After the conclusion of a court proceeding involving alimony or child support awards, it is important to know your options regarding enforcement of these proceedings, especially if you intend on relocating. If you have relocated with an outstanding support order, it would be prudent to register the court order directing the support payments in your new state in the case you will need to bring enforcement proceedings against the obligated party. Registering an order is governed by law and you should gather more information regarding your specific case by consulting an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options regarding the enforcement of a foreign state order.
If you or your former partner has recently moved with an outstanding support order in existence, it may be important to protect your rights, to take action and register the support order in the new state. By registering the foreign support order in your new state, you are providing the court with the ability to recognize and enforce the order for your benefit. For instance, if you and your former partner obtained a support order in the state of Alabama and you have subsequently relocated to Florida you may wish to register the Alabama order in Florida. Without registering the order in Florida, your new state, the Florida courts will not be able to take action and enforce the foreign court order, you would instead need to proceed through the Alabama court system.
To register a foreign order in Florida, you must file two copies of the order with the clerk of courts in your county. This order must be supplemented with a letter requesting the registration, a sworn statement regarding any outstanding payments, the name, address, social security number and employer of the obligated party. You must then notify the obligated party of the registration in your new state. The obligated party may have no issue with the registration; however, if they would like to contest the registration, they may raise a number of defenses to prevent the registration in the foreign state. These defenses may include lack of personal jurisdiction, fraud, the order has been vacated, or an appeal is pending. If the court finds the obligated party has presented either a full or partial defense, they may stay the registration and enforcement procedures until more evidence can be presented to make a final determination. If no defense can be established, the order will be registered with the court and the party may proceed to enforce the judgment through their new state.
If you have recently relocated and have an outstanding and enforceable support order it is imperative to seek out counsel regarding the process and need of registering your foreign order in your new state. Discuss your specific action with a knowledgeable lawyer who will be able to provide you with more particularized information and guide you through the process.
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