Transferring an Out-of-State Support Order to Pennsylvania

In today's society, people are mobile. They do not always stay in the same state where a child support order may have initially been filed and entered. It is not always convenient to try to modify a previous support order from a previous state when you are no longer living in that state. It may, therefore, become necessary to transfer the prior support order from the previous state to Pennsylvania.

The first step in trying transfer a child support case to Pennsylvania is determining whether Pennsylvania is the proper venue (i.e. the right place) for your case to be filed or transferred. In order to be able to transfer the support case to Pennsylvania, at least one of the parties or the child must be living in Pennsylvania. If both parties now live in Pennsylvania, then Pennsylvania is definitely the proper place to transfer your support case. If, however, one party still lives in the state where the original child support order was entered, then that state (and not Pennsylvania) will retain its jurisdiction over the case. The case, therefore cannot be transferred to Pennsylvania and only the original state can make changes to the support order. The order can still be registered in Pennsylvania for enforcement purposes (such as attaching the wages of the paying parent who is living in Pennsylvania), but Pennsylvania cannot make any changes to the order.

Once it has been determined that Pennsylvania is the proper place to transfer your child support order, it is then important to know your individual county's procedures for registering a child support order. Every county will require your child support order to be registered in that county, and each county will require documents from the state that issued your order. However, the county requirements for which records you need, how many copies you need, what types of identification will be required and the specific process to request registration of the order vary widely. It is advisable to seek legal representation to help navigate you through this process.

Once the order is registered in Pennsylvania (other than for enforcement only), you can file to modify the order, terminate it, or enforce it, just like a child support order that was originally issued in Pennsylvania.

If you have any questions about the process or want representation in the Pennsylvania Domestic Relations office process, please contact Tanner Law Offices at (717) 731-8114 to schedule a consultation to discuss your individual case.