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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 3-305: Duties and powers of responding tribunal

Section 3–305. Duties and powers of responding tribunal.

(a) When a responding tribunal of the commonwealth receives a petition or comparable pleading from an initiating tribunal or directly pursuant to section 3–301 (b), it shall cause the petition or pleading to be filed and notify the petitioner where and when it was filed.

(b) A responding tribunal of the commonwealth, to the extent not prohibited by other law, may do 1 or more of the following:

(1) establish or enforce a support order, modify a child support order, determine the controlling child support order or 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, electronic mail address, telephone number, employer, address of employment and telephone number at the place of employment;

(9) issue a capias or a bench warrant for an obligor who has failed after proper notice to appear at a hearing ordered by the tribunal and enter the capias or the bench warrant in any local and state computer systems for criminal warrants;

(10) order the obligor to seek appropriate employment by specified methods;

(11) award reasonable attorney's fees and other fees and costs; and

(12) grant any other available remedy.

(c) A responding tribunal of the commonwealth shall include in a support order issued under this chapter, or in the documents accompanying the order, the calculations on which the support order is based.

(d) A responding tribunal of the commonwealth may not condition the payment of a support order issued under this chapter upon compliance by a party with provisions for visitation.

(e) If a responding tribunal of the commonwealth issues an order under this chapter, the tribunal shall send a copy of the order to the petitioner and the respondent and to the initiating tribunal, if any.

(f) If requested to enforce a support order, arrears or judgment or modify a support order stated in a foreign currency, a responding tribunal of the commonwealth 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.