A foreign order simply means a court order issued in another state. For example if you were divorced in Arizona, your divorce decree would be considered a “foreign order” in Utah. In order to enforce a foreign order, you first need to register it with a Utah court so the court can take jurisdiction and issue an enforcement order. This also applies if you want to change or modify your divorce or custody order. Once your order is registered, the laws of Utah will apply in seeking to enforce or modify its terms.
Example of a Need to File a Foreign Order
Consider the following common scenario. Jane was divorced in California and as part of the divorce she was awarded primary custody of the kids and child support. Jane later gets a job in Utah and moves to Salt Lake City where she also has family close by. After moving to Salt Lake, Jane’s ex husband decides he no longer wants to pay child support and wants to enforce his weekly parent time with the kids despite the fact he now lives hundreds of miles away. Jane clearly needs to enforce the child support order and modify the parent time arrangement but doesn’t want to travel to California for court. Assuming there is personal jurisdiction over her ex husband in Utah (personal jurisdiction is a topic for another post), Jane needs to first register her divorce decree as a foreign order in Utah. Once that is successful, she can file a motion to modify and enforce her decree.
How to Register a Foreign Order
Registering a foreign order can be complicated and you should really consider hiring a Salt Lake City Divorce Attorney before attempting to do it on your own. If it is not done correctly and the other party successfully opposes your request, you could end up in a bad legal position that an attorney might not be able to dig you out of. With that being said, if you cannot afford a lawyer simply need to do this on your own, there are a few things you should be aware of. The court offers some forms that are helpful in getting the process started. You need to file a request to register the order and other supporting documents which all need to be served on your ex. For more information give us a call today or contact the courts for self help resources.