UIFSA

CS 150 General Information and Definitions

10/96 Revised 11/19/15 Training Completed 07/15/15

45 CFR 301.1; U.C.A. 78B-14-101, 78B-14-102, 78B-14-103, 78B-14-104, 78B-14-203, 78B-14-207

 

 

Introduction

 

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) was designed to replace the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA) and the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement Support Act (RURESA).  It applies to any case where the custodial parent (CP) and non-custodial parent (NCP) reside in separate states or countries, or when the order was issued by another state or country, even if both parties now reside in the same state. 

 

UIFSA helps make interstate case processing simpler, more efficient, and provides for a number of practical methods to help with intergovernmental collections.  UIFSA recognizes administrative agencies as tribunals for case processing.  For more information on the designated tribunals for the State of Utah, refer to subsection Tribunals of State below.

 

Under UIFSA, the parties to an order receive more benefits.  Specifically, the parties receive better access to information on his/her case because of established timeframes for acting on a case, and the many notice requirements contained in the law.

 

NOTE:  According to the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), tribes are not required to adopt UIFSA as the states are required.  However, the Federal Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act (FFCCSOA) requires both tribes and states to enforce valid child support orders, which means all income withholding orders must be referred directly to the appropriate Tribal IV-D agency as required by FFCCSOA.  The highlights of UIFSA are listed below:

 

1.                   Only One Order at a Time:   Because of URESA and RURESA, many cases have multiple valid orders.  This has caused problems and confusion with determining the correct order to enforce and calculating arrearages that may be owed.  With UIFSA, there can only be one order in effect at all times.  UIFSA provides rules for determining which of the multiple orders to recognize for purposes of prospective enforcement and/or modification pursuant to Utah Code Annotated (U.C.A.) 78B-14-207:

“(1) If a proceeding is brought under this chapter and only one tribunal has issued a child support order, the order of that tribunal controls and shall be so recognized..

(2) If a proceeding is brought under this chapter, and two or more child support orders have been issued by tribunals of this state, another state, or a foreign country with regard to the same obligor and same child, a tribunal of this state having personal jurisdiction over both the obligor and individual obligee shall apply the following rules and by order shall determine which order controls and shall be recognized:

(a) If only one of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this chapter, the order of that tribunal controls.

(b) If more than one of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this chapter, an order issued by a tribunal in the current home state of the child controls, or if an order has not been issued in the current home state of the child, the order most recently issued controls.

 (c) If none of the tribunals would have continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this chapter, the tribunal of this state shall issue a child support order, which controls.

(3) If two or more child support orders have been issued for the same obligor and same child, upon request of a party who is an individual or that is a support enforcement agency, a tribunal of this state having personal jurisdiction over both the obligor and the obligee who is an individual shall determine which order controls under Subsection (2). The request may be filed with a registration for enforcement or registration for modification pursuant to Part 6, Registration, Enforcement, and Modification of Support Order, or may be filed as a separate proceeding.

(4) A request to determine which is the controlling order shall be accompanied by a copy of every child support order in effect and the applicable record of payments. The requesting party shall give notice of the request to each party whose rights may be affected by the determination.

(5) The tribunal that issued the controlling order under Subsection (1), (2), or (3) has continuing jurisdiction to the extent provided in Section 78B-14-205 or 78B-14-206.

(6) A tribunal of this state that determines by order which is the controlling order under Subsection (2)(a), (b), or (3) that issues a new controlling order under Subsection (2)(c), shall state in that order:

(a) the basis upon which the tribunal made its determination;

(b) the amount of prospective support, if any; and

(c) the total amount of consolidated arrears and accrued interest, if any, under all of the orders after all payments made are credited as provided by Section 78B-14-209.

(7) Within 30 days after issuance of an order determining which is the controlling order, the party obtaining the order shall file a certified copy of it in each tribunal that issued or registered an earlier order of child support. A party or support enforcement agency obtaining the order that fails to file a certified copy is subject to appropriate sanctions by a tribunal in which the issue of failure to file arises. The failure to file does not affect the validity or enforceability of the controlling order.

(8) An order that has been determined to be the controlling order, or a judgment for consolidated arrears of support and interest, if any, made pursuant to this section shall be recognized in proceedings under this chapter. 

