AN ACT TO AMEND THE UNIFORM INTERSTATE FAMILY SUPPORT ACT (UIFSA).
Amends GS 52C-1-101 to provide that the defined terms apply throughout GS Chapter 52C (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) and not just Article 1 of the Chapter (General Provisions). Adds and defines convention, Department, foreign country, foreign support order, foreign tribunal, issuing foreign country, outside the state, person, and record. Amends the following terms to include reference to a foreign country: child support order, home state, initiating tribunal (which is also amended to encompass the term initiating state), and obligee. Amends the following terms: income-withholding order, obligee, registering tribunal, responding state, support enforcement agency, support order, and tribunal. Makes additional clarifying and technical changes to the definitions.
Amends GS 52C-1-102 to clarify that the General Court of Justice, District Court Division, is the tribunal of the state and adds that the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Social Services (Department) and the county support agencies are the state's support enforcement agencies.
Amends GS 52C-1-103 to provide that the remedies provided under the Chapter do not affect the recognition of a foreign support order on the basis of comity. Adds that the Chapter 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 Chapter.
Enacts new GS 52C-1-104 to require a tribunal of the state to apply Articles 1 through 6, as applicable, and Article 7 to support proceedings involving a foreign support order; a foreign tribunal; or an obligee, obligor, or child residing in a foreign country. Specifies the applicability of those chapters is specified circumstances.
Amends GS 52C-2-201 to allow a tribunal of the state to exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident in a proceeding to establish or enforce (was, establish, enforce, or modify) a support order or to determine parentage if the specified conditions are met. Modifies those conditions to no longer require the individual to have asserted paternity in an affidavit with the superior court. Adds that the bases of personal jurisdiction may not be used to acquire personal jurisdiction for a tribunal of the state to modify a child support order of another state unless the requirements of GS 52C‑6‑611 (modifications of child support order of another state) are met, or, in the case of a foreign support order, unless the requirements of new GS 52C‑6‑615 (jurisdiction to modify child support order of foreign country) are met.
Amends GS 52C-2-202 by deleting the current content of the statute and providing instead that personal jurisdiction acquired by a tribunal of this state in a proceeding under this Chapter 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 its order or continuing jurisdiction to enforce its order.
Amends GS 52C-2-203 and GS 52C-2-204 to include foreign countries as they relate to the statute.
Amends GS 52C-2-205 to provide that a tribunal of this state that has issued a child support order consistent with state law has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify its child support order if the order is the controlling order and: (1) at the time of the filing of a request for modification, this state is the residence of the obligor, the individual obligee, or the child for whose benefit the support order is issued or (2) 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 consent in a record or in open court that the tribunal of this state may continue to exercise jurisdiction to modify its order. Provides that a tribunal of this state that has issued a child support order consistent with the law of this state may not exercise continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify the order if: (1) all of the parties who are individuals file consent in a record with the tribunal 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 that order and assume continuing, exclusive jurisdiction; or (2) its order is not the controlling order. Provides that if a tribunal of another state has issued a child support order under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act or a substantially similar law that modifies a child support order of a tribunal of this state, tribunals of this state must recognize the continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of the tribunal of the other state. Adds that a tribunal of this state that does not have 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.
Amends GS 52C-2-206 to allow a tribunal of this state that has issued a child support order to serve as an initiating tribunal to request a tribunal of another state to enforce: (1) the order if the order is the controlling order and has not been modified by a tribunal of another state that assumed jurisdiction or (2) a money judgment for arrears of support and interest on the order accrued before a determination that an order of a tribunal of another state is the controlling order. Makes conforming and clarifying changes.
Amends GS 52C-2-207 to amend the information that must be included in a request to determine which order controls when multiple child support orders have been issued for the same obligor and child. Amends the information that must be included in the order when the tribunal determines which order controls or issues a new controlling order. Requires that an order that has been determined to be the controlling order or a judgment for consolidated arrears of support and inters made under the statute must be recognized in proceedings under this Chapter. Makes additional conforming and clarifying changes.
Amends GS 52C-2-209 to require a tribunal of the state to credit amounts collected for a particular period under a child support order against the amounts owed for the same period under any other child support order for support of the same child that was issued by a tribunal of this state, another state, or a foreign country.
Enacts new GS 52C-2-210 to set out powers a tribunal of this state has when exercising personal jurisdiction over a nonresident in a proceeding under the Chapter, under other laws of this state relating to a support order, or recognizing a foreign support order.
Enacts new GS 52C-2-211 giving a tribunal of this state issuing a spousal support order continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify the order throughout the existence of the obligation; prohibiting the tribunal from modifying a spousal support order issued by another state or foreign country with exclusive jurisdiction over that order; and setting out powers of a tribunal with continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over a spousal support order.
Amends GS 52C-3-304 to no longer require an initiating tribunal to provide three copies of the petition. Further amends the duties of an initiating tribunal.
Amends GS 52C-3-305 to modify the powers of a responding tribunal of this state to allow determining the controlling child support order and allows ordering an obligor to keep the tribunal informed of the obligor's current email address. Adds the requirement that a responding tribunal, if requested to enforce a support order, arrears, or judgment or modify a support order stated in a foreign currency, to convert the amount to dollars.
Amends GS 52C-3-307 to require a support enforcement agency, upon request, to provide services to a petitioner requesting services through a central authority of a foreign country. Also allows a support enforcement agency to provide services to a petitioner who does not live in the state. Requires a support enforcement agency requesting registration of a child support order in this state for enforcement or for modification to make reasonable efforts to: (1) ensure that the order to be registered is the controlling order or (2) if two or more child support orders exist and the identity of the controlling order has not been determined, ensure that a request for such a determination is made. Requires a support enforcement agency requesting registration and enforcement of a support order, arrears, or judgment stated in a foreign currency to convert the amounts to dollars. Requires a support enforcement agency of this state to 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 by a support enforcement agency of another state. Makes additional conforming and clarifying changes.
