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SENATE AMENDED
PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 2318
PRINTER'S NO. 2544
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1603
Session of
2015
INTRODUCED BY WATSON, TOOHIL, PETRI, COHEN, EVERETT, HARHART,
PHILLIPS-HILL, KAVULICH, MURT, O'NEILL, ROZZI, SAYLOR,
YOUNGBLOOD, JAMES, BULLOCK, ACOSTA, BISHOP, KORTZ AND BARBIN,
OCTOBER 7, 2015
SENATOR BROOKS, AGING AND YOUTH, IN SENATE, AS AMENDED,
NOVEMBER 17, 2015
AN ACT
Amending Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in uniform interstate family support,
making extensive revisions to general provisions,
jurisdiction, civil provisions of general application,
establishment of support order, direct enforcement of order
of another state without registration, enforcement and
modification of support order after registration,
determination of parentage, interstate rendition and
miscellaneous provisions; and providing for support
proceeding under convention.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 7101 of Title 23 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:
§ 7101. Short title of part [and definitions].
[(a) Short title of part.--]This part shall be known and may
be cited as the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.
[(b) Definitions.--Subject to additional definitions
contained in subsequent provisions of this part which are
applicable to specific provisions of this part, the following
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words and phrases when used in this part shall have the meanings
given to them in this section unless the context clearly
indicates otherwise:
"Child." An individual, whether over or under the age of
majority, who is or is alleged to be owed a duty of support by
the individual's parent or who is or is alleged to be the
beneficiary of a support order directed to the parent.
"Child support order." A support order for a child,
including a child who has attained the age of majority under the
law of the issuing state.
"Department." The Department of Human Services of the
Commonwealth.
"Duty of support." An obligation imposed or imposable by law
to provide support for a child, spouse or former spouse. The
term includes an unsatisfied obligation to provide support.
"Home state." The state in which a child lived with a parent
or a person acting as parent for at least six consecutive months
immediately preceding the time of filing of a petition or
comparable pleading for support and, if a child is less than six
months old, the state in which the child lived from birth with
any of them. A period of temporary absence of any of them is
counted as part of the six-month or other period.
"Income." The term includes earnings or other periodic
entitlements to money from any source and any other property
subject to withholding for support under the law of this State.
"Income-withholding order." An order or other legal process
directed to an obligor's employer or other debtor, in accordance
with section 4348 (relating to attachment of income), to
withhold support from the income of the obligor.
"Initiating state." A state from which a proceeding is
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forwarded or in which a proceeding is filed for forwarding to a
responding state under this part or a law or procedure
substantially similar to this part, the Uniform Reciprocal
Enforcement of Support Act or the Revised Uniform Reciprocal
Enforcement of Support Act.
"Initiating tribunal." The authorized tribunal in an
initiating state.
"Issuing state." The state in which a tribunal issues a
support order or renders a judgment determining parentage.
"Issuing tribunal." The tribunal that issues a support order
or renders a judgment determining parentage.
"Law." The term includes decisional and statutory law and
rules and regulations having the force of law.
"Obligee." Any of the following:
(1) An individual to whom a duty of support is or is
alleged to be owed or in whose favor a support order has been
issued or a judgment determining parentage has been rendered.
(2) A state or political subdivision to which the rights
under a duty of support or support order have been assigned
or which has independent claims based on financial assistance
provided to an individual obligee.
(3) An individual seeking a judgment determining
parentage of the individual's child.
(4) The Department of Human Services.
"Obligor." An individual, or the estate of a decedent:
(1) that owes or is alleged to owe a duty of support;
(2) that is alleged but has not been adjudicated to be a
parent of a child; or
(3) that is liable under a support order.
"Register." To record a support order or judgment
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determining parentage in the office designated by a court of
common pleas.
"Registering tribunal." A tribunal in which a support order
is registered.
"Responding state." A state in which a proceeding is filed
or to which a proceeding is forwarded for filing from an
initiating state under this part or a law or procedure
substantially similar to this part, the Uniform Reciprocal
Enforcement of Support Act or the Revised Uniform Reciprocal
Enforcement of Support Act.
"Responding tribunal." The authorized tribunal in a
responding state.
"Secretary." The Secretary of Public Welfare of the
Commonwealth.
"Spousal support order." A support order for a spouse or
former spouse of the obligor.
"State." A state of the United States, the District of
Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands or any
territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of
the United States. The term includes an Indian tribe and a
foreign jurisdiction that has enacted a law or established
procedures for issuance and enforcement of support orders which
are substantially similar to the procedures under this part or
Part VIII-A (relating to intrastate family support).
"Support enforcement agency." A public official or agency
authorized to seek:
(1) enforcement of support orders or laws relating to
the duty of support;
(2) establishment or modification of child support;
(3) determination of parentage; or
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(4) location of obligors or their assets.
"Support order." A judgment, decree or order, whether
temporary, final or subject to modification, for the benefit of
a child, a spouse or a former spouse, which provides for
monetary support, health care, arrearages or reimbursement. The
term includes related costs and fees, interest, income
withholding, attorney fees and other relief.
"Tribunal." A court, administrative agency or quasi-judicial
entity authorized to establish, enforce or modify support orders
or to determine parentage.
"Tribunal of this State." A court of common pleas.]
Section 2. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 7101.1. Definitions.
Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent
provisions of this part which are applicable to specific
provisions of this part, the following words and phrases when
used in this part shall have the meanings given to them in this
section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Child." An individual, whether over or under the age of
majority, who is or is alleged to be owed a duty of support by
the individual's parent or who is or is alleged to be the
beneficiary of a support order directed to the parent.
"Child support order." A support order for a child,
including a child who has attained the age of majority under the
law of the issuing state or foreign country.
"Convention." The Convention on the International Recovery
of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance,
concluded at the Hague on November 23, 2007.
"Department." The Department of Human Services of the
Commonwealth.
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"Duty of support." An obligation imposed or imposable by law
to provide support for a child, spouse or former spouse. The
term includes an unsatisfied obligation to provide support.
"Foreign country." A country, including a political
subdivision of a country other than the United States, which
authorized the issuance of support orders and:
(1) has been declared under the law of the United States
to be a foreign reciprocating country;
(2) has established a reciprocal arrangement for child
support with this State as provided in section 7308 (relating
to supervisory duty);
(3) has enacted a law or established procedures for the
issuance and enforcement of support orders which are
substantially similar to the procedures under this part; or
(4) in which the convention is in force with respect to
the United States.
"Foreign support order." A support order of a foreign
tribunal.
"Foreign tribunal." A court, administrative agency or quasi-
judicial entity of a foreign country which is authorized to
establish, enforce or modify support orders or to determine
parentage of a child. The term includes a competent authority
under the convention.
"Home state." The state or foreign country in which a child
lived with a parent or a person acting as parent for at least
six consecutive months immediately preceding the time of filing
of a petition or comparable pleading for support and, if a child
is less than six months old, the state or foreign country in
which the child lived from birth with the parent or such person.
A period of temporary absence of the parent or such person is
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counted as part of the six-month or other period.
"Income." The term includes earnings or other periodic
entitlements to money from any source and any other property
subject to withholding for support under the law of this State.
"Income-withholding order." An order or other legal process
directed to an obligor's employer or other debtor, in accordance
with section 4348 (relating to attachment of income), to
withhold support from the income of the obligor.
"Initiating tribunal." The tribunal of a state or a foreign
country from which a petition or comparable pleading is
forwarded or in which a petition or comparable pleading is filed
for forwarding to another state or foreign country.
"Issuing foreign country." The foreign country in which a
tribunal issues a support order or a judgment determining
parentage of a child.
"Issuing state." The state in which a tribunal issues a
support order or a judgment determining parentage of a child.
"Issuing tribunal." The tribunal of a state or a foreign
country that issues a support order or a judgment determining
parentage of a child.
