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Parents in Different States

When parents live in two different states or countries, cases are often more complex and the timeframes associated with case processing are often longer than when both parents live in the same state. In some cases, the law gives Colorado the ability to handle the case the same as an in-state case. In other cases, the local county Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Unit must request help from the other state to establish paternity and/or support or to enforce a child support order.

The primary legal tool for interstate cases is the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). UIFSA gives states the power to reach beyond their borders for the establishment and enforcement of support orders. It also allows states to enforce a support order issued in another state. If legal action is needed to establish or enforce an order in another state, UIFSA makes the process easier, as state child support agencies must help each other. However, the county CSE Unit must rely on the other state’s laws, regulations, procedures and personnel to take action on the case. The other state may assess fees or withhold fees from the support collected.

If the county CSE Unit asks for help from another state to establish or enforce a support order, the local agency maintains control of the case. According to federal regulation, the county CSE Unit is responsible for communicating with both the other state and the party who opened the case. Please contact your local caseworker for case status information rather than the other state.