Alaska Child Support Services Division

Frequently Asked Questions about Interstate


Table of Contents

  1. If there is no child support order, would an order be established in the state where the noncustodial parent lives?
  2. Can paternity be established if the father lives outside Alaska?
  3. How long will it take to establish a child support order if the noncustodial parent lives out of state?
  4. Why does the other state require income information from both parents in setting up the case?
  5. How long will it take to start receiving support payments if there is a child support order and we know where the noncustodial parent is working?
  6. Why does Alaska have to initiate to the other state to start collections?
  7. Why does it take so long sometimes for other states to start collecting?
  8. Can the Alaska child support agency contact the other state for an update on my case?
  9. If I am the custodial parent and my case is being enforced through another state, who do I call?
  10. Can the Alaska child support agency attach the property of a noncustodial parent who lives in another state?
  11. What happens if the noncustodial parent keeps moving to avoid paying child support?
  12. Isn't there a law that makes it a federal crime to avoid paying child support?


1. If there is no child support order, would an order be established in the state where the noncustodial parent lives?

Yes. The case would be referred to the other state. A petition would be mailed to the other state’s child support agency. The other state would review income information and set the amount of monthly support payments.


2. Can paternity be established if the father lives outside Alaska?

The Alaska child support agency may be able to claim jurisdiction and establish paternity if the alleged father once lived here, or if the child was conceived in Alaska. Otherwise, we petition the other state to establish paternity under its laws. Often, genetic tests will be ordered to prove paternity.


3. How long will it take to establish a child support order if the noncustodial parent lives out of state?

It can take from six to nine months for another state to open a case. Many states establish child support orders through a court instead of an administrative process. This means it usually takes them longer to get an order.


4. Why does the other state require income information from both parents in setting up the case?

Many states require income information from the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent to establish a child support order.


5. How long will it take to start receiving support payments if there is a child support order and CSSD knows where the noncustodial parent is working?

If we are not working through another state, we will send a wage-withholding order to the employer within two days of learning where the parent is employed. The employer is required to start sending in payments within the next pay cycle.

If we are working through another state, we will inform them when we know who the employer is. The other state will send the withholding order.


6. Why does Alaska have to initiate to the other state to start collections?

We ask the other state to pursue collections when we cannot locate the noncustodial parent’s employer, or there is a pattern of moving from job to job.


7. Why does it take so long sometimes for other states to start collecting?

There could be a number of reasons: Services officials may not be able to serve notice on the noncustodial parent due to an inadequate or erroneous address, or the other state may be waiting for a court hearing. While waiting for Services to begin, parents are advised to let their caseworker know of any new information about the noncustodial parent – such as a new address or new job.


8. Can the Alaska child support agency contact the other state for an update on my case?

Other states send us status updates by mail; they ask that we provide them enough time to process the case before we start asking for updates. For Services requests, we allow 90 days for the first update. For order establishment requests, we allow 180 days for an update from the other state. If you have new or updated information we will send it to the other state and ask for a status update.


9. If I am the custodial parent and my case is being enforced through another state, who do I call?

If you applied for services through Alaska CSSD, you would work through us.


10. Can the Alaska child support agency attach the property of a noncustodial parent who lives in another state?

We work through the other state and ask them to attach property of a noncustodial parent in another state. In a few cases we can garnish bank accounts or other financial assets directly, but most of the time we need to work through other states.


11. What happens if the noncustodial parent keeps moving to avoid paying child support?

It’s difficult to enforce child support orders when the noncustodial parent intentionally moves to avoid responsibility. You can help by telling us whenever you learn of the noncustodial parent moving or taking a new job.


12. Isn't there a law that makes it a federal crime to avoid paying child support?

Yes, it is a federal crime to willfully fail to pay support if the child and noncustodial parent live in different states. The parent can be charged with a felony if the past-due child support exceeds $5,000, or is more than one year delinquent.

In order to convict a parent, the U.S. Attorney's Office must prove in court that the parent was financially able to meet the child support obligation at the time the payment was due. A major consideration in screening a case for federal prosecution is whether all reasonably available civil and state criminal remedies have been pursued.

Priority is given to cases:

  1. where there is a pattern of moving between states to avoid payment;
  2. where there is a pattern of deception, such as using a false name or Social Security number;
  3. where the parent fails to make support payments after being held in contempt of court; and
  4. where failure to make support payments is connected to some other federal offense such as bankruptcy fraud.