Even though family laws vary widely depending on the state in which you reside, almost all states have adopted uniform laws regarding the enforcement and modification of family law orders entered by other states. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which has been enacted in 49 of 50 states, permits the enforcement and modification of Spousal Support and Child Support orders in states other than that in which the order was entered. Similarly, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which has been enacted in all 50 states, allows for the enforcement and modification of Child Custody orders throughout the country.
In general, enforcing a “foreign” Child Custody, Child Support, or Alimony Order in North Carolina requires a two-step process. If there are circumstances granting North Carolina Courts jurisdiction over the parties (personal jurisdiction), a party seeking to enforce a “foreign” order must first register the order in North Carolina. Once the Order has been registered, a party may then seek to enforce it through means available in North Carolina such as pursuing a Motion for Contempt.
Modification of a “foreign” order in North Carolina also requires a two-step process. If North Carolina Courts have jurisdiction over the parties pursuant to UIFSA or UCCJEA, the order must first be registered. Following registration, a party may seek to modify the order based on the applicable law, whether that be North Carolina law or a “foreign” jurisdiction’s laws.