides a defense for the remedy in the order.
  6. Full or partial payment has already been rendered.
  7. Family Code Section 5700.604’s statute of limitations prevent enforcement.
  8. The order is not controlling.

However, the validity of the registered order must be contested timely otherwise it is confirmed by law.

When the divorcing couple’s community estate (property which both parties own together from the marriage) entails real property that is out of state, California law prefers that the property’s record title be held in the same manner when dividing the interest. However, the Court still has the authority to change the said record title. Of course, in order for a judgment issued in California to affect the out-of-state property, the state in which the property is located must uphold the judgment. Therefore, California law prefers division while keeping the out-of-state property interest the same. However, when such action is not feasible, the Court may order parties to do other actions such as execution of conveyances, selling the property, etc. in order to have equal division.

Moreover interstate liens on real property can be utilized to enforce orders for child, spousal or family support.

Patrick Baghdaserians has dealt with the complexities that arise with cases that include of out-of-state clients and out-of-state property. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that are required to guide and advocate on behalf of a client through the nebulous and arduous legal obstacles that multi-state divorces and custody disputes bring.

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