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Concepts of UIFSA

To view the current 2008 UIFSA enacted in Oklahoma, view 43 OS Section 601-101 to Section 601-903.

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) is a law enacted by all states that provides mechanisms for establishing and enforcing child support obligations in interstate cases. UIFSA defines the issues of jurisdiction over nonresidents and the duties of initiating and responding tribunals. The main concept of UIFSA is to have one order to enforce. In other words, once a child support order is entered, that order controls the child support obligation. The order remains in effect whether or not the parents or child later move to another state. UIFSA contains provisions for determining which existing support order will control when multiple orders exist.

The doctrine of continuing exclusive jurisdiction (CEJ) is that only one support order should be effective and enforceable between the same parties at any one time and that when a particular court has acquired jurisdiction to determine child support and custody, it retains authority to amend and modify its orders therein. This Court of Continuing Exclusive Jurisdiction continues to have jurisdiction over a support issue until another court takes it away.
If an issuing state has lost CEJ, a second State may gain it. However, the second State may not modify terms of the controlling order that are non-modifiable in the issuing State (such as duration of the obligation). CEJ is lost when: 1. All parties and the child have left the issuing jurisdiction; OR 2. The obligor and the obligee agree in writing for another State to assume CEJ; OR 3. There is more than one support order, but none of the States involved have CEJ.

UIFSA provides for:

  1. One order at any time. If more than one order exists for a case, the controlling order must be determined.
  2. A registered order continues to be the order of the issuing state and cannot be modified except in specific circumstances.
  3. Provisions for asserting jurisdiction over a respondent.
  4. Allows enforcement through direct income withholding in state the obligor works.
  5. The issuing state’s laws govern interpretation of the order and the longer statute of limitations of the two states applies for the enforcement of arrearages.
  6. Remedies are available to both the obligee and obligor.

Proceedings that can be brought under UIFSA:

  1. Establishment of an order for child support.
  2. Enforcement of a support order and income withholding of another state without registration.
  3. Registration of a child support order of another state for enforcement.
  4. Modification of a child support order.
  5. Registration of a child support order of another state for modification.
  6. Determination of parentage.
  7. Assertion of jurisdiction over nonresidents (long-arm).

You may want to review the CSQuest article Identifying the Controlling Order and Which State has CEJ.