Federal law requires that all states have a child support program and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) governs interstate and international child support cases. In New York City, the Human Resources Administration’s Office of Child Support Services manages the child support program, and the New York City Law Department handles interstate child support cases on its behalf. In interstate child support cases, the custodial parent (the parent with whom the child resides), and the non-custodial parent (the parent with whom the child does not reside), live in different states.
The Law Department’s Interstate Child Support Unit appears in New York City Family Courts to handle petitions to establish parentage, and obtain, modify, or enforce an existing child support order, including defending against challenges to the registrations of orders from another state or country. In these cases, the local child support agency in the county and state where the custodial parent resides sends the completed interstate petition or pleading to New York State. The central agency in New York State is the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. After review, the petition or pleading is sent to the Family Court in the county where the non-custodial parent lives. The Family Court creates a case file and notifies the Law Department. Law Department attorneys will appear on these matters in the borough Family Court where the non-custodial parent resides.
If the custodial parent lives within the five boroughs of New York City and the non-custodial parent resides in another state or country, the Law Department may be able to assist in filing for child support, modifying an existing order, or seeking registration or enforcement of an existing order.
Please find additional information.
Information for Local Custodial Parents
Information for Custodial Parents Residing in Another State
Child Support Application Materials
Information for Non-Custodial Parents
Frequently Asked Questions
Contact Information for the Law Department Interstate Child Support Unit Borough Offices
Before a child support order can be issued for a child born to unmarried parents, legal parentage must be established. If a child is born during a marriage, the married parents are presumed to be the legal parents of the child.
Establishing parentage identifies the child's legal parent. This may be done by both parents completing a document called an Acknowledgment of Parentage or by filing a court petition seeking the establishment of parentage and obtaining an Order of Filiation. In cases where parentage has not yet been established, the Family Court may require genetic (DNA) testing of the parents and child.
Legal parentage gives rights and benefits to the parents and the child(ren). Those rights and benefits include:
- information on family medical history;
- the child’s knowledge of their parent;
- health or life insurance from either parent, if available;
- support from both parents, such as child support and medical support;
- benefits such as Social Security or veteran's benefits, military allowances, and inheritances; and
- the right to seek a court order for visitation or custody and participate in legal decisions about the child.
The Law Department assists local and out-of-state custodial parents in establishing an order of support from non-custodial parents. The New York Child Support Standards Act (CSSA), establishes a formula that the court will apply in most child support cases. However, if the case is sent to the state where the non-custodial parent lives, the laws of that state will apply.
When a custodial parent resides outside of New York state:
A custodial parent may file a petition with their local child support agency. That petition will then be forwarded to the New York City Law Department office in the county where the non-custodial parent resides. This matter will then be litigated in the New York City Family Court located in the same borough.
When a custodial parent resides within New York state:
If the case is going to be filed in another state and you wish to have the Law Department assist, you must first complete the child support enrollment and send it to the Office of Child Support Services. For more information, you can contact the Office of Child Support Services at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading “Interstate order” for a referral. Once a referral is generated, the Law Department will determine if we are able to assist you in completing the necessary paperwork and transmit the case to the child support agency in the other state on your behalf. The child support agency in the state where the non-custodial parent lives will proceed with your case in its local court or administrative agency and a staff member of the Law Department will inform you of the progress of your case.
A custodial parent with an order of support may request that the court review the order to increase, decrease, or change the terms of the order. If you are a custodial parent with an order of support and are seeking a change in the order, the Law Department may be able to assist you. The standard to change an order of support varies, but in most states, you must show a change in circumstances. In some cases, the passage of a designated period of time since the original order was made may be sufficient.
If you are a custodial parent seeking to change an order of support, the Law Department will contact the state where the non-custodial parent resides. If your circumstances support a request for a modification of the order, a member of the Law Department's staff will prepare the necessary paperwork and forward the request to the state where the non-custodial parent lives.
If you are a custodial parent with an order of support that is not being paid according to its terms, a proceeding may be brought to enforce the order. The Law Department handles interstate enforcement matters in the New York City Family Courts where another state or country requests enforcement of a support order.
If you are a custodial parent who resides in New York City, the Law Department may be able to assist you with your request to enforce an existing order of support in the state or country where the non-custodial parent resides and ask the child support agency to take administrative and/or judicial action against the non-custodial parent.
In all of the proceedings described above, it is necessary that the non-custodial parent receive notice of the case. If the court is satisfied that the notice provided to the non-custodial parent complies with the law, the court may proceed, even if the non-custodial parent does not appear in court.
The registration process involves filing a support order or judgment in another state or country to enable that state or country to recognize, enforce, or modify that order.
If you are a custodial parent with an order of support from outside of New York, or a custodial parent who lives in the five boroughs of New York City with an order of support from New York, the Law Department may be able to assist you in registering that order where the non-custodial parent resides for enforcement and/or modification. You will need to contact your local child support agency office to obtain the list of documents to proceed with a registration of an out-of-state support order.
If you reside in the five boroughs of New York City, you are eligible for the Law Department's free services if all of the following criteria apply:
- You are the custodial parent of a child and live in New York City ("custodial parent" means the parent, relative, guardian, or caretaker of a child) and
- The non-custodial parent lives in another state or country and
- Your child is not receiving cash assistance and
- You have completed a service enrollment form (LDSS-5143) with the Office of Child Support Services, Family Court Support Services in the borough where you reside. Enrolling is now easier than ever, using the NYC Child Support – ACCESS HRA Mobile App.
If you are an out-of-state custodial parent who completed an interstate petition in your local child support agency, and the non-custodial parent lives in New York City, it is likely the Law Department will be assigned to the case.
Under these circumstances, the Law Department is notified of the case by the Family Court. Law Department staff will review the petition and accompanying documents, and communicate with the initiating child support agency office to inform them of the next court date and seek additional information necessary to proceed.
Although a Law Department attorney will present the case in court, the attorney does not represent the custodial parent. Rather, the attorney appears on behalf of the City of New York to assist with administering cases in the child support program.
The Law Department arranges for the non-custodial parent to receive an official notice of the court date. Afterwards, the case proceeds before a Support Magistrate in the New York City Family Court. There are times when a case may be assigned to a Judge of the Family Court.
You are permitted or may be required to appear at the court dates by audio-visual means. It is important for you to maintain contact with the local child support agency where you reside. The Law Department communicates with that agency throughout the proceedings and you may seek case updates from your local agency.
Once the court has made a determination in the case, the Law Department notifies the local child support agency. If your address or telephone number changes, you must immediately notify the local child support agency with the new information.
The Office of Child Support Services offers non-custodial parents programs to help manage their child support case.
Resources for non-custodial parents:
New York City Office of Child Support Enforcement Customer Service Center
151 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
The New York State Support Customer Service helpline
Available 24 hours / 7 days a week.
New York Child Support
Office of Child Support Enforcement
Staten Island: RICSU@law.nyc.gov
Please view the Family Court Division's contact information