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Family Court Law

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Part 3 - Article 5B - Family Court

CIVIL PROVISIONS OF GENERAL APPLICATION

Section Description
580-301 Proceedings under article.
580-302 Proceeding by a minor parent.
580-303 Application of law of state.
580-304 Duties of initiating tribunal.
580-305 Duties and powers of responding tribunal.
580-306 Inappropriate tribunal.
580-307 Duties of support enforcement agency.
580-308 Duty of certain state officials.
580-309 Private counsel.
580-310 Duties of state information agency.
580-311 Pleadings and accompanying documents.
580-312 Nondisclosure of information in exceptional circumstances.
580-313 Costs and fees.
580-314 Limited immunity of petitioner.
580-315 Nonparentage as defense.
580-316 Special rules of evidence and procedure.
580-317 Communications between tribunals.
580-318 Assistance with discovery.
580-319 Receipt and disbursement of payments.
  S 580-301. Proceedings under article. (a) Except as otherwise provided
  in  this  article,  this  part  applies  to  all  proceedings under this
  article.
    (b) An individual petitioner  or  a  support  enforcement  agency  may
  initiate a proceeding authorized under this article by filing a petition
  in  an initiating tribunal for forwarding to a responding tribunal or by
  filing a petition or a comparable pleading directly  in  a  tribunal  of
  another  state  or  a  foreign  country which has or can obtain personal
  jurisdiction over the respondent.

  S 580-302. Proceeding by a minor parent. A minor parent, or a guardian
  or  other  legal  representative  of  a  minor  parent,  may  maintain a
  proceeding on behalf of or for the benefit of the minor's child.

  S 580-303. Application of law of state. Except as otherwise provided
  in this article, a responding tribunal of this state shall:
    1. apply the procedural and substantive law  generally  applicable  to
  similar  proceedings  originating  in  this  state  and may exercise all
  powers and provide all remedies available in those proceedings; and
    2. determine the duty of support and the amount payable in  accordance
  with the law and support guidelines of this state.

  S 580-304. Duties  of  initiating tribunal. (a) Upon the filing of a
  petition authorized by this article,  an  initiating  tribunal  of  this
  state shall forward the petition and its accompanying documents:
    (1)  to  the  responding  tribunal  or appropriate support enforcement
  agency in the responding state; or
    (2) if the identity of the responding  tribunal  is  unknown,  to  the
  state  information  agency  of  the responding state with a request that
  they be forwarded to  the  appropriate  tribunal  and  that  receipt  be
  acknowledged.
    (b)  If requested by the responding tribunal, a tribunal of this state
  shall issue a certificate or other document and make  findings  required
  by  the  law of the responding state. If the responding tribunal is in a
  foreign country, upon request the tribunal of this state  shall  specify
  the  amount  of  support sought, convert that amount into the equivalent
  amount in the foreign  currency  under  applicable  official  or  market
  exchange  rate  as  publicly  reported,  and provide any other documents
  necessary  to  satisfy  the  requirements  of  the  responding   foreign
  tribunal.

  S 580-305. Duties  and  powers  of  responding  tribunal. (a) When a
  responding tribunal of this state  receives  a  petition  or  comparable
  pleading from an initiating tribunal or directly pursuant to subdivision
  (b)  of  section  580-301  of  this part, 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 this state, to the extent not prohibited
  by other law, may do one 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 warrant for an obligor who has failed after proper notice
  to appear at a hearing ordered by the tribunal and enter the 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 this state shall  include  in  a  support
  order  issued  under  this article, or in the documents accompanying the
  order, the calculations on which the support order is based.
    (d) A responding tribunal of this state may not condition the  payment
  of  a support order issued under this article upon compliance by a party
  with provisions for visitation.
    (e) If a responding tribunal of this state issues an order under  this
  article,  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 this state 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.

  S 580-306. Inappropriate  tribunal.  If  a  petition  or  comparable
  pleading is received by an inappropriate tribunal  of  this  state,  the
  tribunal  shall  forward  the  pleading and accompanying documents to an
  appropriate tribunal of this state  or  another  state  and  notify  the
  petitioner where and when the pleading was sent.