"Law." The term includes decisional and statutory law and
rules and regulations having the force of law.
"Obligee." Any of the following:
(1) An individual to whom a duty of support is or is
alleged to be owed or in whose favor a support order or a
judgment determining parentage of a child has been issued.
(2) A foreign country, state or political subdivision to
which the rights under a duty of support or support order
have been assigned or which has independent claims based on
financial assistance provided to an individual obligee in
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place of child support.
(3) An individual seeking a judgment determining
parentage of the individual's child.
(4) The Department of Human Services .
(5) A person who is a creditor in a proceeding under
Chapter 77A (relating to support proceeding under
convention).
"Obligor." An individual or the estate of a decedent that:
(1) owes or is alleged to owe a duty of support;
(2) is alleged but has not been adjudicated to be a
parent of a child;
(3) is liable under a support order; or
(4) is a debtor in a proceeding under Chapter 77A
(relating to support proceeding under convention).
"Outside this State." A location in another state or a
country other than the United States, whether or not the country
is a foreign country.
"Person." An individual, corporation, business trust,
estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company,
association, joint venture, public corporation, government or
governmental subdivision or agency or instrumentality or any
other legal or commercial entity.
"Record." Information that is inscribed on a tangible medium
or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is
retrievable in perceivable form.
"Register." To record in a tribunal of this State a support
order or judgment determining parentage of a child issued in
another state or foreign country.
"Registering tribunal." A tribunal in which a support order
or judgment determining parentage of a child is registered.
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"Responding state." A state in which a petition or
comparable pleading for support or to determine parentage of a
child is filed or to which a petition or comparable pleading is
forwarded for filing from another state or foreign country.
"Responding tribunal." The authorized tribunal in a
responding state or foreign country.
"Secretary." The Secretary of Human Services of the
Commonwealth.
"Spousal support order." A support order for a spouse or
former spouse of the obligor.
"State." A state of the United States, the District of
Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands or any
territory or insular possession under the jurisdiction of the
United States. The term includes an Indian nation tribe.
"Support enforcement agency." A public official,
governmental entity or private agency authorized to:
(1) seek enforcement of support orders or laws relating
to the duty of support;
(2) seek establishment or modification of child support;
(3) request determination of parentage of a child;
(4) attempt to locate obligors or assets of an obligor;
or
(5) request determination of the controlling child
support order.
"Support order." A judgment, decree, order, decision or
directive, whether temporary, final or subject to modification,
issued in a state or a foreign country for the benefit of a
child, spouse or former spouse, which provides for monetary
support, health care, arrearages, retroactive support or
reimbursement for financial assistance provided to an individual
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obligee in place of child support. The term may include related
costs and fees, interest, income withholding, automatic
adjustment, reasonable attorney fees and other relief.
"Tribunal." A court, administrative agency or quasi-judicial
entity authorized to establish, enforce or modify support orders
or to determine parentage.
"Tribunal of this State." A court of common pleas.
Section 3. Section 7102 of Title 23 is repealed:
[§ 7102. Remedies cumulative.
Remedies provided by this part are cumulative and do not
affect the availability of remedies under other law.]
Section 4. Title 23 is amended by adding sections to read:
§ 7103. State tribunal and support enforcement agency.
(a) Tribunals.--The courts of common pleas are the tribunals
of this State.
(b) Support enforcement agency.--The department's Bureau of
Child Support Enforcement is the support enforcement agency of
this State.
§ 7104. Cumulative remedies.
(a) Remedies.--Remedies provided by this part are cumulative
and do not affect the availability of remedies under other law
or the recognition of a foreign support order on the basis of
comity.
(b) Limitations.--This part does not:
(1) provide the exclusive method of establishing or
enforcing a support order under the law of this State; or
(2) grant a tribunal of this State jurisdiction to
render judgment or issue an order relating to child custody
or visitation in a proceeding under this part.
Section 7105. Application of part to resident of foreign
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country and foreign support proceeding.
(a) Applicability.--A tribunal of this State shall apply
Chapter 71 (relating to general provisions), 72 (relating to
jurisdiction), 73 (relating to civil provisions of general
application), 74 (relating to establishment of support order or
determination of parentage), 75 (relating to enforcement of
support order without registration) or 76 (relating to
registration, enforcement and modification of support order)
and, as applicable, Chapter 77A (relating to support proceeding
under convention), to a support proceeding involving any of the
following:
(1) A foreign support order.
(2) A foreign tribunal.
(3) An obligee, obligor or child residing in a foreign
country.
(b) Discretionary.--A tribunal of this State that is
requested to recognize and enforce a support order on the basis
of comity may apply the procedural and substantive provisions of
Chapter 71, 72, 73, 74, 75 or 76.
(c) Limitations.--Chapter 77A (relating to support
proceeding under convention) applies only to a support
proceeding under the convention. In a proceeding, if a provision
of Chapter 77A is inconsistent with Chapter 71, 72, 73, 74, 75
or 76, Chapter 77A shall control.
Section 5. Section 7201 of Title 23 is amended to read:
§ 7201. Bases for jurisdiction over nonresident.
(a) Jurisdiction.--In a proceeding to establish[, enforce or
modify] or enforce a support order or to determine parentage of
a child, a tribunal of this State may exercise personal
jurisdiction over a nonresident individual or the individual's
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guardian or conservator if any of the following apply:
(1) The individual is personally served with a writ of
summons, complaint or other appropriate pleading within this
State.
(2) The individual submits to the jurisdiction of this
State by consent in a record, by entering a general
appearance or by filing a responsive document having the
effect of waiving any contest to personal jurisdiction.
(3) The individual resided with the child in this State.
(4) The individual resided in this State and provided
prenatal expenses or support for the child.
(5) The child resides in this State as a result of the
acts or directives of the individual.
(6) The individual engaged in sexual intercourse in this
State and the child may have been conceived by that act of
intercourse.
(7) The individual acknowledged parentage of the child
on a form filed with the department under section 5103
(relating to acknowledgment and claim of paternity).
(8) There is any other basis consistent with the
constitutions of this State and the United States for the
exercise of personal jurisdiction.
(b) Modification.--The bases of personal jurisdiction set
forth in subsection (a) or in any other law of this State may
not be used to acquire personal jurisdiction for a tribunal of
this State to modify a child support order of another state
unless the requirements of section 7611 (relating to
modification of child support order of another state) are met
or, in the case of a foreign support order, unless the
requirements of section 7615 (relating to jurisdiction to modify
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child support order of a foreign country) are met.
Section 6. Section 7202 of Title 23 is repealed:
[§ 7202. Procedure when exercising jurisdiction over
nonresident.
A tribunal of this State exercising personal jurisdiction
over a nonresident under section 7201 (relating to bases for
jurisdiction over nonresident) may apply section 7316 (relating
to special rules of evidence and procedure) to receive evidence
from another state and section 7318 (relating to assistance with
discovery) to obtain discovery through a tribunal of another
state. In all other respects, Chapters 73 (relating to civil
provisions of general application) through 77 (relating to
determination of parentage) do not apply, and the tribunal shall
apply the procedural and substantive law of this State,
including the rules on choice of law other than those
established by this part.]
Section 7. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 7202.1. Duration of personal jurisdiction.
Personal jurisdiction acquired by a tribunal of this State in
a proceeding under this part or other law of this State relating
to a support order continues as long as a tribunal of this State
has continuing exclusive jurisdiction to modify the tribunal's
order or continuing jurisdiction to enforce the tribunal's order
as provided by sections 7205 (relating to continuing, exclusive
jurisdiction to modify child support orders), 7206 (relating to
continuing jurisdiction to enforce child support orders) and
7211 (relating to continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify
spousal support order).
