Defenses to Support Registration

An out of state order may be enforced in Pennsylvania following registration of the order here pursuant to 23 Pa. C.S. 7605. Notice will be given to all interested parties regarding the proposed registration. If there is no response, the order will be registered. If a party contests the registration, a hearing will be scheduled. There are several defenses available to a party contesting registration of a support order under 23 Pa. C.S. 7607. First, the party can assert that the court that initially entered the order lacked personal jurisdiction. Second, the party can assert the order was obtained by fraud. Next, the party can establish the order has been vacated, suspended or subsequently modified by another order.

The fourth defense is that the order has been stayed pending appeal by the issuing court. Fifth, a defense under Pennsylvania law can be raised. Sixth, the party can establish full or partial payment has already been made. Finally, the party can assert the statute of limitations has already run barring enforcement on past due support amounts. If a party successfully proves one of the above-listed defenses, the court can decline to register the order. Additional options available to the court include continuing the matter for additional evidence and/or registration of the uncontested portion of the order. Once an order is registered, the court does not allow any further argument or defense so all defenses must be raised at the initial notice of registration.

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