Monday, July 14, 2008

Enforcing An Indiana Child Support Order Outside of Indiana

You have an Indiana support order and the payor is now living outside of Indiana - how to get the money if payor decides not to pay. (After all, no problem exists if the child is being paid.)

What to do depends on where the non-custodial parent works. The non-custodial parent working for a company that also does business in Indiana means a paycheck that can be garnished for the child support. Why? By doing business in Indiana, the employer can be brought within the jurisdiction of Indiana's courts.

That scenario presumes the following: 1) the custodial parent knows where the non-custodial parent works, 2) where the non-custodial parent lives, and 3) the non-custodial parent works for a business doing business in Indiana. What if the case lacks any of the three presumptions? The second is not fatal for a private attorney but lack the first and the third and then private counsel has problems.

With my clients facing this problem, I frankly send them to the local child support enforcement prosecutor. The prosecutor's office can use Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) to pursue a payor of child support outside of Indiana. Essentially this is what happens: a petition is signed by the custodial parent which is then sent to the child support prosecutor in the area where the payor lives and then that prosecuting attorney pursues the non-paying parent.

Is this a perfect solution? No. I have my own gripes with the child support prosecutors that I will write about some other day. However, it is the best that we have for a particular class of non-custodial parents.

Mind that what I have described so far concerns only civil enforcement efforts. Indiana makes non-payment a Class D felony when the amount owed reaches $10,000.00 and a Class C felony when it reaches $15,000.00. (See my post here for more on this.)

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