While child custody modifications are common, when one parent plans to move out of state it presents unique challenges that require the attention of a custody lawyer. The Albuquerque, New Mexico child custody attorneys at Terry & deGraauw, P.C., can help you understand interstate custody law and how it pertains to your case.

Two laws exist to govern interstate child custody: the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). Interstate custody laws are designed to ensure that your child custody and support orders are enforceable across state lines and serve a few purposes:

  • Child Custody Protection The UCCJEA law ensures that your original custody order is enforced throughout the United States, preventing one party from taking children out of state and causing the custody agreement to become unenforceable in another state. It also ensures that one parent can’t be awarded custody in one jurisdiction and while another parent files for custody in another jurisdiction. If you or your former spouse moves out of state, your custody orders should be registered in the new state to ensure the original agreement is binding in that jurisdiction.
  • Child Support Enforcement Prior to the UIFSA laws, there wasn’t much a custodial parent could do if the non-custodial parent moved to a new state and failed to pay child support. Back then, the child support order was out of the jurisdiction of the new state. Today, interstate child custody laws hold all parents accountable for child support. If your former spouse moved out of the jurisdiction of your support order, you need to file a UIFSA petition to enforce that order.

Filing UCCJEA and UIFSA forms is a complex process that requires the attention of our experienced child custody attorneys. Our attorneys can ensure that your paperwork is filed correctly and help enforce your child custody and support orders across state lines.


The child custody attorneys at Terry & deGraauw, P.C., work diligently to ensure your family is protected according to interstate custody law. The New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization recognizes our attorneys as certified specialists in family law, a reflection of our training and expertise. Contact us to schedule a consultation at our Albuquerque, New Mexico family law firm.