Section 8. Subchapter B heading of Chapter 72 of Title 23 is
amended to read:
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SUBCHAPTER B
PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING TWO OR MORE STATES
OR A FOREIGN COUNTRY
Section 9. Sections 7203, 7204, 7205, 7206, 7207, 7208 and
7209 of Title 23 are amended to read:
§ 7203. Initiating and responding tribunal of this State.
Under this part, a tribunal of this State may serve as an
initiating tribunal to forward proceedings to a tribunal of
another state and as a responding tribunal for proceedings
initiated in another state or a foreign country.
§ 7204. Simultaneous proceedings [in another state].
(a) Permissible.--A tribunal of this State may exercise
jurisdiction to establish a support order if the petition or
comparable pleading is filed after a petition or comparable
pleading is filed in another state or a foreign country only if
all of the following apply:
(1) The petition or comparable pleading in this State is
filed before the expiration of the time allowed in the other
state or a foreign country for filing a responsive pleading
challenging the exercise of jurisdiction by the other state
or a foreign country.
(2) The contesting party timely challenges the exercise
of jurisdiction in the other state or a foreign country.
(3) If relevant, this State is the home state of the
child.
(b) Impermissible.--A tribunal of this State may not
exercise jurisdiction to establish a support order if the
petition or comparable pleading is filed before a petition or
comparable pleading is filed in another state or a foreign
country if all of the following apply:
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(1) The petition or comparable pleading in the other
state or foreign country is filed before the expiration of
the time allowed in this State for filing a responsive
pleading challenging the exercise of jurisdiction by this
State.
(2) The contesting party timely challenges the exercise
of jurisdiction in this State.
(3) If relevant, the other state or foreign country is
the home state of the child.
§ 7205. Continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify child
support orders.
(a) Extent.--A tribunal of this State [issuing] that has
issued a child support order consistent with the law of this
State has and shall exercise continuing, exclusive jurisdiction
[over a] to modify the child support order if the order is the
controlling order and:
(1) [as long as] at the time of the filing of a request
for modification this State [remains] is the residence of the
obligor, the individual obligee or the child for whose
benefit the support order is issued; or
(2) [until all of the] even if this State is not the
residence of the obligor, the individual obligee, or the
child for whose benefit the support order is issued, the
parties [who are individuals have filed written consent with
the tribunal of this State for a tribunal of another state to
modify the order and assume continuing, exclusive
jurisdiction.] consent in a record or in open court that the
tribunal of this State may continue to exercise jurisdiction
to modify the order.
(b) Restriction.--A tribunal of this State [issuing] that
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has issued a child support order consistent with the law of this
State may not exercise its continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to
modify the order if [the order has been modified by a tribunal
of another state pursuant to a law substantially similar to this
part]:
(1) all of the parties who are individuals file consent
in a record with the tribunal of this State that a tribunal
of another state, that has jurisdiction over at least one of
the parties who is an individual or that is located in the
state of residence of the child, may modify the order and
assume continuing, exclusive jurisdiction; or
(2) the order is not the controlling order.
[(c) Modification.--If a child support order of this State
is modified by a tribunal of another state pursuant to a law
substantially similar to this part, a tribunal of this State
loses its continuing, exclusive jurisdiction with regard to
prospective enforcement of the order issued in this State and
may only do the following:
(1) Enforce the order that was modified as to amounts
accruing before the modification.
(2) Enforce nonmodifiable aspects of that order.
(3) Provide other appropriate relief for violations of
that order which occurred before the effective date of the
modification.]
(d) Faith and credit.--[A tribunal of this State shall
recognize the continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of a tribunal
of another state which has issued a child support order pursuant
to a law substantially similar to this part.] If a tribunal of
another state has issued a child support order under a law
substantially similar to this part which modifies a child
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support order of a tribunal of this State, tribunals of this
State shall recognize the continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of
the tribunal of the other state.
(d.1) Modification.--A tribunal of this State that lacks
continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify a child support
order may serve as an initiating tribunal to request a tribunal
of another state to modify a support order issued in that state.
(e) Interim orders.--A temporary support order issued ex
parte or pending resolution of a jurisdictional conflict does
not create continuing, exclusive jurisdiction in the issuing
tribunal.
[(f) Duration and modification of spousal support orders.--A
tribunal of this State issuing a support order consistent with
the law of this State has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction
over a spousal support order throughout the existence of the
support obligation. A tribunal of this State may not modify a
spousal support order issued by a tribunal of another state
having continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over that order under
the law of that state.]
§ 7206. [Enforcement and modification of support order by
tribunal having continuing jurisdiction.] Continuing
jurisdiction to enforce child support orders.
(a) Initiating tribunal.--A tribunal of this State that has
issued a child support order consistent with the law of this
State may serve as an initiating tribunal to request a tribunal
of another state to enforce [or modify a support order issued in
that state.]:
(1) the order, if the order is the controlling order and
has not been modified by a tribunal of another state that
assumed jurisdiction under a law substantially similar to
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this part; or
(2) a money judgment for arrears of support and interest
on the order that accrued before a determination that an
order of a tribunal of another state is the controlling
order.
(b) Responding tribunal.--A tribunal of this State having
continuing[, exclusive] jurisdiction over a support order may
act as a responding tribunal to enforce [or modify] the order.
[If a party subject to the continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of
the tribunal no longer resides in the issuing state, in
subsequent proceedings, the tribunal may apply section 7316
(relating to special rules of evidence and procedure) to receive
evidence from another state and section 7318 (relating to
assistance with discovery) to obtain discovery through a
tribunal of another state.
(c) Lack of jurisdiction.--A tribunal of this State which
lacks continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over a spousal support
order may not serve as a responding tribunal to modify a spousal
support order of another state.]
§ 7207. [Recognition] Determination of controlling child
support order.
(a) Single child support order.--If a proceeding is brought
under this part and only one tribunal has issued a child support
order, the order of that tribunal controls and must be so
recognized.
(a.1) Multiple orders.--If a proceeding is brought under
this part and two or more child support orders have been issued
by tribunals of this State [or], another state or a foreign
country with regard to the same obligor and same child, a
tribunal of this State having personal jurisdiction over both
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the obligor and the individual obligee shall apply the following
rules [in determining which order to recognize for purposes of
continuing, exclusive jurisdiction] and by order shall determine
which order controls and must be recognized:
(1) If only one of the tribunals would have continuing,
exclusive jurisdiction under this part, the order of that
tribunal controls [and must be so recognized].
(2) If more than one of the tribunals would have
continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this part, an order
issued by a tribunal in the current home state of the child
controls and must be so recognized, but, if an order has not
been issued in the current home state of the child, the order
most recently issued controls and must be so recognized.
(3) If none of the tribunals would have continuing,
exclusive jurisdiction under this part, the tribunal of this
State [having jurisdiction over the parties] shall issue a
child support order, which controls [and must be so
recognized].
(a.2) Request to determine controlling order.--If two or
more child support orders have been issued for the same obligor
and the same child [and if the obligor or the individual obligee
resides in this State], upon request of a party who is an
individual or which is a support enforcement agency [may
request] a tribunal of this State [to] having personal
jurisdiction over both the obligor and the obligee who is an
individual shall determine which order controls [and must be so
recognized] under subsection (a.1). The request may be filed
with a registration for enforcement or registration for
modification under Chapter 76 (relating to registration,
enforcement and modification of support order) or may be filed
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as a separate proceeding. The request to determine which is the
controlling order must be accompanied by a [certified] copy of
every child support order in effect and the applicable record of
payments. The requesting party shall give notice of the request
to each party whose rights may be affected by the determination.
(b) Exclusive jurisdiction.--The tribunal that issued the
controlling order under subsection (a), (a.1) or (a.2) is the
tribunal that has continuing[, exclusive] jurisdiction under
section 7205 (relating to continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to
modify a child support order) or 7206 (relating to continuing
jurisdiction to enforce child support orders).