 

2.                   Continuing Exclusive Jurisdiction (CEJ):  In order to maintain one order in effect at a time, only one state has the right to change the order at any given time.  The state with this right has “CEJ” over the case. 

 

3.                   One State Procedures:  UIFSA allows a state to handle a case locally, even if the parties live in different states, through the use of long-arm jurisdiction and direct income withholding.

a.                   Long-Arm Procedures – The long-arm procedures have been expanded to allow a state to extend its jurisdiction over an individual outside the geographical boundaries of their state. 

b.                  Direct Income Withholding – A “Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support” may be sent directly to a non-custodial parent’s (NCP) employer in another state, regardless of whether that state has jurisdiction over the employer. 

 

4.                   Two-State Procedures:  UIFSA allows the Office of Recovery Services/Child Support Services (ORS/CSS) to act as both an initiating and responding tribunal in two-state proceedings pursuant to U.C.A. 78B-14-203 Initiating and responding tribunal of state:

Under this chapter, a tribunal of this state may serve as an initiating tribunal to forward proceedings to a tribunal of another state and as a responding tribunal for proceedings initiated in another state or a foreign country.”

 

a.                   Registration for Enforcement – If there is an order, UIFSA authorizes its enforcement in any state. 

b.                  Administrative Enforcement – States may use administrative proceedings to enforce a support order or an income withholding order rather than formally registering the order for enforcement if the NCP does not contest administrative enforcement. 

c.                   Condition for Modification – If certain conditions are met, UIFSA allows a state with personal jurisdiction over the party to modify an order issued in another state. 

 

5.                   Evidentiary Improvements:  UIFSA allows for a greater access to relevant evidence without the expense of transporting documents and witnesses from one state to another. 

 

 

Statutory Authority

 

“U.C.A. 78B-14-101.  Title.

This chapter is known as the “Utah Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.””

 

 

UIFSA Definitions

 

1.                   FormPursuant to 45 CFR 301.1:   . . . a federally-approved document used for the establishment and enforcement of support obligations whether compiled or transmitted in written or electronic format, including but not limited to the Income Withholding for Support form, and the National Medical Support Notice.  In interstate IV–D cases, such forms include those used for child support enforcement proceedings under the UIFSA.  Form also includes any federally-mandated IV–D reporting form, where appropriate.   

 

2.                   Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) –. . .the model act promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) and mandated by section 466(f) of the Act to be in effect in all States.

 

3.                   UCA 78B-14-102.   Definitions.
“As used in this chapter:

(1) "Child" means an individual, whether over or under the age of majority, who is or is alleged to be owed a duty of support by the individual's parent or who is or is alleged to be the beneficiary of a support order directed to the parent.

(2) "Child support order" means a support order for a child, including a child who has attained the age of majority under the law of the issuing state or foreign country.

(3) "Convention" means the convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, concluded at The Hague on November 23, 2007.

(4) "Duty of support" means an obligation imposed or imposable by law to provide support for a child, spouse, or former spouse, including an unsatisfied obligation to provide support.

(5) "Foreign country" means a country, including a political subdivision thereof, other than the United States, that authorizes the issuance of support orders and:

(a) which has been declared under the law of the United States to be a foreign reciprocating country;

(b) which has established a reciprocal arrangement for child support with this state as provided in Section 78B-14-308;

(c) which has enacted a law or established procedures for the issuance and enforcement of support orders which are substantially similar to the procedures under this chapter; or

(d) in which the convention is in force with respect to the United States.

(6) "Foreign support order" means a support order of a foreign tribunal.

(7) "Foreign tribunal" means a court, administrative agency, or quasi-judicial entity of a foreign country which is authorized to establish, enforce, or modify support orders or to determine parentage of a child. The term includes a competent authority under the convention.

(8) "Home state" means the state or foreign country in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as parent for at least six consecutive months immediately preceding the time of filing of a petition or comparable pleading for support and, if a child is less than six months old, the state or foreign country in which the child lived from birth with any of them. A period of temporary absence of any of them is counted as part of the six-month or other period.

(9) "Income" includes earnings or other periodic entitlements to money from any source and any other property subject to withholding for support under the law of this state.

(10) "Income-withholding order" means an order or other legal process directed to an obligor's employer or other source of income as defined in Section 62A-11-103, to withhold support from the income of the obligor.