  S 580-307. Duties  of  support  enforcement  agency.  (a)  A support
  enforcement agency of this state, upon request, shall  provide  services
  to a petitioner in a proceeding under this article.
    (b)  A  support  enforcement  agency  of  this state that is providing
  services to the petitioner shall:
    (1) take all steps necessary to enable an appropriate tribunal of this
  state, another state or a foreign country to  obtain  jurisdiction  over
  the respondent;
    (2)  request an appropriate tribunal to set a date, time and place for
  a hearing;
    (3) make a reasonable  effort  to  obtain  all  relevant  information,
  including information as to income and property of the parties;
    (4)  within  ten  days,  exclusive  of  Saturdays,  Sundays  and legal
  holidays, after receipt of  notice  in  a  record  from  an  initiating,
  responding  or  registering  tribunal,  send a copy of the notice to the
  petitioner;
    (5) within  ten  days,  exclusive  of  Saturdays,  Sundays  and  legal
  holidays, after receipt of communication in a record from the respondent
  or  the  respondent's  attorney, send a copy of the communication to the
  petitioner; and
    (6) notify the petitioner if jurisdiction over the  respondent  cannot
  be obtained.
    (c)   A  support  enforcement  agency  of  this  state  that  requests
  registration of a child support order in this state for  enforcement  or
  for modification shall make reasonable efforts:
    (1)  to  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, to ensure that a request for
  such a determination is made in a tribunal having jurisdiction to do so.
    (d)  A  support  enforcement  agency  of  this  state  that   requests
  registration  and  enforcement  of  a support order, arrears or judgment
  stated in a foreign currency shall convert the  amounts  stated  in  the
  foreign  currency  into  the  equivalent  amounts  in  dollars under the
  applicable official or market exchange rate as publicly reported.
    (e) A support enforcement agency of this state shall issue or  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 to do  so  by  a  support  enforcement  agency  of
  another state pursuant to section 580-319 of this part.
    (f)  This article does not create or negate a relationship of attorney
  and client or other fiduciary relationship between a support enforcement
  agency or the attorney for the agency and the individual being  assisted
  by the agency.

  S 580-308. Duty  of  certain  state  officials.  (a) If the attorney
  general determines that the support enforcement agency is neglecting  or
  refusing  to provide services to an individual, the attorney general may
  order the agency to perform its duties under this article or may provide
  those services directly to the individual.
    (b) The  commissioner  of  temporary  and  disability  assistance  may
  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.

  S 580-309. Private counsel. An individual may employ private counsel
  to represent the individual in proceedings authorized by this article.

  S 580-310. Duties  of  state  information  agency. (a) The office of
  temporary and disability assistance  is  the  state  information  agency
  under this article.
    (b) The state information agency shall:
    (1)  compile  and maintain a current list, including addresses, of the
  tribunals in this state which have jurisdiction under this  article  and
  any  support  enforcement  agencies in this state and transmit a copy to
  the state information agency of every other state;
    (2) maintain a register  of  names  and  addresses  of  tribunals  and
  support enforcement agencies received from other states;
    (3) forward to the appropriate tribunal in the county in this state in
  which  the  obligee  who  is an individual or the obligor resides, or in
  which the obligor's property is believed to be  located,  all  documents
  concerning  a  proceeding under this article received from another state
  or a foreign country; and
    (4) obtain information concerning the location of the obligor and  the
  obligor's  property within this state not exempt from execution, by such
  means as postal verification and  federal  or  state  locator  services,
  examination of telephone directories, requests for the obligor's address
  from  employers  and  examination of governmental records, including, to
  the extent not prohibited by other law, those relating to real property,
  vital statistics, law enforcement, taxation,  motor  vehicles,  driver's
  licenses and social security.

  S 580-311. Pleadings and accompanying documents. (a) In a proceeding
  under this article, a petitioner seeking to establish a  support  order,
  to  determine  parentage  of a child or to register and modify a support
  order of a tribunal of another state or a foreign country  must  file  a
  petition.  Unless  otherwise ordered under section 580-312 of this part,
  the petition or accompanying documents must provide, so  far  as  known,
  the name, residential address and social security numbers of the obligor
  and  the  obligee  or  the parent and alleged parent, and the name, sex,
  residential address, social security number and date of  birth  of  each
  child  for  whose  benefit support is sought or whose parentage is to be
  determined. Unless filed at the time of registration, the petition  must
  be  accompanied by a copy of any support order known to have been issued
  by another tribunal. The petition may include any other information that
  may assist in locating or identifying the respondent.
    (b) The petition must specify the  relief  sought.  The  petition  and
  accompanying  documents must conform substantially with the requirements
  imposed by the forms mandated by federal law for use in cases filed by a
  support enforcement agency.

  S 580-312. Nondisclosure of information in exceptional circumstances.
  If a party alleges in an affidavit or a pleading  under  oath  that  the
  health,  safety  or  liberty of a party or child would be jeopardized by
  disclosure of specific identifying information, that information must be
  sealed and may not be disclosed to the other party or the public.  After
  a  hearing  in  which  a  tribunal  takes into consideration the health,
  safety or liberty  of  the  party  or  child,  the  tribunal  may  order
  disclosure  of  information  that  the  tribunal determines to be in the
  interest of justice.

  S 580-313. Costs and fees. (a) The petitioner may not be required to
  pay a filing fee or other costs.
    (b) If an obligee prevails, a responding tribunal of  this  state  may
  assess against an obligor filing fees, reasonable attorney's fees, other
  costs,  and  necessary  travel and other reasonable expenses incurred by
  the obligee and the obligee's witnesses. The  tribunal  may  not  assess
  fees,  costs  or expenses against the obligee or the support enforcement
  agency of either the initiating or responding state or foreign  country,
  except  as provided by other law. Attorney's fees may be taxed as costs,
  and may be ordered paid directly to the attorney, who  may  enforce  the
  order in the attorney's own name. Payment of support owed to the obligee
  has priority over fees, costs, and expenses.
    (c)  The  tribunal  shall  order  the  payment of costs and reasonable
  attorney's fees if it determines that a hearing was requested  primarily
  for  delay. In a proceeding under part six of this article, a hearing is
  presumed to have been requested primarily  for  delay  if  a  registered
  support order is confirmed or enforced without change.

