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Interstate Cases – When Parents Live in Different States 

Just because both parties do not live in the State of Arkansas does not mean we cannot provide assistance. We can establish and enforce a court order locally in most instances. However, there may be times we have to ask another state or country for help. You may hear this referred to as an interstate case. An interstate case is simply where child support agencies from two different states are involved in the establishment or enforcement of a child and medical support order.

For Custodial Parties Who Live in Arkansas
If you already have a court order -
As a custodial party living Arkansas, you may open a child support case with Arkansas OCSE, even if you may have a court order from another state. We will make every effort to enforce the court order locally. However, there may be times when we have to ask another state or country for help. When this happens, we will request the other state to take action to enforce the order.

If you do not have a court order for child and medical support - We will make every effort to establish a court order locally, if allowed by law. If Arkansas OCSE cannot establish an order for child and medical support, we will ask another state or country to take action to establish an obligation on your behalf.

Any time another party is involved in a case, there is a possibility that things will take longer than you think they should. Be assured we will monitor the actions the other state or country is taking.

Click here to see the list of countries that have agreed to work with the United States in establishing and enforcing child support orders. If the other parent is in a country that is not on this list, we may not have any authority to work your case. Contact your local child support office for more information.

For Custodial Parties Who Do Not Live in Arkansas
If the noncustodial parent lives in Arkansas and you wish to open a case in Arkansas, we will honor your request. Although, keep in mind that if there are any court dates, you may be asked to appear for court. You may want to consider opening a case in the state where you live.

If you have a child support case open in the state where you live and the noncustodial parent lives in Arkansas, we may be asked to enforce your court order. Please keep in mind that federal law does not allow us to discuss the case with you. The child support agency who requested our assistance is considered our customer. If you have concerns about the way your case is being managed, you will need to discuss your concerns with that state.

For Noncustodial Parents
Once a child support order is established, you owe that amount regardless of where you live. If the custodial party is in another state and you live in Arkansas, we may be asked by another state’s child support agency to help enforce your court order. We will notify you which Arkansas local OCSE office will be managing your case so you will know who to call with questions, update contact information, and provide employment information.