This topic contains information on the following:
Effective October 20, 1994, the Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act (28 USC Section 1738B) required states to enforce the terms of any permanent or temporary order (including paternity orders) issued by a court or administrative authority of the issuing state, and it prohibits modification of other states' child support orders unless certain jurisdictional requirements are met. Any payments or installments of support due under a support order are considered final judgments by operation of law and are entitled to full faith and credit. The state where the obligor resides (or is employed) is referred to as the "forum state". The Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act (FFCCOA) applies to all states, territories, possessions, and Indian tribes of the United States.
The purpose of FFCCSOA is to facilitate the enforcement of child support orders among the states. By adhering to the guidelines of FFCCSOA, jurisdictions are ensured that cases are handled uniformly and consistently. The main premise remains that the child support order of the issuing state, as registered in the responding state, shall be enforced based on the terms as found therein.
Under the FFCCSOA, a child support order issued by a court in another state must be enforced if:
1. The issuing state had subject-matter jurisdiction to hear the matter and enter an order;
2. The issuing state had personal jurisdiction; and
3. The parties were given reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard.
When North Carolina is the forum for enforcement of another state's support order, the same procedures and remedies available to NC orders are applied to the enforcement of the out-of-state order. The law of the issuing state governs the interpretation of the order, but in procedures to collect arrearages, the longer statute of limitations applies.
North Carolina is asked to enforce an order entered in New York that requires current support for the child up to age twenty-one (21). FFCCSOA requires NC to continue enforcement of support until the child is twenty-one (21), rather than age eighteen (18) or through high school up to age twenty (20), as required by NC law.
The collection of interest on arrearages is another example of FFCCSOA. NC law does not address collection of interest on child support arrearages, but NC can collect the interest if another state's law allows it.
California has asked North Carolina to register a California order for enforcement. California law allows the collection of interest on child support arrearages. As the initiating state, California is responsible for calculating the amount of interest owed. NC would pursue the collection of the interest as well as the arrearages.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.