(11) "Initiating tribunal" means the tribunal of a state or foreign country from which a petition or comparable pleading is forwarded or in which a petition or comparable pleading is filed for forwarding to another state or foreign country.

(12) "Issuing foreign country" means the foreign country in which a tribunal issues a support order or a judgment determining parentage of a child.

(13) "Issuing state" means the state in which a tribunal issues a support order or a judgment determining parentage of a child.

(14) "Issuing tribunal" means the tribunal of a state or foreign country that issues a support order or a judgment determining parentage of a child.

(15) "Law" includes decisional and statutory law and rules and regulations having the force of law.

(16) "Obligee" means:

(a) an individual to whom a duty of support is or is alleged to be owed or in whose favor a support order or a judgment determining parentage of a child has been issued;

(b) a foreign country, state, or political subdivision of a state to which the rights under a duty of support or support order have been assigned or which has independent claims based on financial assistance provided to an individual obligee in place of child support;

(c) an individual seeking a judgment determining parentage of the individual's child; or

(d) a person who is a creditor in a proceeding under Part 7, Support Proceedings Under Convention.

(17) "Obligor" means an individual who, or the estate of a decedent that:

(a) owes or is alleged to owe a duty of support;

(b) is alleged but has not been adjudicated to be a parent of a child;

(c) is liable under a support order; or

(d) is a debtor in a proceeding under Part 7, Support Proceedings Under Convention.

(18) "Outside this state" means a location in another state or a country other than the United States, whether or not the country is a foreign country.

(19) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, public corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity.

(20) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

(21) "Register" means to file in a tribunal of this state a support order or judgment determining parentage of a child issued in another state or a foreign country.

(22) "Registering tribunal" means a tribunal in which a support order or judgment determining parentage of a child is registered.

(23) "Responding state" means a state in which a petition or comparable pleading for support or to determine parentage of a child is filed or to which a petition or comparable pleading is forwarded for filing from another state or a foreign country.

(24) "Responding tribunal" means the authorized tribunal in a responding state or foreign country.

(25) "Spousal support order" means a support order for a spouse or former spouse of the obligor.

(26) "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes an Indian nation or tribe.

(27) "Support enforcement agency" means a public official, governmental entity, or private agency authorized to:

(a) seek enforcement of support orders or laws relating to the duty of support;

(b) seek establishment or modification of child support;

(c) request determination of parentage of a child;

(d) attempt to locate obligors or their assets; or

(e) request determination of the controlling child support order.

(28) "Support order" means a judgment, decree, order, decision, or directive, whether temporary, final, or subject to modification, issued in a state or foreign country for the benefit of a child, a spouse, or a former spouse, which provides for monetary support, health care, arrearages, retroactive support, or reimbursement for financial assistance provided to an individual obligee in place of child support. The term may include related costs and fees, interest, income withholding, automatic adjustment, reasonable attorney fees, and other relief.

(29) "Tribunal" means a court, administrative agency, or quasi-judicial entity authorized to establish, enforce, or modify support orders or to determine parentage of a child.”

 

 

Tribunals of State

 

A UIFSA proceeding (to establish, enforce, modify support orders, or determine parentage) may only be brought before one of the designated tribunal(s) of the state.  In the State of Utah, in accordance with U.C.A. 78B-14-103, both the district court and the Department of Human Services (DHS), of which the Office of Recovery Services (ORS) is a part, are designated as tribunals.  U.C.A. 78B-14-103 State tribunal and support enforcement agency states:

“(1) The district court and the Utah Department of Human Services are the tribunals of this state.

(2) The Utah Department of Human Services is the state support enforcement agency.”

 

 

Cumulative Remedies

 

UIFSA does not:

 

1.                   Allow a tribunal to grant a judgment or issue an order relating to child custody or parent-time/visitation issues; or,

 

2.                   Limit the parties from finding relief under other laws of this state or affect the ability of the parties to find resolution under other laws. 

 

Pursuant to U.C.A. 78B-14-104.  Remedies cumulative:

“(1) Remedies provided by this chapter are cumulative and do not affect the availability of remedies under other law or the recognition of a foreign support order on the basis of comity.

(2) This chapter does not:

(a) provide the exclusive method of establishing or enforcing a support order under the law of this state; or

(b) grant a tribunal of this state jurisdiction to render judgment or issue an order relating to child custody or parent-time in a proceeding under this chapter.”