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Registration and Enforcement of Foreign Child Support Orders in California

Registration and Enforcement of Foreign Child Support Orders in California

| Aug 19, 2020 | Child Custody

San Francisco Bay Area attracts people from all over the world, who come to San Francisco Bay Area for good living, better work opportunities, and the pursuit of maximum potential. San Francisco Bay Area offers beautiful weather, world’s finest wine country, dramatic beaches, and a thriving tech industry known as the Silicon Valley. People from different countries are proud to call this region their home, as they form relationships and raise families.

Unfortunately, not all families remain together. International families going through separation must deal with foreign divorce and separation orders, foreign child support orders, and foreign child custody and visitation orders. Courts in California have long dealt with foreign orders affecting families and have developed sophisticated systems that enable parents to register and enforce foreign orders.

In several of our previous blog posts, we have spoken at length about the enforcement of foreign child custody orders under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The UCCJEA provides a general framework on how a parent can register and enforce foreign custody and visitation orders.

Much like the legal remedy under the UCCJEA, there exists another legal process to help parents register and enforce of foreign child support orders under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This procedure has its roots in the international Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. Most countries agree to the terms and provisions of this Convention and thus allow for the recognition and enforcement of foreign child support orders. This means that California will recognize foreign child support orders and enforce it as if the foreign order were issued by California Courts.

In California, if you are seeking to claim child support under a foreign child support order, then you must first request the registration of the foreign order by filing a Letter of Transmittal Requesting Registration. Once you have requested registration, you are required to provided notice to the other parent that you are registering a foreign child support order. The Notice should be accompanied by a certified copy of the foreign order as well as a certified translation, where the foreign order is in a language other than English.

If you are a parent who wishes to oppose the registration of a foreign child support order, then you may do so once you have received the notice of registration. You have an opportunity to request a hearing on the registration of the foreign order, within twenty (20) days of the notice.

In one of our cases a Letter of Transmittal Requesting Registration was filed with the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS). A “Notice of Registration of Out-of-State Support Order” along with this Letter of Transmittal was served on our client. However, at the time, the Court was already determining issues pertaining to child custody and all foreign orders in the matter. As a result, the parties agreed, and the court ordered for the payment of child support without any enforcement proceedings of the DCSS.

Disclaimer: Please do not treat this opinion as legal advice as your matter may have other aspects and issues that must be considered by an attorney. To discuss your case, please reach out to us at [email protected] or [email protected].