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Will I still get support payments if my ex-spouse leaves the state?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2021 | Alimony |

If you have an impending divorce, and your earning capacity is far below that of your soon-to-be ex-spouse, you’re probably preoccupied with fighting to receive an alimony award. If you’ve learned that your ex-spouse plans to leave the state after the divorce is finalized, you may be worried that you will have no way of enforcing your state’s alimony award (or child support award) against them. Fortunately, there are a few key statutes in place that take care of this problem.


Maryland has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This statute ensures that other states will enforce an alimony or child support order established by a Maryland court, and vice versa.

What this means is that, once a Maryland divorce court sets the amount of alimony or child support that your ex-spouse must pay you, your ex-spouse cannot escape their obligation by moving to a different state. If they try to do that, you can request that a court in their new state enforce your Maryland support order.

You can do this by either hiring an attorney to file a motion in your ex-spouse’s new state, or hiring a local attorney to file a request in your home state’s court to transfer an enforcement request to your ex-spouse’s local court.


Maryland has also adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). This statute is very similar to UIFSA, but it specifically deals with which court has jurisdiction to modify a child support order. This statute is especially relevant if child support is your main concern.

Since Maryland has adopted both of these statutes, you can rest assured that your ex-spouse will not be able to avoid their support obligation by moving. They will also not be able to get the order modified by a court in their new state.