(c) Basis of order.--A tribunal of this State which
determines by order the identity of the controlling order under
subsection (a.1)(1) or (2) or (a.2) or which issues a new
controlling order under subsection (a.1)(3) shall state all the
following in that order [the]:
(1) The basis upon which the tribunal made its
determination.
(2) The amount of prospective support, if any.
(3) The total amount of consolidated arrears and accrued
interest, if any, under all of the orders after all payments
made are credited under section 7209 (relating to credit for
payments).
(d) Filing of copy of order.--Within 30 days after issuance
of an order determining the identity of the controlling order,
the party obtaining the determining order shall file a certified
copy of it with each tribunal that issued or registered an
earlier order of child support. A party [who] or support
enforcement agency that obtains a determining order and fails to
file a certified copy is subject to appropriate sanctions by a
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tribunal in which the issue of failure to file arises. Failure
to file a copy of the determining order does not affect the
validity or enforceability of the controlling order.
(e) Recognition.--An order which has been determined to be
the controlling order or a judgment for consolidated arrears of
support and interest, if any, made under this section must be
recognized in proceedings under this part.
§ 7208. Multiple child support orders for two or more obligees.
In responding to [multiple] registrations or petitions for
enforcement of two or more child support orders in effect at the
same time with regard to the same obligor and different
individual obligees at least one of which was issued by a
tribunal of another state or a foreign country, a tribunal of
this State shall enforce those orders in the same manner as if
the multiple orders had been issued by a tribunal of this State.
§ 7209. Credit for payments.
Amounts collected and credited for a particular period
pursuant to a child support order issued by a tribunal of
another state or a foreign country must be credited against the
amounts accruing or accrued for the same period under a child
support order for the same child issued by the tribunal of this
State.
Section 10. Title 23 is amended by adding sections to read:
§ 7210. Application of part to nonresident subject to personal
jurisdiction.
A tribunal of this State exercising personal jurisdiction
over a nonresident in a proceeding under this part, under other
law of this State relating to a support order or recognizing a
foreign support order may receive evidence from outside this
State under section 7316 (relating to special rules of evidence
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and procedure), communicate with a tribunal outside this State
pursuant to section 7317 (relating to communications between
tribunals) and obtain discovery through a tribunal outside this
State under section 7318 (relating to assistance with
discovery). In all other respects, Chapter 71 (relating to
general provisions), 72 (relating to jurisdiction), 73 (relating
to civil provisions of general application), 74 (relating to
establishment of support order or determination of parentage),
75 (relating to enforcement of support order without
registration) or 76 (relating to registration, enforcement and
modification of support order) do not apply, and the tribunal
shall apply the procedural and substantive law of this State.
§ 7211. Continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify spousal
support order.
(a) Modification.--A tribunal of this State issuing a
spousal support order consistent with the law of this State has
continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify the spousal support
order throughout the existence of the support obligation.
(b) Prohibition.--A tribunal of this State may not modify a
spousal support order issued by a tribunal of another state or a
foreign country having continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over
that order under the law of that state or foreign country.
(c) Tribunal.--A tribunal of this State that has continuing,
exclusive jurisdiction over a spousal support order may serve
as:
(1) an initiating tribunal to request a tribunal of
another state to enforce the spousal support order issued in
this State; or
(2) a responding tribunal to enforce or modify the
spousal support order issued by the tribunal.
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Section 11. Sections 7301, 7304(b), 7305, 7307, 7308, 7310,
7311, 7312, 7313, 7316, 7317, 7318 and 7319 of Title 23 are
amended to read:
§ 7301. Proceedings under this part.
(a) Scope.--Except as otherwise provided in this part, this
Chapter applies to all proceedings under this part.
[(b) Proceedings.--This part provides for the following
proceedings:
(1) Establishment of an order for spousal support or
child support pursuant to Chapter 74 (relating to
establishment of support order).
(2) Enforcement of a support order and income-
withholding order of another state without registration
pursuant to Chapter 75 (relating to direct enforcement of
order of another state without registration).
(3) Registration of an order for spousal support or
child support of another state for enforcement pursuant to
Chapter 76 (relating to enforcement and modification of
support order after registration).
(4) Modification of an order for child support or
spousal support issued by a tribunal of this State pursuant
to Subchapter B of Chapter 72 (relating to proceedings
involving two or more states).
(5) Registration of an order for child support of
another state for modification pursuant to Chapter 76.
(6) Determination of parentage pursuant to Chapter 77
(relating to determination of parentage).
(7) Assertion of jurisdiction over nonresidents pursuant
to Subchapter A of Chapter 72 (relating to extended personal
jurisdiction).]
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(c) Commencement.--An individual petitioner or a support
enforcement agency may commence a proceeding authorized under
this part by filing a petition in an initiating tribunal for
forwarding to a responding tribunal or by filing a petition or a
comparable pleading directly in a tribunal of another state or
foreign country which has or can obtain personal jurisdiction
over the respondent.
§ 7304. Duties of initiating tribunal.
* * *
(b) Special circumstances.--
(1) If [a responding state has not enacted this part or
a law or procedure substantially similar to this part]
requested by the responding tribunal, a tribunal of this
State [may] shall issue a certificate or other document and
make findings required by the law of the responding state.
(2) If the responding [state is a foreign jurisdiction]
tribunal is in a foreign country, upon request, the tribunal
[may] of this State shall specify the amount of support
sought, convert that amount into the equivalent amount in the
foreign currency under applicable official or market exchange
rates as publicly reported and provide other documents
necessary to satisfy the requirements of the responding
[state] foreign tribunal.
§ 7305. Duties and powers of responding tribunal.
(a) Filing and notice.--If a responding tribunal of this
State receives a petition or comparable pleading from an
initiating tribunal or directly pursuant to section 7301(c)
(relating to proceedings under this part), it shall cause the
petition or pleading to be filed and notify the petitioner where
and when it was filed.
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(b) Action.--A responding tribunal of this State, to the
extent otherwise [authorized] not prohibited by law, may do any
of the following:
(1) [Issue] Establish or enforce a support order, modify
a child support order, determine the controlling child
support order or [render a judgment to] determine parentage
of a child.
(2) Order an obligor to comply with a support order,
specifying the amount and the manner of compliance.
(3) Order income withholding.
(4) Determine the amount of any arrearages and specify a
method of payment.
(5) Enforce orders by civil or criminal contempt, or
both.
(6) Set aside property for satisfaction of the support
order.
(7) Place liens and order execution on the obligor's
property.
(8) Order an obligor to keep the tribunal informed of
the obligor's current residential address, e-mail address,
telephone number, employer, address of employment and
telephone number at the place of employment.
(9) Issue a bench warrant for an obligor who has failed
after proper notice to appear at a hearing ordered by the
tribunal and enter the bench warrant in any state and local
computer systems for criminal warrants.
(10) Order the obligor to seek appropriate employment by
specified methods.
(11) Award reasonable attorney fees and other fees and
costs.
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(12) Grant any other available remedy.
(c) Calculations.--A responding tribunal of this State shall
include in a support order issued under this part or in the
documents accompanying the order the calculations on which the
support order is based.
(d) Visitation.--A responding tribunal of this State may not
condition the payment of a support order issued under this part
upon compliance by a party with provisions for visitation.
(e) Notice.--If a responding tribunal of this State issues
an order under this part, the tribunal shall send a copy of the
order to the petitioner and the respondent and to the initiating
agency or tribunal, if any.
(f) Foreign currency.--If requested to enforce a support
order, arrears or judgment or modify a support order stated in a
foreign currency, a responding tribunal of this State shall
convert the amount stated in the foreign currency to the
equivalent amount in dollars under the applicable official or
market exchange rate as publicly reported.
§ 7307. Duties of support enforcement agency.