  S 580-314. Limited  immunity  of  petitioner. (a) Participation by a
  petitioner in a  proceeding  under  this  article  before  a  responding
  tribunal,  whether  in  person,  by private attorney or through services
  provided by the support enforcement agency,  does  not  confer  personal
  jurisdiction over the petitioner in another proceeding.
    (b)  A  petitioner  is  not amenable to service of civil process while
  physically present in this state to participate in  a  proceeding  under
  this article.
    (c)  The  immunity  granted  by  this section does not extend to civil
  litigation based on acts unrelated to a proceeding  under  this  article
  committed  by  a  party  while  physically  present  in  this  state  to
  participate in the proceeding.

  S 580-315. Nonparentage as defense. A party whose parentage of a child
  has  been  previously  determined  by  or  pursuant to law may not plead
  nonparentage as a defense to a proceeding under this article.

  S 580-316. Special rules of evidence and procedure. (a) The physical
  presence of a nonresident party who is an individual in  a  tribunal  of
  this  state  is  not  required  for  the  establishment,  enforcement or
  modification of  a  support  order,  or  the  rendition  of  a  judgment
  determining parentage of a child.
    (b)  An  affidavit,  a document substantially complying with federally
  mandated forms or a document incorporated by reference in any  of  them,
  which  would  not be excluded under the hearsay rule if given in person,
  is admissible in evidence if given under penalty of perjury by  a  party
  or witness residing outside this state.
    (c) A copy of the record of child support payments certified as a true
  copy  of the original by the custodian of the record may be forwarded to
  a responding tribunal. The copy is evidence of facts asserted in it, and
  is admissible to show whether payments were made.
    (d) Copies of bills for testing for parentage  of  a  child,  and  for
  prenatal and postnatal health care of the mother and child, furnished to
  the  adverse  party  at  least  ten days before trial, are admissible in
  evidence to prove the amount of the charges billed and that the  charges
  were reasonable, necessary and customary.
    (e)  Documentary  evidence  transmitted  from  outside this state to a
  tribunal of this state by  telephone,  telecopier  or  other  electronic
  means  that  do  not provide an original record may not be excluded from
  evidence on an objection based on the means of transmission.
    (f) In a proceeding under this article, a tribunal of this state shall
  permit a party or witness residing outside this state to be  deposed  or
  to  testify  under penalty of perjury by telephone, audiovisual means or
  other electronic means at a designated tribunal  or  other  location.  A
  tribunal   of  this  state  shall  cooperate  with  other  tribunals  in
  designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.
    (g) If a party called to testify at a civil hearing refuses to  answer
  on the ground that the testimony may be self-incriminating, the trier of
  fact may draw an adverse inference from the refusal.
    (h)  A  privilege against disclosure of communications between spouses
  does not apply in a proceeding under this article.
    (i) The defense of immunity based on the relationship of  husband  and
  wife  or  parent  and  child  does  not apply in a proceeding under this
  article.
    (j) A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, certified as a true copy,
  is admissible to establish parentage of the child.

  S 580-317. Communications between tribunals. A tribunal of this state
  may communicate with a tribunal outside this state in  a  record  or  by
  telephone,  electronic  mail  or  other  means,  to  obtain  information
  concerning the laws, the legal effect of a judgment, decree or order  of
  that  tribunal, and the status of a proceeding. A tribunal of this state
  may furnish similar information by similar means to a  tribunal  outside
  this state.

  S 580-318. Assistance with discovery. A tribunal of this state may:
    1.  request  a  tribunal  outside  this  state  to assist in obtaining
  discovery; and
    2. upon request, compel a person over which  it  has  jurisdiction  to
  respond to a discovery order issued by a tribunal outside this state.

  S 580-319. Receipt  and  disbursement  of  payments.  (a)  A support
  enforcement agency or tribunal of this state shall disburse promptly any
  amounts received pursuant to a support order, as directed by the  order.
  The  agency  or tribunal shall furnish to a requesting party or tribunal
  of another state or a foreign  country  a  certified  statement  by  the
  custodian  of  the  record  of  the  amounts  and  dates of all payments
  received.
    (b) If neither the obligor, nor the obligee who is an individual,  nor
  the child resides in this state, upon request from a support enforcement
  agency of this state or another state, a support enforcement agency or a
  tribunal of this state shall:
    (1) direct that the support payment be made to the support enforcement
  agency in the state in which the obligee is receiving services; and
    (2)  issue  and  send  to  the  obligor's employer a conforming income
  withholding order or  an  administrative  notice  of  change  of  payee,
  reflecting the redirected payments.
    (c)  A  support  enforcement agency of this state receiving redirected
  payments from another state pursuant to a law similar to subdivision (b)
  of this section shall furnish to 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.

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