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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 2-207: Recognition of child support orders

[ Text of section effective until March 31, 2016. For text effective March 31, 2016, see below.]

  Section 2-207. (a) If a proceeding is brought under this chapter and only one tribunal has issued a child support order, the order of that tribunal shall control and shall be so recognized.

  (b) If a proceeding is brought under this chapter and two or more child support orders have been issued by tribunals of the commonwealth or another state or by tribunals of more than one jurisdiction with regard to the same obligor and child, a tribunal of the commonwealth shall apply the following rules in determining which order to recognize for purposes of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction:

  (1) if only one of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this chapter, the order of such tribunal shall control and shall be so recognized.

  (2) if more than one of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this chapter, an order issued by a tribunal in the current home state of the child shall control and shall be so recognized; provided, however, that if an order has not been issued in the current home state of the child, the order most recently issued shall control and shall be so recognized.

  (3) if none of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this chapter, the tribunal of the commonwealth having jurisdiction over the parties shall issue a child support order which shall control and shall be so recognized.

  (c) If two or more child support orders have been issued for the same obligor and child and if the obligor or the individual obligee resides in the commonwealth, a party may request a tribunal of the commonwealth to determine which order shall control and shall be so recognized under subsection (b). The request shall be accompanied by a certified copy of every support order in effect. The requesting party shall give notice of the request to each party whose rights may be affected by the determination.

  (d) The tribunal that issued the controlling order under subsection (a), (b) or (c) shall be the tribunal that has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under section 2-205.

  (e) A tribunal of the commonwealth which determines by order the identity of the controlling order under clause (1) or (2) of subsection (b) or which issues a new controlling order under clause (3) of said subsection (b) shall state in such order the basis upon which the tribunal made its determination.

  (f) Within 30 days after issuance of an order determining the identity of the controlling order, the party obtaining the order shall file a certified copy of it with each tribunal that issued or registered an earlier order of child support. A party who obtains the order and fails to file a certified copy shall be subject to appropriate sanctions by a tribunal in which the issue of failure to file arises. The failure to file shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the controlling order.

  (g) Any action pursuant to former chapter 273A that is pending or was previously adjudicated in the district court or the Boston municipal court department may be transferred to the probate and family court department by any party or by the IV-D agency as set forth in chapter 119A. An action shall be transferred upon the filing of the following documents with the probate and family court: (1) a copy of the petition, if any, and accompanying documents; (2) a copy of the order of the district court or Boston municipal court, if any; (3) a copy of the findings of the court, if any; (4) a copy of the financial statements submitted by the parties, if any; (5) a copy of the worksheet used to calculate the amount of the child support order pursuant to the child support guidelines, if any; and (6) a copy of the docket maintained by the district court or the Boston municipal court, if any. Once transferred, the order of the district court or the Boston municipal court shall have the same force and effect and shall be subject to the same procedures and defenses as an order of the probate and family court and may be enforced or modified in the same manner available to enforce or modify any judgment or order of the probate and family court. Upon transfer, the provisions of this chapter shall apply. Transfer of an order pursuant to this section shall not limit the use of any enforcement remedy, whether judicial or administrative, that may be available and the probate and family court shall preserve all arrears that have accrued pursuant to the order of the district or Boston municipal court departments.

Chapter 209D: Section 2-207. Determination of controlling child support order

[ Text of section as recodified by 2016, 53, Sec. 1 effective March 31, 2016 applicable as provided by 2016, 53, Sec. 2. See 2016, 53, Sec. 3. For text effective until March 31, 2016, see above.]

  Section 2-207. Determination of controlling child support order. (a) If a proceeding is brought under this chapter and only 1 tribunal has issued a child support order, the order of that tribunal controls and must be recognized.

  (b) If a proceeding is brought under this chapter and 2 or more child support orders have been issued by tribunals of the commonwealth, another state or a foreign country with regard to the same obligor and same child, a tribunal of the commonwealth having personal jurisdiction over both the obligor and individual obligee shall apply the following rules and by order shall determine which order controls and must be recognized:

  (1) If only 1 of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this chapter, the order of that tribunal controls.

  (2) If more than 1 of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this chapter:

  (i) an order issued by a tribunal in the current home state of the child controls; or

  (ii) if an order has not been issued in the current home state of the child, the order most recently issued controls.

  (3) If none of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this chapter, the tribunal of the commonwealth shall issue a child support order, which controls.

  (c) If 2 or more child support orders have been issued for the same obligor and same child, upon request of a party who is an individual or that is a support enforcement agency, a tribunal of the commonwealth having personal jurisdiction over both the obligor and the obligee who is an individual shall determine which order controls under subsection (b). The request may be filed with a registration for enforcement or registration for modification pursuant to Article 6 or may be filed as a separate proceeding.

  (d) A request to determine which is the controlling order must be accompanied by a 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.

  (e) The tribunal that issued the controlling order under subsection (a), (b) or (c) has continuing jurisdiction to the extent provided in section 2-205 or 2-206.

  (f) A tribunal of the commonwealth that determines by order which is the controlling order under subsection (b)(1) or (2) or (c) or that issues a new controlling order under subsection (b)(3), shall state in that order:

  (1) the basis upon which the tribunal made its determination;

  (2) the amount of prospective support, if any; and

  (3) the total amount of consolidated arrears and accrued interest, if any, under all of the orders after all payments made are credited as provided by section 2-209.

  (g) Within 30 days after issuance of an order determining which is the controlling order, the party obtaining the order shall file a certified copy of it in each tribunal that issued or registered an earlier order of child support. A party or support enforcement agency obtaining the order that fails to file a certified copy is subject to appropriate sanctions by a tribunal in which the issue of failure to file arises. The failure to file does not affect the validity or enforceability of the controlling order.

  (h) An order that has been determined to be the controlling order, or a judgment for consolidated arrears of support and interest, if any, made pursuant to this section must be recognized in proceedings under this chapter.