(a) General duty.--[A support enforcement agency of this
State upon request shall provide services to a petitioner in a
proceeding under this part.] In a proceeding under this part, a
support enforcement agency of this State, upon request:
(1) Shall provide services to a petitioner residing in a
state.
(2) Shall provide services to a petitioner requesting
services through a central authority of a foreign country as
defined in paragraph (1) or (4) of the definition of "foreign
country" in section 7101.1 (relating to definitions).
(3) May provide services to a petitioner who is an
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individual not residing in a state.
(b) Specific duties.--A support enforcement agency that is
providing services to the petitioner [as appropriate] shall do
all of the following:
(1) Take all steps necessary to enable an appropriate
tribunal [in] of this State [or], another state or a foreign
country to obtain jurisdiction over the respondent.
(2) Request an appropriate tribunal to set a date, time
and place for a hearing.
(3) Make a reasonable effort to obtain relevant
information, including information as to income and property
of the parties.
(4) Within two days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and
legal holidays, after receipt of a [written] notice in a
record from an initiating, responding or registering
tribunal, send a copy of the notice to the petitioner.
(5) Within two days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and
legal holidays, after receipt of a [written] communication in
a record from the respondent or the respondent's attorney,
send a copy of the communication to the petitioner.
(6) Notify the petitioner if jurisdiction over the
respondent cannot be obtained.
(b.1) Registration.--A support enforcement agency of this
State that requests registration of a child support order in
this State for enforcement or for modification shall make
reasonable efforts to do one of the following:
(1) Ensure that the order to be registered is the
controlling order.
(2) If two or more child support orders exist and the
identity of the controlling order has not been determined,
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ensure that a request for a determination is made in a
tribunal having jurisdiction.
(b.2) Conversion.--A support enforcement agency of this
State that requests registration and enforcement of a support
order, arrears or judgment stated in a foreign currency shall
convert the amounts stated in the foreign currency into the
equivalent amounts in dollars under the applicable official or
market exchange rate as publicly reported.
(b.3) Payment.--A support enforcement agency of this State
shall request a tribunal of this State to issue a child support
order and an income withholding order that redirect payment of
current support, arrears and interest, if requested to do so by
a support enforcement agency of another state under section 7319
(relating to receipt and disbursement of payments).
(c) Fiduciaries.--This part does not create or negate a
relationship of attorney and client or other fiduciary
relationship between a support enforcement agency or the
attorney for the agency and the individual being assisted by the
agency.
§ 7308. Supervisory duty.
(a) Secretary.--If the secretary determines that a support
enforcement agency is neglecting or refusing to provide services
to an individual, the secretary may order the agency to perform
its duties under this part or may provide those services
directly to the individual.
(b) Reciprocity.--The secretary may determine that a foreign
country has established a reciprocal arrangement for child
support with this State and take appropriate action for
notification of the determination.
§ 7310. Duties of department.
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(a) Designation.--The department is the State information
agency under this part.
(b) Duties.--The department shall do all of the following:
(1) Compile and maintain a current list, including
addresses, of the tribunals in this State which have
jurisdiction under this part and any support enforcement
agencies in this State and transmit a copy to the state
information agency of every other state.
(2) Maintain a register of tribunals and support
enforcement agencies received from other states.
(3) Forward to the appropriate tribunal in the place in
this State in which the individual obligee or the obligor
resides, or in which the obligor's property is believed to be
located, documents concerning a proceeding under this part
received from [an initiating tribunal or the state
information agency of the initiating state] another state or
foreign country.
(4) Obtain information concerning the location of the
obligor and the obligor's property within this State not
exempt from execution by such means as postal verification;
Federal or State locator services; examination of telephone
directories; requests for the obligor's address from
employers; and examination of governmental records,
including, to the extent not prohibited by other law, those
relating to real property, vital statistics, law enforcement,
taxation, motor vehicles, driver's licenses and Social
Security.
[(5) Transmit to another state, electronically or by
another method, a request for assistance in a case involving
enforcement of a support order containing sufficient
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information to enable the state to which the request is
transmitted to compare the transmitted information to the
information of that state. The transmittal shall constitute a
certification of arrears and that the state has complied with
all procedural due process requirements applicable to the
case.
(6) A response to a request for assistance received from
another state under this part must be completed by the
responding Commonwealth tribunal. The response, which may be
transmitted electronically or by other methods, shall confirm
the receipt of the request, action taken, amount of support
collected and any additional information or action required
by the requesting tribunal to obtain enforcement of the child
support obligation.]
§ 7311. Pleadings and accompanying documents.
(a) Verification and content.--[A] In a proceeding under
this part, a petitioner seeking to establish [or modify] a
support order [or], to determine parentage [in a proceeding
under this part must verify the] of a child or to register and
modify a support order of a tribunal of another state or foreign
country must file a petition. Unless otherwise ordered under
section 7312 (relating to nondisclosure of information in
exceptional circumstances), the petition or accompanying
documents must provide, so far as known, the name, residential
address and Social Security number of the obligor and the
obligee or the parent and alleged parent and the name, sex,
residential address, Social Security number and date of birth of
each child for [whom] whose benefit support is sought or whose
parentage is to be determined. [The] Unless filed at the time of
registration, the petition must be accompanied by a [certified]
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copy of any support order [in effect] known to have been issued
by another tribunal. The petition may include any other
information that may assist in locating or identifying the
respondent.
(b) Relief.--The petition must specify the relief sought.
The petition and accompanying documents must conform
substantially with the requirements imposed by the forms
mandated by Federal law for use in cases filed by a support
enforcement agency.
§ 7312. Nondisclosure of information in exceptional
circumstances.
[Upon a finding, which may be made ex parte, that the health,
safety or liberty of a party or child would be unreasonably put
at risk by the disclosure of identifying information or if an
existing order so provides, a tribunal shall order that the
address of the child or party or other identifying information
not be disclosed in a pleading or other document filed in a
proceeding under this part.] If a party alleges in an affidavit
or a pleading under oath that the health, safety or liberty of a
party or child would be jeopardized by disclosure of the
specific identifying information, the specific identifying
information must be sealed and may not be disclosed to the other
party or the public. After a hearing in which the tribunal takes
into consideration the health, safety or liberty of the party or
child, the tribunal may order disclosure of information that the
tribunal determines to be in the interest of justice.
§ 7313. Costs and fees.
(a) Petitioner.--The petitioner may not be required to pay a
filing fee or other costs.
(b) Obligor.--If an obligee prevails, a responding tribunal
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of this State may assess against an obligor filing fees,
reasonable attorney fees, other costs and necessary travel and
other reasonable expenses incurred by the obligee and the
obligee's witnesses. The tribunal may not assess fees, costs or
expenses against the obligee or the support enforcement agency
of either the initiating state or the responding state or
foreign country except as provided by other law. Attorney fees
may be taxed as costs and may be ordered paid directly to the
attorney, who may enforce the order in the attorney's own name.
Payment of support owed to the obligee has priority over fees,
costs and expenses.
(c) Dilatory actions.--The tribunal shall order the payment
of costs and reasonable attorney fees if it determines that a
hearing was requested primarily for delay. In a proceeding under
Chapter 76 (relating to enforcement and modification of support
order after registration), a hearing is presumed to have been
requested primarily for delay if a registered support order is
confirmed or enforced without change.
§ 7316. Special rules of evidence and procedure.
(a) Physical presence.--The physical presence of [the
petitioner in a responding] a nonresident party who is an
individual in a tribunal of this State is not required for the
establishment, enforcement or modification of a support order or
the rendition of a judgment determining parentage of a child.
(b) Hearsay exception.--A [verified] petition, affidavit or
document, substantially complying with federally mandated forms,
and a document incorporated by reference in any of them, not
excluded under the hearsay rule if given in person, [is] are
admissible in evidence if given under [oath] penalty of perjury
by a party or witness residing [in another state] outside this
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State.
