Uniform interstate family support act


A U petition is filed in support cases where the petitioner and the respondent live in different states. This petition enables a petitioner who needs spousal or child support to seek such support in circumstances where due to financial or other reasons the petitioner cannot travel to a respondent's jurisdiction.

U proceedings involve two courts; the initiating court where the petitioner is located, and the responding court where the respondent is located.

Once the initiating court sends the support petition to the responding court:

  • The responding court will order the respondent to appear in the respondent's home court, where the petitioner will be represented by a county attorney or corporation counsel from his or her own county.
  • If the respondent does not contest the petition, the support order will be entered.
  • If the respondent does contest the petition, statements given by the petitioner and other documentary evidence will be exchanged by mail between the two courts, a process that can prove cumbersome if additional evidence is required. However, most cases can be handled swiftly without any additional evidence.


A party may take part in the hearing by telephone if they do not live in New York State. They may also participate by telephone if they live within New York State, but in a county which is far from the courthouse where the hearing is being held, upon written application and approval by the Court.

Under certain circumstances, the petitioner may file a petition forcing the respondent to travel to New York for the hearing.

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