Registering a Foreign Child Support Order in Massachusetts

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Registering a child support order that was obtained in another state or even in another country is accomplished in Massachusetts by following the procedure outlined in M.G.L. c. 209D. Otherwise known as the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act ("UIFSA"), this statutory scheme allows petitioners to register and enforce child support orders here in Massachusetts even though they were obtained in another state or country.

The procedure to be followed under UIFSA is fairly straightforward. A petitioner needs only to send the following documents to the appropriate court in the Commonwealth: (1) a letter of transmittal to the court requesting registration and enforcement; (2) two copies, including one certified copy, of the Order to be registered; (3) a sworn statement by the party seeking registration of the amount in arrearage; (4) the name of the obligor, and, if known, his address, social security number, the name and address of his employer, and the description of any property he might have; and, finally, (5) the name and address of the person to whom payment is due.

Once a petitioner has submitted that paperwork to the appropriate court, the court will register and file the order as a foreign judgment. At this point, the respondent has 20 days to object to the validity of the foreign judgment. It should also be noted that Complaints for Modification, Contempt, or any other actions relating to a child support judgment as permitted by law may be filed simultaneously with the petition to register.

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