(c) Payment record.--A copy of the record of child support
payments certified as a true copy of the original by the
custodian of the record may be forwarded to a responding
tribunal. The copy is evidence of facts asserted in it and is
admissible to show whether payments were made.
(d) Bills.--Copies of bills for testing for parentage of a
child and for prenatal and postnatal health care of the mother
and child, furnished to the adverse party at least ten days
before trial, are admissible in evidence to prove the amount of
the charges billed and that the charges were reasonable,
necessary and customary.
(e) Transmission of documentary evidence.--Documentary
evidence transmitted from [another state] outside this State to
a tribunal of this State by telephone, telecopier or other
electronic means that do not provide an original [writing]
record may not be excluded from evidence on an objection based
on the means of transmission.
(f) Testimony.--In a proceeding under this part, a tribunal
of this State may permit a party or witness residing [in another
state] outside this State to be deposed or to testify under
penalty of perjury by telephone, audiovisual means or other
electronic means at a designated tribunal or other location [in
that state]. A tribunal of this State shall cooperate with [a
tribunal of another state] other tribunals in designating an
appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.
(g) Self-incrimination.--If a party called to testify at a
civil hearing refuses to answer on the ground that the testimony
may be self-incriminating, the trier of fact may draw an adverse
inference from the refusal.
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(h) Spousal communications.--A privilege against disclosure
of communications between spouses does not apply in a proceeding
under this part.
(i) Family immunity.--The defense of immunity based on the
relationship of husband and wife or parent and child does not
apply in a proceeding under this part.
(j) Parentage.--A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity,
certified as a true copy, is admissible to establish parentage
of the child.
§ 7317. Communications between tribunals.
A tribunal of this State may communicate with a tribunal [of
another state] outside this State in [writing] a record or by
telephone, e-mail or other means to obtain information
concerning the laws [of that state]; the legal effect of a
judgment, decree or order of that tribunal; and the status of a
proceeding [in the other state]. A tribunal of this State may
furnish similar information by similar means to a tribunal [of
another state] outside this State.
§ 7318. Assistance with discovery.
A tribunal of this State may do all of the following:
(1) Request a tribunal [of another state] outside this
State to assist in obtaining discovery.
(2) Upon request, compel a person [over whom it has]
subject to its jurisdiction to respond to a discovery order
issued by a tribunal [of another state] outside this State.
§ 7319. Receipt and disbursement of payments.
(a) Payments.--A support enforcement agency or tribunal of
this State shall disburse promptly any amounts received pursuant
to a support order, as directed by the order. The agency or
tribunal shall furnish to a requesting party or tribunal [of
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another state] outside this State or foreign country a certified
statement by the custodian of the record of the amounts and
dates of all payments received.
(b) Residency.--If the obligor, the obligee who is an
individual and the child do not reside in this State, upon
request from the support enforcement agency of this State or
another state, the support enforcement agency of this State or a
tribunal of this State shall do all the following:
(1) Direct that the support payment be made to the
support enforcement agency in the state in which the obligee
is receiving services.
(2) Issue and send to the obligor's employer a
conforming income-withholding order or an administrative
notice of change of payee, reflecting the redirected
payments.
(c) Certificated records.--The support enforcement agency of
this State receiving redirected payments from another state
under a law similar to subsection (b) shall furnish to a
requesting party or tribunal of the other state a certified
statement by the custodian of the record of the amount and dates
of all payments received.
Section 12. The heading of Chapter 74 of Title 23 is amended
to read:
CHAPTER 74
ESTABLISHMENT OF SUPPORT ORDER
OR DETERMINATION OF PARENTAGE
Section 13. Section 7401 of Title 23 is amended to read:
§ 7401. [Petition to establish] Establishment of support order.
(a) Jurisdiction.--If a support order entitled to
recognition under this part has not been issued, a responding
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tribunal of this State with personal jurisdiction over the
parties may issue a support order if any of the following apply:
(1) The individual seeking the order resides [in another
state] outside this State.
(2) The support enforcement agency seeking the order is
located [in another state] outside this State.
(b) Temporary orders.--The tribunal may issue a temporary
child support order if the tribunal determines that an order is
appropriate and the individual ordered to pay is any of the
following [apply:
(1) The respondent has signed a verified statement
acknowledging parentage.
(2) The respondent has been determined by or pursuant to
law to be the parent.
(3) There is other clear and convincing evidence that
the respondent is the child's parent.]:
(1) A presumed father of the child.
(2) Petitioning to have his paternity adjudicated.
(3) Identified as the father of the child through
genetic testing.
(4) An alleged father who has declined to submit to
genetic testing.
(5) Shown by clear and convincing evidence to be the
father of the child.
(6) An acknowledged father as provided by applicable
state law.
(7) The mother of the child.
(8) An individual who has been ordered to pay child
support in a previous proceeding and the order has not been
reversed or vacated.
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(c) Relief.--Upon finding, after notice and opportunity to
be heard, that an obligor owes a duty of support, the tribunal
shall issue a support order directed to the obligor and may
issue other orders pursuant to section 7305 (relating to duties
and powers of responding tribunal).
Section 14. Title 23 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 7402. Proceeding to determine parentage.
A tribunal of this State authorized to determine parentage of
a child may serve as a responding tribunal in a proceeding to
determine parentage of a child brought under this part or a law
or procedure substantially similar to this part.
Section 15. The heading of Chapter 75 of Title 23 is amended
to read:
CHAPTER 75
[DIRECT] ENFORCEMENT OF SUPPORT ORDER [OF ANOTHER STATE]
WITHOUT REGISTRATION
Section 16. Sections 7501, 7501.4, 7501.5 and 7502(a) of
Title 23 are amended to read:
§ 7501. Employer's receipt of income-withholding order of
another state.
An income-withholding order issued in another state may be
sent by or on behalf of the obligee, or by the support
enforcement agency, to the person or entity defined as the
obligor's employer under section 4302 (relating to definitions)
without first filing a petition or comparable pleading or
registering the order with a tribunal of this State.
§ 7501.4. Penalties for noncompliance.
An employer [who] that willfully fails to comply with an
income-withholding order issued [by a tribunal of] in another
state and received for enforcement is subject to the same
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penalties that may be imposed for noncompliance with an order
issued by a tribunal of this State.
§ 7501.5. Contest by obligor.
An obligor may contest the validity or enforcement of an
income-withholding order issued in another state and received
directly by an employer in this State [in the same manner as if
the order had been issued] by registering the order in a
tribunal of this State and filing a contest to that order as
provided in Chapter 76 (relating to registration, enforcement
and modification of support order) or otherwise contesting the
order in the same manner as if the order had been issued by a
tribunal of this State. [Section 7604 (relating to choice of
law) applies to such a contest.] The obligor shall give notice
of the contest to:
(1) a support enforcement agency providing services to
the obligee;
(2) each employer that has directly received an income-
withholding order relating to the obligor; and
(3) the person or agency designated to receive payments
in the income-withholding order or, if no person or agency is
designated, to the obligee.
§ 7502. Administrative enforcement of orders.
(a) Initiation.--A party or support enforcement agency
seeking to enforce a support order or an income-withholding
order, or both, issued [by a tribunal of] in another state or a
support order issued by a foreign country may send the documents
required for registering the order to a support enforcement
agency of this State.
* * *
Section 17. The heading of Chapter 76 of Title 23 is amended
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to read:
CHAPTER 76
REGISTRATION, ENFORCEMENT AND MODIFICATION
OF SUPPORT ORDER [AFTER REGISTRATION]
Section 18. The heading of Subchapter A of Chapter 76 of
Title 23 is amended to read:
SUBCHAPTER A
REGISTRATION [AND] FOR ENFORCEMENT
OF SUPPORT ORDER
Section 19. Sections 7601, 7602, 7603, 7604, 7605, 7606,
7607 and 7608 of Title 23 are amended to read:
§ 7601. Registration of order for enforcement.
