In any action to obtain support for children, two separate processes are involved: establishment and enforcement. Generally, before any child support can be collected an order providing for the payment of child support must be entered by a court.

In obtaining a court order for child support, it is important to understand the laws of your state and the relevant factors that determine the amount, duration, termination and other issues concerning child support. While many states consider the income of both parties, the cost for the health insurance of the child and day care costs of the child, all states have enacted some form of legislation titled the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) to govern the establishment of child support where the parents of a child live in different states. Kentucky enacted UIFSA in 1996.

In general, UIFSA provides easier access to establish child support where the parents live in two different states. Specifically, UIFSA says, among other things, how to file for child support (through a local child support agency or private attorney), what state's law is used to determine child support, how to obtain financial and other relevant information and other procedural issues.

In general, UIFSA also provides for the enforcement of child support orders by means of wage assignment and other collection processes. UIFSA has made it easier to collect child support by providing enforcement mechanisms between two different states. UIFSA and other newly enacted federal legislation also provide for severe penalties when a parent refuses to pay court ordered child support.

As in any family action, an attorney should be consulted if you are a party to an interstate child support action, as complicated issues may arise in your action.