2021 Massachusetts General Laws
Part II - Real and Personal Property and Domestic Relations
Title III - Domestic Relations
Chapter 209d - Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
Article 1 - General Provisions.
Section 1-102 - Definitions
Section 1–102. Definitions. In this chapter:
(1) ''Child'', 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'', 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'', 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'', 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'', a country, including a political subdivision thereof, other than the United States, that authorizes the issuance of support orders and:
(i) which has been declared under the law of the United States to be a foreign reciprocating country;
(ii) which has established a reciprocal arrangement for child support with the commonwealth as provided in section 3–308;
(iii) 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
(iv) in which the Convention is in force with respect to the United States.
(6) ''Foreign support order'', a support order of a foreign tribunal.
(7) ''Foreign tribunal'', 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'', the state or foreign country 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 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 6–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 the commonwealth.
(10) ''Income-withholding order'', an order or other legal process directed to an obligor's employer, other source of periodic income, as defined by section 1A of chapter 119A, or other debtor to withhold support from the income of the obligor.
(11) ''Initiating tribunal'', 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'', the foreign country in which a tribunal issues a support order or a judgment determining parentage of a child.
(13) ''Issuing state'', the state in which a tribunal issues a support order or a judgment determining parentage of a child.
(14) ''Issuing tribunal'', 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:
(i) 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;
(ii) 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;
(iii) an individual seeking a judgment determining parentage of the individual's child; or
(iv) a person that is a creditor in a proceeding under Article 7.
(17) ''Obligor'', an individual, or the estate of a decedent that:
(i) owes or is alleged to owe a duty of support;
(ii) is alleged but has not been adjudicated to be a parent of a child;
(iii) is liable under a support order; or
(iv) is a debtor in a proceeding under Article 7.
(18) ''Outside this commonwealth'', a location in another state or a country other than the United States, whether or not the country is a foreign country.
(19) ''Person'', an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation, government or governmental subdivision, agency or instrumentality or any other legal or commercial entity.
(20) ''Record'', 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'', to file in a tribunal of the commonwealth a support order or judgment determining parentage of a child issued in another state or a foreign country.
(22) ''Registering tribunal'', a tribunal in which a support order or judgment determining parentage of a child is registered.
(23) ''Responding state'', 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'', the authorized tribunal in a responding state or foreign country.
(25) ''Spousal-support order'', a support order for a spouse or former spouse of the obligor.
(26) ''State'', a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands or any territory or insular possession under the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes an Indian nation or tribe.
(27) ''Support enforcement agency'', a public official, governmental entity or private agency authorized to:
(i) seek enforcement of support orders or laws relating to the duty of support;
(ii) seek establishment or modification of child support;
(iii) request determination of parentage of a child;
(iv) attempt to locate obligors or their assets; or
(v) request determination of the controlling child support order.
(28) ''Support order'', 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's fees and other relief.
(29) ''Tribunal'', a court, administrative agency or quasi-judicial entity authorized to establish, enforce or modify support orders or to determine parentage of a child.