Law Offices of Steven A. Dinneen

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Filing for child support in California when spouse lives out of state

Raising kids when parents don’t live together is already challenging enough; things get trickier if the non-custodial parent moves out of California or has been living there all along. As you may know, different states have slightly unrelated laws concerning child support and custody. So, how do you file for child support in such circumstances?

California Child support

When the non-custodial parent lives in another state, you should rest assured that you will still get the child support you need to provide the basic needs for your child(ren). California family court orders are enforceable in all the other states, and if the non-custodial parent fails to adhere to the court orders, they will still face repercussions wherever they are.

Filing for out-of-state child support

The ease or difficulty of filing for out-of-state child support in California will depend on the non-custodial parent’s willingness to cooperate. Of course, you will still get the funds you need, but the process can be challenging if they try to hide. You can be forced to hire a private investigator, find their address or that of their relatives, or use your local child support office locator resources to know where they are.

Start the process by visiting the Child Support Enforcement Agency in California or contacting them with the help of your attorney. They will either refer you to work with the state or will contact the state the non-custodial parent is living in by themselves.

You can also use the Parent Locator Services. Every time the other parent applies for government assistance, uses a credit card, gets a job, or a new place to live, the Parent Locator agency will find them.

Once you find the other parent, you can start the child support case. In California, both parents are mutually responsible for supporting their child, so the court will look at factors such as net income, child care costs, and the percentage of time each parent spends with their child.