Skip to Content

General Laws

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.

Error