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SupportGuidelines.com

UIFSA AND STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS

Laura Wish Morgan

Section 604 of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (1996) contains two important choice of law provisions. Section (b) of that section states:

(b) In a proceeding for arrearages, the statute of limitations under the laws of this State or of the issuing state, whichever is longer, applies.

As explained by the U.S. Commission on Interstate Child Support, Supporting Our Children: Blueprint for Reform at 92 (1992),

A tribunal should apply the statute of limitations of either the forum or rendering state, whichever is longer. For example, if the rendering state has six year statute of limitations that runs from the date the installment is past due and if the enforcement state has a three year statute of limitations after the child turns eighteen, the tribunal would apply the longer of the two.

Thus, in any UIFSA proceeding for enforcement of arrearages, counsel must know the statute of limitations for enforcement of support under the law of both the forum state and the issuing state. What follows is the statute of limitations for the enforcement of child support in every state.

STATE STATUTES/CASES LIMITATIONS PERIOD
Alabama Ala. Code § 6-2-32; see also Leslie v. Beringer, 636 So. 2d 441 (Ala. Civ. App. 1994) 20 years from date each installment becomes due
Alaska Alaska Stat. §§ 09.10.040 (actions), 09.35.020 (executions); see also State ex. rel. Inman v. Dean, 902 P.2d 1321 (Alaska 1995) for actions,10 years from date each installment becomes due; for proceedings in aid of enforcement, 5 years unless “good cause” shown for delay
Arizona Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 25-503(J); see also Johnson v. Johnson, 195 Ariz. 389, 988 P.2d 621, 623 n.1 (Ct. App. 1999) request for judgment for arrears must be filed within 3 years after emancipation of all children; formal written judgments enforceable until paid in full
Arkansas Ark. Code Ann. § 9-14-235; see also Malone v. Malone, 338 Ark. 20, 991 S.W.2d 546 (1999) no limitations period on the enforcement of child support judgments
California Cal. Fam. Code Ann. § 4502; see also In re Marriage of Garcia, 67 Cal. App. 4th 693, 79 Cal. Rptr. 2d 242 (1997) no limitations period; judgments are enforceable until paid in full
Colorado Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13-52-102; see also In re Marriage of Aragon, 773 P.2d 1110 (Colo. Ct. App. 1989) 20 year limitation period prescribed for execution upon judgments applies to each installment as it becomes due
Connecticut Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § ___ ?
Delaware Edwards v. Edwards, No. 80A-MR-12 (Del. Super. Ct. 1981); Pierce v. Higgins, 531 A.2d 1221 (Del. Fam. Ct. 1987) no limitations period on the enforcement of child support arrears
District of Columbia D.C. Code Ann. § 15-101; see also Mayo v. Mayo, 508 A.2d 114 (D.C. 1986) each installment of support has enforceable life of 12 years from the date it becomes due
Florida Frazier v. Fazier, 616 So. 2d 575 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1993); see also Garcia v. Guerra, 738 So. 2d 459 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1999) proceedings to enforce support orders are equitable and not subject to a statute of limitations
Georgia Ga. Code Ann. § 9-12-60(d); see also Brown v. Brown, 269 Ga. 724, 506 S.E.2d 108 (1998) no limitations period on the enforcement of child support arrears
Hawaii Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 657-5; see also Lindsey v. Lindsey, 6 Haw. App. 201, 716 P.2d 496 (1986) 10 years from date each installment becomes due
Idaho Idaho Code § 5-245; see also Stonecipher v. Stonecipher, 131 Idaho 731, 963 P.2d 1168 (1998) action or proceeding to collect support arrearage must be filed before child reaches majority (18), plus 5 years
Illinois 735 ILCS 5/12-108 "Child support judgments, including those arising by operation of law, may be enforced at any time"
Indiana Ind. Code Ann. § 34-11-2-10; see also Connell v. Welty, 725 N.E.2d 502 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000) action must be commenced before the earlier of child's emancipation or reaching majority (18), plus 10 years
Iowa Iowa Code Ann. § 614.1(6); State v. Stafford, 584 N.W.2d 242 (Iowa 1998) 20 years from date each installment becomes due
Kansas Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-2403(b); see also Gardner v. Gardner, 916 P.2d 43 (Kan. Ct. App. 1996); In re Marriage of Williams, 900 P.2d 860 (Kan. Ct. App. 1995) child support judgments do not become extinguished until they have been dormant for the period before the child's emancipation, plus 2 years
Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 413.090; see also Harvey v. McGuire, 635 S.W.2d 8 (Ky. Ct. App. 1982) 15-years from emancipation or the time support delinquency is reduced to lump sum payment, whichever occurs first
Louisiana La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 3501.1; see also State v. Lee, 728 So. 2d 1042 (La. Ct. App. 1999) action to make executory arrearages of support subject to 10-year liberative prescription
Maine Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 14, § 752; see also Carter v. Carter, 611 A.2d 86 (Me. 1992) no limitations period on the enforcement of child support arrears
Maryland Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-102(a); see also O'Hearn v. O'Hearn, 337 Md. 292, 653 A.2d 446 (1995) 12 years from date each installment becomes due
Massachusetts Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 260, § 20; see also Child Support Enforcement v. Brenckle, 424 Mass. 214, 675 N.E.2d 390, 396 n.20 (1997) 20 years from date each installment becomes due
Michigan Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5809; Mich. Stat. Ann. § 27A.5809; see also Rzadkowolski v. Pefley, 237 Mich. App. 405, 603 N.W.2d 646 (1999) 10 years from the date that the last support payment is due under the support order
