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Interstate Child Support
Definition of an Interstate Case
Interstate Central Registry
Child Support Enforcement Network (CSENET)
Assistance with an Interstate Case
All state child support enforcement agencies must adopt the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) of 1996. Michigan adopted the law in 1996 (MCL 552.1101-552.1901). UIFSA is a comprehensive act providing a framework for Title IV-D approved services between states. Title IV-D services include interstate paternity and support establishment, support enforcement, and modification of child support obligations. UIFSA also includes Long Arm Jurisdiction, which allows a state to claim personal jurisdiction over a nonresident to the fullest extent allowed by law. UIFSA jurisdiction does not include custody or parenting time. That must be handled within each state system. Out of state custody and parenting time orders require a Michigan order recognizing them before they can be enforced in Michigan and a Michigan order needs to be recognized by another state to be enforceable in that state.
An interstate case occurs when one of the parties in a support case moves out of state and any of the parties requests assistance from the Title IV-D child support agency in another state. The interstate case results when two or more Title IV-D agencies in different states are coordinating Title IV-D services. It is not an interstate case when one party moves out of state, and all of the Title IV-D services can still be provided, through an administrative process, by the state, which issued the original court order.
All states have an Interstate Central Registry unit that receives requests for interstate child support services from other states. In Michigan that unit is located in the Office of Child Support. This unit receives, disseminates and has oversight responsibility for processing incoming interstate child support cases, including UIFSA petitions. The files are referred to the appropriate local Friend of the Court and Prosecuting Attorney's offices for services.
The Child Support Enforcement Network (CSENET) is a nationwide computer database that can be accessed by any state to send and/or receive information from other states. This is a fast and convenient method of giving and obtaining data by eliminating the need for paper and mail services. CSENET has seven functions which can be accessed. They include quick locate, case summary information, establishment, paternity, enforcement, tax offset collection and miscellaneous. To become a part of CSENET each state must enter into agreement with every other state for each function. Michigan has reached agreement with many states and is working to have agreements with all states as soon as possible.
To receive child support services if one of the parties in the case lives in another state you simply apply for child support services if you do not already have a case. Your worker will let you know if your case can be handled solely by Michigan or if it is an interstate case.
Once a case is established as an interstate case it is handled through the interstate process described above.
If the parent seeking child support knows the state where the other parent has moved, the Office of Child Support's support specialist or Friend of the Court worker (which ever one you are working with) can contact the child support enforcement agency in the other state and confirm this. If there is a confirmation, the case can be handled through a cooperative effort between the states.
If the other parent's employer is known, the Friend of the Court can use interstate income withholding to enforce a support order.
If a parent seeking child support is not certain where the other parent has moved, the local child support worker can attempt to locate him or her using a variety of processes and databases. See Locating Parents for more information on this process.
For help with interstate child support, contact a support specialist at the Office of Child Support (866-540-0008) or your local Friend of the Court.