28 U.S.C. § 1738B - Full faith and credit for child support orders

Cite as:28 U.S.C. § 1738B
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-158 (08/14/2020)

(a) GENERAL RULE.-The appropriate authorities of each State-

(1) shall enforce according to its terms a child support order made consistently with this section by a court of another State; and

(2) shall not seek or make a modification of such an order except in accordance with subsections (e), (f), and (i).

(b) DEFINITIONS.-In this section:

(1) The term "child" means-

(A) a person under 18 years of age; and

(B) a person 18 or more years of age with respect to whom a child support order has been issued pursuant to the laws of a State.

(2) The term "child's State" means the State in which a child resides.

(3) The term "child's home State" means the State in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as parent for at least 6 consecutive months immediately preceding the time of filing of a petition or comparable pleading for support and, if a child is less than 6 months old, the State 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 6-month period.

(4) The term "child support" means a payment of money, continuing support, or arrearages or the provision of a benefit (including payment of health insurance, child care, and educational expenses) for the support of a child.

(5) The term "child support order"-

(A) means a judgment, decree, or order of a court requiring the payment of child support in periodic amounts or in a lump sum; and

(B) includes-

(i) a permanent or temporary order; and

(ii) an initial order or a modification of an order.

(6) The term "contestant" means-

(A) a person (including a parent) who-

(i) claims a right to receive child support;

(ii) is a party to a proceeding that may result in the issuance of a child support order; or

(iii) is under a child support order; and

(B) a State or political subdivision of a State to which the right to obtain child support has been assigned.

(7) The term "court" means a court or administrative agency of a State that is authorized by State law to establish the amount of child support payable by a contestant or make a modification of a child support order.

(8) The term "modification" means a change in a child support order that affects the amount, scope, or duration of the order and modifies, replaces, supersedes, or otherwise is made subsequent to the child support order.

(9) The term "State" means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the territories and possessions of the United States, and Indian country (as defined in section 1151 of title 18).

(c) REQUIREMENTS OF CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS.-A child support order made by a court of a State is made consistently with this section if-

(1) a court that makes the order, pursuant to the laws of the State in which the court is located and subsections (e), (f), and (g)-

(A) has subject matter jurisdiction to hear the matter and enter such an order; and

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