Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 20. Domestic Relations
2/22/2019

Article 8. Enforcement and Modification of Support Order After Registration.

§ 20-88.66. Registration of order for enforcement.

A foreign support order, or a support order or an income-withholding order issued in another state, may be registered in the Commonwealth for enforcement.

1994, c. 673; 2015, c. 727.

§ 20-88.67. Procedure to register order for enforcement.

A. Except as provided in § 20-88.88, a foreign support order or a support order or income-withholding order of another state may be registered in the Commonwealth by sending the following records to the appropriate tribunal in the Commonwealth:

1. A letter of transmittal to the tribunal requesting registration and enforcement;

2. Two copies, including one certified copy, of the order to be registered, including any modification of the order;

3. A sworn statement by the party requesting registration or a certified statement by the custodian of the records showing the amount of any arrearage;

4. The name of the obligor and, if known, (i) the obligor's address and social security number, (ii) the name and address of the obligor's employer and any other source of income of the obligor, and (iii) a description and the location of property of the obligor in the Commonwealth not exempt from execution; and

5. Except as otherwise provided in § 20-88.55, the name and address of the obligee and, if applicable, the support enforcement agency to whom support payments are to be remitted.

B. On receipt of a request for registration, the registering tribunal shall cause the order to be filed as an order of a tribunal of another state or a foreign support order, together with one copy of the documents and information, regardless of their form.

C. A petition or comparable pleading seeking a remedy that shall be affirmatively sought under other law of the Commonwealth may be filed at the same time as the request for registration or later. The pleading shall specify the grounds for the remedy sought.

D. If two or more orders are in effect, the individual or support enforcement agency requesting registration shall:

1. Furnish to the tribunal a copy of every support order asserted to be in effect in addition to the documents specified in this section;

2. Specify the order alleged to be the controlling order, if any; and

3. Specify the amount of consolidated arrears, if any.

E. A request for a determination of which is the controlling order may be filed separately or with a request for registration and enforcement or for registration and modification. The individual or support enforcement agency requesting registration shall give notice of the request to each party whose rights may be affected by the determination.

1994, c. 673; 1995, c. 484; 2005, c. 754; 2015, c. 727.

§ 20-88.68. Effect of registration for enforcement.

A. A support order or income-withholding order issued in another state or a foreign support order is registered when the order is filed in the registering tribunal of the Commonwealth.

B. A registered support order issued in another state or in a foreign country is enforceable in the same manner and is subject to the same procedures as an order issued by a tribunal of the Commonwealth.

C. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a tribunal of the Commonwealth shall recognize and enforce, but may not modify, a registered order if the issuing tribunal had jurisdiction.

1994, c. 673; 2015, c. 727.

§ 20-88.69. Choice of law; statute of limitations.

A. Except as otherwise provided in subsection D, the law of the issuing state or foreign country governs (i) the nature, extent, amount, and duration of current payments under a registered support order; (ii) the computation and payment of arrearages and accrual of interest on the arrearages under the support order; and (iii) the existence and satisfaction of other obligations under the support order.

B. In a proceeding for arrears under a registered support order, the statute of limitations of the Commonwealth or of the issuing state or foreign country, whichever is longer, applies.

C. A responding tribunal of the Commonwealth shall apply the procedures and remedies of the Commonwealth to enforce current support and collect arrears and interest due on a support order of another state or a foreign country registered in the Commonwealth.

D. After a tribunal of the Commonwealth or another state determines which is the controlling order and issues an order consolidating arrears, if any, a tribunal of the Commonwealth shall prospectively apply the law of the state or foreign country issuing the controlling order, including its law on interest on arrears, on current and future support, and on consolidated arrears.

1994, c. 673; 2005, c. 754; 2015, c. 727.

§ 20-88.70. Notice of registration of order; contest of validity or enforcement.

A. When a support order or income-withholding order issued in another state or a foreign support order is registered, the registering tribunal of the Commonwealth shall notify the nonregistering party. The notice shall be accompanied by a copy of the registered order and the documents and relevant information accompanying the order.

B. A notice shall inform the nonregistering party:

1. That a registered order is enforceable as of the date of registration in the same manner as an order issued by a tribunal of the Commonwealth;

2. That a hearing to contest the validity or enforcement of the registered order shall be requested within 20 days after the notice unless the registered order is under § 20-88.89;

3. That failure to contest the validity or enforcement of the registered order in a timely manner will result in confirmation of the order and enforcement of the order and the alleged arrearages and precludes further contest of that order with respect to any matter that could have been asserted; and

4. Of the amount of any alleged arrearages.

C. If the registering party asserts that two or more orders are in effect, a notice shall also:

1. Identify the two or more orders and the order alleged by the party to be the controlling order and the consolidated arrears, if any;

2. Notify the nonregistering party of the right to a determination of which is the controlling order;

3. State that the procedures provided in subsection B apply to the determination of which is the controlling order; and

4. State that failure to contest the validity or enforcement of the order alleged to be the controlling order in a timely manner may result in confirmation that the order is the controlling order.

D. Upon registration of an income-withholding order for enforcement, the support enforcement agency or the registering tribunal shall notify the obligor's employer pursuant to the income-withholding for support law of the Commonwealth.

1994, c. 673; 1997, cc. 797, 897; 2005, c. 754; 2015, c. 727.

§ 20-88.71. Procedure to contest validity or enforcement of registered support order.

A. A nonregistering party seeking to contest the validity or enforcement of a registered support order in the Commonwealth shall request a hearing within the time required by § 20-88.70. The nonregistering party may seek to vacate the registration, to assert any defense to an allegation of noncompliance with the registered order, or to contest the remedies being sought or the amount of any alleged arrearages pursuant to § 20-88.72.

B. If the nonregistering party fails to contest the validity or enforcement of the registered support order in a timely manner, the order is confirmed by operation of law.

C. If a nonregistering party requests a hearing to contest the validity or enforcement of the registered support order, the registering tribunal shall schedule the matter for hearing and give notice to the parties of the date, time, and place of the hearing.

1994, c. 673; 1997, cc. 797, 897; 2015, c. 727.

§ 20-88.72. Contest of registration or enforcement.

A. A party contesting the validity or enforcement of a registered support order or seeking to vacate the registration has the burden of proving one or more of the following defenses:

1. The issuing tribunal lacked personal jurisdiction over the contesting party;

2. The order was obtained by fraud;

3. The order has been vacated, suspended, or modified by a later order;

4. The issuing tribunal has stayed the order pending appeal;

5. There is a defense under the law of the Commonwealth to the remedy sought;

6. Full or partial payment has been made;

7. The statute of limitations under § 20-88.69 precludes enforcement of some or all of the alleged arrearages; or

8. The alleged controlling order is not the controlling order.

B. If a party presents evidence establishing a full or partial defense under subsection A, a tribunal may stay enforcement of a registered support order, continue the proceeding to permit production of additional relevant evidence, and issue other appropriate orders. An uncontested portion of the registered support order may be enforced by all remedies available under the law of the Commonwealth.

C. If the contesting party does not establish a defense under subsection A to the validity or enforcement of a registered support order, the registering tribunal shall issue an order confirming the order.

1994, c. 673; 2005, c. 754; 2015, c. 727.

§ 20-88.73. Confirmed order.

Confirmation of a registered support order, whether by operation of law or after notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the support order with respect to any matter that could have been asserted at the time of registration.

1994, c. 673; 2015, c. 727.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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