A support order or an income-withholding order issued [by a
tribunal of] in another state or a foreign support order may be
registered in this State for enforcement.
§ 7602. Procedure to register order for enforcement.
(a) General rule.--[A] Except as otherwise provided in
section 77A06 (relating to registration of convention support
order), a support order or income-withholding order of another
state or a foreign support order may be registered in this State
by sending all of the following [documents and information]
records to the appropriate tribunal in this State:
(1) A letter of transmittal to the tribunal requesting
registration and enforcement.
(2) Two copies, including one certified copy, of the
order to be registered, including any modification of the
order.
(3) A sworn statement by the [party seeking] person
requesting registration or a certified statement by the
custodian of the records showing the amount of any arrearage.
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(4) The name of the obligor and, if known:
(i) the obligor's address and Social Security
number;
(ii) the name and address of the obligor's employer
and any other source of income of the obligor; and
(iii) a description and the location of property of
the obligor in this State not exempt from execution.
(5) [The] Except as set forth in section 7312 (relating
to nondisclosure of information in exceptional
circumstances), the name and address of the obligee and, if
applicable, the agency or person to whom support payments are
to be remitted.
(b) Docketing.--On receipt of a request for registration,
the registering tribunal shall file the order as [a foreign
judgment] an order of a tribunal of another state or a foreign
support order, together with one copy of the documents and
information, regardless of their form.
(c) Simultaneous relief.--A petition or comparable pleading
seeking a remedy that must be affirmatively sought under other
law of this State may be filed at the same time as the request
for registration or later. The pleading must specify the grounds
for the remedy sought.
(d) Multiple orders.--If two or more orders are in effect,
the person requesting registration shall do all of the
following:
(1) Furnish to the tribunal a copy of every support
order asserted to be in effect in addition to the documents
specified in this section.
(2) Specify the order alleged to be the controlling
order, if any.
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(3) Specify the amount of consolidated arrears, if any.
(e) Request for determination.--A request for a
determination of which is the controlling order may be filed
separately or with a request for registration and enforcement or
for registration and modification. The person requesting
registration shall give notice of the request to each party
whose rights may be affected by the determination.
§ 7603. Effect of registration for enforcement.
(a) Procedure.--A support order or income-withholding order
issued in another state or a foreign support order is registered
when the order is filed in the registering tribunal of this
State.
(b) Enforcement.--A registered support order issued in
another state or a foreign county is enforceable in the same
manner and is subject to the same procedures as an order issued
by a tribunal of this State.
(c) Faith and credit.--Except as otherwise provided in this
Chapter, a tribunal of this State shall recognize and enforce
but may not modify a registered support order if the issuing
tribunal had jurisdiction.
§ 7604. Choice of law.
(a) General rule.--[The] Subject to subsection (d), the law
of the issuing state or foreign country governs the following:
(1) The nature, extent, amount and duration of current
payments [and other obligations of support and the] under a
registered support order.
(2) The computation and payment of arrearages and
accrual of interest on the arrearages under the support
order.
(3) The existence and satisfaction of other obligations
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under the support order.
(b) Proceeding for arrearages.--In a proceeding for
arrearages under a registered support order, the statute of
limitation under the laws of this State or of the issuing state
or foreign country, whichever is longer, applies.
(c) Procedures and remedies.--A responding tribunal of this
State shall apply the procedures and remedies of this State to
enforce current support and collect arrearages and interest due
on a support order of another state or a foreign country
registered in this State.
(d) Controlling order.--After a tribunal of this State or
another state determines which is the controlling order and
issues an order consolidating arrearages, if any, a tribunal of
this State shall prospectively apply the law of the state or
foreign country issuing the controlling order, including the law
on interest on arrearages, on current and future support and on
consolidated arrearages.
§ 7605. Notice of registration of order.
(a) Requirement.--When a support order or income-withholding
order issued in another state or a foreign support order is
registered, the registering tribunal of this State shall notify
the nonregistering party. The notice must be accompanied by a
copy of the registered order and the documents and relevant
information accompanying the order.
(b) Contents.--The notice must inform the nonregistering
party of all of the following:
(1) That a registered support order is enforceable as of
the date of registration in the same manner as an order
issued by a tribunal of this State.
(2) That a hearing to contest the validity or
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enforcement of the registered order must be requested within
20 days after [the date of mailing or personal service of
the] notice unless the registered order is under section
77A07 (relating to contest of registered convention support
order).
(3) That failure to contest the validity or enforcement
of the registered order in a timely manner will result in
confirmation of the order and enforcement of the order and
the alleged arrearages [and will preclude further contest of
that order with respect to any matter that could have been
asserted].
(4) The amount of any alleged arrearages.
(b.1) Multiple orders.--If the registering party asserts
that two or more orders are in effect, a notice must also do all
the following:
(1) Identify the two or more orders and order alleged by
the registering party to be the controlling order and the
consolidated arrearages, if any.
(2) Notify the nonregistering party of the right to a
determination of which is the controlling order.
(3) State that the procedure under subsection (b)
applies to the determination of which is the controlling
order.
(4) State that the failure to contest the validity or
enforcement of the order alleged to be the controlling order
in a timely manner may result in confirmation that the order
is the controlling order.
(c) Employer.--Upon registration of an income-withholding
order for enforcement, the support enforcement agency or the
registering tribunal shall notify the obligor's employer
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pursuant to section 4348 (relating to attachment of income).
§ 7606. Procedure to contest validity or enforcement of
registered support order.
(a) Action.--A nonregistering party seeking to contest the
validity or enforcement of a registered support order in this
State must request a hearing within [20 days after the date of
mailing or personal service of notice of the registration] the
time required under section 7605 (relating to notice of
registration of order). The nonregistering party may seek to
vacate the registration, to assert any defense to an allegation
of noncompliance with the registered order or to contest the
remedies being sought or the amount of any alleged arrearages
pursuant to section 7607 (relating to contest of registration or
enforcement).
(b) Inaction.--If the nonregistering party fails to contest
the validity or enforcement of the registered support order in a
timely manner, the order is confirmed by operation of law.
(c) Hearing.--If a nonregistering party requests a hearing
to contest the validity or enforcement of the registered support
order, the registering tribunal shall schedule the matter for
hearing and give notice to the parties of the date, time and
place of the hearing.
§ 7607. Contest of registration or enforcement.
(a) Defenses.--A party contesting the validity or
enforcement of a registered support order or seeking to vacate
the registration has the burden of proving any of the following
defenses:
(1) The issuing tribunal lacked personal jurisdiction
over the contesting party.
(2) The order was obtained by fraud.
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(3) The order has been vacated, suspended or modified by
a later order.
(4) The issuing tribunal has stayed the order pending
appeal.
(5) There is a defense under the law of this State to
the remedy sought.
(6) Full or partial payment has been made.
(7) The statute of limitation under section 7604
(relating to choice of law) precludes enforcement of some or
all of the arrearages.
(8) The alleged controlling order is not the controlling
order.
(b) Relief.--If a party presents evidence establishing a
full or partial defense under subsection (a), a tribunal may
stay enforcement of [the] a registered support order, continue
the proceeding to permit production of additional relevant
evidence and issue other appropriate orders. An uncontested
portion of the registered support order may be enforced by all
remedies available under the law of this State.
(c) Affirmance.--If the contesting party does not establish
a defense under subsection (a) to the validity or enforcement of
[the] a registered support order, the registering tribunal shall
issue an order confirming the order.
§ 7608. Confirmed order.
Confirmation of a registered support order, whether by
operation of law or after notice and hearing, precludes further
contest of the order with respect to any matter that could have
been asserted at the time of registration.