Minnesota Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 541.04, 548.091; see also In re Marriage of Opp, 516 N.W.2d 193 (Minn. Ct. App. 1994); Bednarek v. Bednarek, 438 N.W.2d 9 (Minn. Ct. App. 1988) 10 years from the date each installment becomes due
Mississippi Miss. Code Ann. §§ 15-1-43, 15-1-59; see also Glass v. Glass, 726 So. 2d 1281 (Miss. Ct. App. 1998) 7 year statute of limitations begins to run from the date the child becomes emancipated
Missouri Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 516.350.1, 516.350.2; see also In re Lombard, 994 S.W.2d 594 (Mo. Ct. App. 1999) each installment is presumptively satisfied 10 years after it becomes due, unless revived
Montana Mont. Code Ann. § 27-2-201(3); see also In re Marriage of Hopper, No. 98-580 (Mont. 12/09/99) 10 years from the date each installment becomes due
Nebraska Finnern v. Bruner, 167 Neb. 281, 92 N.W.2d 785 (1958); Freis v. Harvey, 5 Neb. App. 679, 563 N.W.2d 363 (1997) no limitations period on the enforcement of child support arrears
Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 125B.050(3); see also State of Washington v. Bagley, 114 Nev. 788, 963 P.2d 498 (1998) no limitations period on the enforcement of child support arrears
New Hampshire N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 508:4; see also Griffin v. Avery, 424 A.2d 175 (N.H. 1980) 6 years from the date each installment becomes due
New Jersey N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2A:14-5, 2A:17-56.23a 20 years from the date each installment becomes due, subject to revival
New Mexico N.M. Stat. Ann. § 37-1-2; see also Padilla v. Montano, 116 N.M. 398, 862 P.2d 1257 (Ct. App. 1993) 14 years from the date each installment becomes due
New York N.Y. C.P.L.R. 211(e); see also Robinson v. Aspinall, 238 A.D.2d 255, 657 N.Y.S.2d 14 (1997); Werner v. Werner, 176 Misc.2d 299, 671 N.Y.S.2d 626 (1998) 20 years from the date each installment becomes due
North Carolina N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-47; see also State ex rel. George v. Bray, 503 S.E.2d 686 (N.C. Ct. App. 1998) 10 years from the date each installment becomes due
North Dakota N.D. Cent. Code § 14-08.1-05; see also Ruscheinsky v. Ulrich, No. 990388 (N.D. 06/29/00) no limitations period on the enforcement of child support arrears
Ohio DeCamp v. Board, 94 Ohio App. 367, 115 N.E.2d 403 (1953) no limitations period on the enforcement of child support arrears
Oklahoma Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 43, § 137; see also Aguero v. Aguero, 976 P.2d 1088 (Okla. Civ. App. 1999) no limitations period on the enforcement of child support arrears
Oregon Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 18.360, 107.135, 109.100(2); see also In re Marriage of Hovden, 104 Or. App. 514, 802 P.2d 89 (1990); cf. State v. Ramirez, 167 Or. App. 199, 2 P.3d 437 (2000) Prior to January 1, 1994, each overdue payment was a judgment that expired 10 years from the date of accrual if not renewed. Any arrears unexpired on January 1, 1994 and any child support judgment entered after that date expires 25 years from the date of the original child support judgment. (see ORS 25.700)
Pennsylvania 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5527; see also Miller v. Bistransky, 451 Pa. Super. 433, 679 A.2d 1300 (1996); Morrissey v. Morrissey, 552 Pa. 81, 713 A.2d 614 (1998) 6 years from date each installment becomes due; the only limitations periods that affect collections of domestic arrears are those applicable to enforcement efforts
Rhode Island R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 9-1-17, 15-5-16.3; Lippman v. Kay, 415 A.2d 738 (R.I. 1980) 20 years from date each installment becomes due
South Carolina S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-600; cf. 335 S.C. 477, 517 S.E.2d 235 (Ct. App. 1999) 10 years from date each installment becomes due
South Dakota S.D. Codified Laws §§ 15-2-6, 25-7-7.4; see also Hershey v. Curtis, 467 N.W.2d 484 (S.D. 1991) 20 years from date each installment becomes due
Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-5-103(g); see also Anderson v. Harrison, No. 02A01-9805-GS-00132 (Tenn. Ct. App. 01/07/99) no limitations period on the enforcement of child support arrears
Texas Tex. Fam. Code Ann. § 157.005(b) court retains jurisdiction to render judgment for past due support until all support has been paid
Utah Utah Code Ann. § 78-12-22(2); see also State v. Jacoby, 975 P.2d 939 (Utah Ct. App. 1999) action must be commenced within 8 years after the date the last installment was due and obligee may only collect past due amounts going back 8 years
Vermont Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, § 606; see also Hixson v. Plump, 167 Vt. 202, 704 A.2d 1159 (1997) actions for unpaid support installments (which have not been reduced to judgment) must be brought no later than 6 years after child attains majority
Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-251; see also Arthur v. Commonwealth, No. 1762-98-3 (Va. Ct. App. 1999) 20 years from the date the unpaid installments are reduced to a money judgment
Washington Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§ 4.16.020(3), 6.17.020; see also In re Marriage of Capetillo, 85 Wash. App. 311, 932 P.2d 691 (1997) 10 years from date each installment becomes due
West Virginia W. Va. Code § 38-3-18; see also Clay v. Clay, No. 26209 (W. Va. 1999) 10 years from date each installment becomes due
Wisconsin Wis. Stat. Ann. § 893.16; Paterson v. Paterson, 73 Wis.2d 150, 242 N.W.2d 907 (1976) 20 year limitation period begins to run when child attains majority
Wyoming Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 1-16-503, 1-17-307, 20-2-113; see also Hollingshead v. Hollingshead, 942 P.2d 1104 (Wyo. 1997) each unpaid installment becomes dormant if execution is not issued thereon within five years; thereafter, may be revived within 21 years

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