Moving Out Of State? Ask Your Attorney What The Full Faith And Credit Clause Means To You

The Full Faith and Credit Clause may sound like some Constitutional mumbo-jumbo you learned in your grade school history or government class, but it actually has a significant effect on your case. Basically, the Full Faith and Credit Clause, found in Article IV, Section 1 of our Constitution, requires that judicial proceedings, public records, and final judgments rendered in one state be honored in all other states. 

What does this mean for you? Well, it can be a good thing or a bad thing, and also a very complicated thing. If you are moving out of state, here is what you need to know about the Full Faith and Credit Clause--without the complicated Constitutional verbiage.

What Does the Full Faith and Credit Clause Cover?

Depending on what side of a trial or legal proceeding you find yourself, the Full Faith and Credit Clause can be a blessing or a curse. On one hand, the Full Faith and Credit Clause will make sure that things like a not guilty judgment in your favor will stand in other states. Similarly, any child custody claims or protection orders in your resident state will remain valid, should you move to another state. On the other hand, if you are facing a guilty verdict or would rather not pay your alimony payments, you cannot escape these legal proceedings merely by traveling to another state. 

Sounds easy enough, right?

When the Full Faith and Credit Clause Becomes Complicated 

Keep in mind that not all things that involve a judge or a lawyer are subject to the Full Faith and Credit Clause. This can certainly breed some confusion. 

For example, even though most states will generally recognize marriages granted in other states, this is hardly a guarantee. This is especially true for same-sex marriages. The same is true for divorce. Also, the clause will not apply if the court that heard your case failed to establish a complicated little thing called personal jurisdiction over your case.

Sex offender registration requirements further blur the application of the Full Faith and Credit Clause. If you were convicted of an offense that now requires you to register in your state's sex offender registry, you might wonder how a move to another state affects this requirement. After all, registration requirements result from judicial proceedings and are frequently included in the public record. This issue has certainly graced the court systems here in America, and the general consensus is that the Full Faith and Credit Clause will not require your new state to honor your old state's registration requirements (or release from registration). 

The Full Faith and Credit Clause can pop up in situations where you least expect it and fade into the shadows when you might think it applies. Thus, before you skip out of state, ask your attorney about your past and current legal proceedings and whether they will, for better or worse, follow you around the country.

To learn more, contact a criminal defense law firm like Bayley & Mangan Law Office