Section 20. The heading of Subchapter C of Chapter 76 of
Title 23 is amended to read:
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SUBCHAPTER C
REGISTRATION AND MODIFICATION OF CHILD
SUPPORT ORDER OF ANOTHER STATE
Section 21. Sections 7609, 7610, 7611, 7612 and 7613 of
Title 23 are amended to read:
§ 7609. Procedure to register child support order of another
state for modification.
A party or support enforcement agency seeking to modify or to
modify and enforce a child support order issued in another state
must register that order in this State in the same manner
provided in Subchapter A (relating to registration [and] for
enforcement of support order) or B (relating to contest of
validity or enforcement) if the order has not been registered. A
petition for modification may be filed at the same time as a
request for registration or later. The pleading must specify the
grounds for modification.
§ 7610. Effect of registration for modification.
A tribunal of this State may enforce a child support order of
another state registered for purposes of modification in the
same manner as if the order had been issued by a tribunal of
this State, but the registered support order may be modified
only if the requirements of section 7611 (relating to
modification of child support order of another state) or 7613
(relating to jurisdiction to modify child support order of
another state when individual parties reside in this State) have
been met.
§ 7611. Modification of child support order of another state.
(a) Authority.--After a child support order issued in
another state has been registered in this State, the responding
tribunal of this State may modify that order, upon petition,
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only if section 7613 (relating to jurisdiction to modify child
support order of another state when individual parties reside in
this State) does not apply and after notice and hearing it finds
[that] one of the following:
(1) The following requirements are met:
(i) the child, the individual obligee and the
obligor do not reside in the issuing state;
(ii) a petitioner who is a nonresident of this State
seeks modification; and
(iii) the respondent is subject to the personal
jurisdiction of the tribunal of this State.
(2) [The] This State is the residence of the child, or a
party who is an individual[,] is subject to the personal
jurisdiction of the tribunal of this State; and all of the
parties who are individuals have filed [written] consents in
a record in the issuing tribunal for a tribunal of this State
to modify the support order and assume continuing, exclusive
jurisdiction over the order. [If the issuing state is a
foreign jurisdiction which has not enacted a law or
established procedures substantially similar to procedures
under this part, the consent otherwise required of an
individual residing in this State is not required for the
tribunal to assume jurisdiction to modify the child support
order.]
(b) General rule.--Modification of a registered child
support order is subject to the same requirements, procedures
and defenses that apply to the modification of an order issued
by a tribunal of this State, and the order may be enforced and
satisfied in the same manner.
(c) Restriction.--A tribunal of this State may not modify
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any aspect of a child support order that may not be modified
under the law of the issuing state, including the duration of
the obligation of support. If two or more tribunals have issued
child support orders for the same obligor and child, the order
that controls and must be so recognized under section 7207
(relating to recognition of controlling child support order)
establishes the aspects of the support order which are not
modifiable.
(c.1) Modification.--In a proceeding to modify a child
support order, the law of the state that is determined to have
issued the initial controlling order governs the duration of the
obligation of support. The obligor's fulfillment of the duty of
support established by that order precludes imposition of a
further obligation of support by a tribunal of this State.
(d) Continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.--On issuance of an
order by a tribunal of this State modifying a child support
order issued in another state, a tribunal of this State becomes
the tribunal of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.
(f) Retained jurisdiction.--Notwithstanding subsection (a),
(b), (c) or (d) or section 7201(b) (relating to bases for
jurisdiction over nonresident), a tribunal of this State retains
jurisdiction to modify an order issued by a tribunal of this
State if the following are met:
(1) One party resides in another state.
(2) The other party resides outside the United States.
§ 7612. Recognition of order modified in another state.
[A tribunal of this State shall recognize a modification of
its earlier child support order by a tribunal of another state
which assumed jurisdiction pursuant to a law substantially
similar to this part and, upon request, except as otherwise
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provided in this part, shall do all of the following:] If a
child support order issued by a tribunal of this State is
modified by a tribunal of another state which assumed
jurisdiction under A LAW SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO this part, all
of the following is available to a tribunal of this State:
(1) [Enforce] A tribunal may enforce the order that was
modified only as to [amounts] arrears and interest accruing
before the modification.
[(2) Enforce only nonmodifiable aspects of that order.]
(3) [Provide other] A tribunal may provide appropriate
relief [only] for violations of that order which occurred
before the effective date of the modification.
(4) [Recognize] A tribunal shall recognize the modifying
order of the other state upon registration for the purpose of
enforcement.
§ 7613. Jurisdiction to modify child support order of another
state when individual parties reside in this State.
(a) General rule.--If all of the parties who are individuals
reside in this State and the child does not reside in the
issuing state, a tribunal of this State has jurisdiction to
enforce and to modify the issuing state's child support order in
a proceeding to register that order.
(b) Applicable law.--A tribunal of this State exercising
jurisdiction under this section shall apply the provisions of
Chapters 71 (relating to general provisions) and 72 (relating to
jurisdiction), this Chapter and the procedural and substantive
law of this State to the proceeding for enforcement or
modification. Chapters 73 (relating to civil provisions of
general application), 74 (relating to establishment of support
order or determination of parentage), 75 (relating to [direct]
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enforcement of support order [of another state] without
registration), [77 (relating to determination of parentage)] 77A
(relating to support proceeding under convention) and 78
(relating to interstate rendition) do not apply.
Section 22. Chapter 76 of Title 23 is amended by adding a
subchapter to read:
SUBCHAPTER D
REGISTRATION AND MODIFICATION
OF FOREIGN CHILD SUPPORT ORDER
Sec.
7615. Jurisdiction to modify a child support order of a foreign
country.
7616. Procedure to register a child support order of a foreign
country for modification.
§ 7615. Jurisdiction to modify a child support order of a
foreign country.
(a) Jurisdiction.--Except as otherwise provided under
section 77A11 (relating to modification of convention child
support order), if a foreign country lacks or refuses to
exercise jurisdiction to modify a child support order issued by
the foreign country under the foreign country's laws, a tribunal
of this State may assume jurisdiction to modify the child
support order and bind all individuals subject to the personal
jurisdiction of the tribunal whether the consent to modification
of a child support order otherwise required of the individual
under section 7611 (relating to modification of child support
order of another state) has been given or whether the individual
seeking modification is a resident of this State or of a foreign
country.
(b) Controlling order.--An order issued by a tribunal of
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this State modifying a foreign child support order under this
section is the controlling order.
§ 7616. Procedure to register a child support order of a
foreign country for modification.
A party or support enforcement agency seeking to modify or to
modify and enforce a foreign child support order not under the
convention may register that order in this State under
Subchapter A (relating to registration and enforcement of
support order) or B (relating to contest of validity or
enforcement) if the order has not been registered. A petition
for modification may be filed at the same time as a request for
registration or at another time. The petition must specify the
grounds for modification.
Section 23. Chapter 77 of Title 23 is repealed:
[CHAPTER 77
DETERMINATION OF PARENTAGE
§ 7701. Proceeding to determine parentage.
(a) Jurisdiction.--A tribunal of this State may serve as an
initiating or responding tribunal in a proceeding brought under
this part or a law substantially similar to this part, the
Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act or the Revised
Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act to determine that
the petitioner is a parent of a particular child or to determine
that a respondent is a parent of that child.
(b) Choice of law.--In a proceeding to determine parentage,
a responding tribunal of this State shall apply the procedural
and substantive law of this State and the rules of this State on
choice of law.]
Section 24. Title 23 is amended by adding a chapter to read:
CHAPTER 77A
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SUPPORT PROCEEDING UNDER CONVENTION
Sec.
77A01. Definitions.
77A02. Applicability.
77A03. Relationship of department to United States central
authority.
77A04. Initiation by department of support proceeding under
convention.
77A05. Direct request.
77A06. Registration of convention support order.
77A07. Contest of registered convention support order.
77A08. Recognition and enforcement of registered convention
support order.
77A09. Partial enforcement.
77A10. Foreign support agreement.
77A11. Modification of convention child support order.
77A12. Personal information.