Amends GS 52C-3-308 by deleting the current provisions stating the district attorney's duty. Adds that the Department may order the agency to perform its duties or may provide those services directly if the Department determines that the support enforcement agency is neglecting or refusing to provide services. Allows the Department to 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.
Amends GS 52C-3-309 to clarify the Department's duties as the state information agency under the Chapter.
Amends GS 52C-3-310 to make clarifying changes and include reference to orders from another state or foreign country.
Amends GS 52C-3-311 to amend the procedure for protecting identifying information of a child. Allows the tribunal to order disclosure of information that the tribunal determines to be in the best interest of justice after a hearing that takes into consideration the party's or child's health, safety, or liberty.
Amends GS 52C-3-315 to require (was, allow) a tribunal of the state to permit a party or witness residing outside of the state to be deposed or testify by phone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means. Adds that a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, certified as a true copy, is admissible to establish parentage. Makes additional clarifying and conforming changes.
Amends GS 52C-3-316 to allow communication between tribunals via email.
Amends GS 52C-3-318 to specify duties of the support enforcement agency or tribunal of this state when neither the obligor, the obligee, nor the child reside in the state. Requires the support enforcement agency of this state receiving redirected payments from another state to give 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.
Makes additional clarifying, technical, and organizational changes to Article 3 of the Chapter.
Amends GS 52C-4-401 to modify the circumstances under which a tribunal may issue a temporary child support order.
Enacts new GS 52C-4-402 allowing a tribunal of this state authorized to determine parentage of a child to serve as a responding tribunal in a proceeding to determine parentage of a child.
Amends GS 52C-5-501 to allow an income withholding order issued in another state to be sent by or on behalf of the obligee, or by the support enforcement agency, to the obligor's employer or payor without first filing a petition or registering the order with a tribunal. Deletes the provisions concerning obligors receiving unemployment.
Amends GS 52C-5-506 by specifying how 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. Makes other clarifying changes.
Amends GS 52C-6-602 to set out actions a person requesting registration of an order of enforcement must take when there are two or more orders in effect. Allows a request for a determination of which order is controlling to be filed separately or with a request for registration and enforcement or for registration and modification. Makes conforming and clarifying changes.
Amends GS 52C-6-604 to provide that the law of the issuing state or county governs the existence and satisfaction of other obligations under the support order. Requires a responding tribunal of this state to apply this state's procedures and remedies to enforce current support and collect arrears and interest due on a support order of another state or a foreign country registered in this state. Adds that after a tribunal of this state or another state determines which is the controlling order and issues an order consolidating arrears, a tribunal of this state must prospectively apply the law of the state or foreign country issuing the controlling order on current and future support and on consolidated arrears.
Amends GS 52C-6-605 to set out notice requirements for the registration of an order when the registering party asserts that two or more orders are in effect.
Amends GS 52C-6-607 to add to the defenses that a party contesting the validity of enforcement of a support order must prove to include that the alleged controlling order is not the controlling order.
Amends GS 52C-6-611 to provide that in a proceeding to modify a child support order, the law of the state that issued the initial controlling order governs the duration of the obligation. The obligor's fulfillment of the duty of support precludes imposition of a further obligation of a support by a tribunal in this state. Specifies that a tribunal of this state retains jurisdiction to modify an order issued by this state if one party resides in another state and the other party resides outside the United States.
Amends GS 52C-6-612 to provide that if a child support order issued by a tribunal of this state is modified by another state which assumed jurisdiction under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, the tribunal may perform specified acts and must recognize the modifying order of the other state upon registration.
Adds new Part 4, Registration and Modification of Foreign Child Support Order. Enacts statutes concerning the jurisdiction to modify child support orders of foreign counties and the procedure for registering a child support order of a foreign country in order to modify and enforce the order.
Amends Article 7 of the Chapter as follows. Deletes the content of GS 52C-7-701 and replaces it with terms and their definitions, as used in the article. Specifies that the Article applies only to a support proceeding under the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (Convention). Recognizes the Department as the agency designated to perform specific functions under the Convention. Specifies the Department's responsibilities in support proceedings under the Article. Sets out six support proceedings that are available to an obligee and three that are available to an obligor under the Convention. Sets out provisions governing a petitioner's direct request seeking establishment or modification of a support order or determination of parentage of a child. Requires a party seeking recognition of a Convention support order to register the order in this state and sets out what must be included with the request. Specifies when a tribunal of the state may vacate the registration of a Convention support order. Sets out the procedure for contesting a registered Convention support order. Requires a tribunal of this state to recognize and enforce a registered Convention support order unless one of the ten grounds are met for refusing recognition and enforcement. Requires a tribunal of this state to recognize and enforce a foreign support agreement registered in this state unless specified circumstances exist. Sets out items that must be included with an application or direct request for recognition and enforcement of a foreign support agreement. Prohibits a tribunal of this state from modifying a Convention support order if the obligee remains a resident of the foreign country where the order was issued unless specified circumstances exist.
Amends Article 8 to make clarifying and conforming changes.
Amends GS 52C-9-901 to provide that in applying and construing this uniform action, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law among states enacting it.
Enacts new GS 52C-9-901.1 to provide that the Chapter applies to proceedings begun on or after the effective date of this Chapter to establish a support order or determine parentage of a child or to register, recognize, enforce, or modify a prior support order, determination, or agreement, whenever issued or entered.
Makes changes throughout by adding reference to orders from foreign countries.