Title 15: Domestic Relations
Chapter 11: ANNULMENT AND DIVORCE
15 V.S.A. § 606. Action to recover maintenance, child support, and suit money; sanction for noncompliance
§ 606. Action to recover maintenance, child support, and suit money; sanction for noncompliance
(a) When a judgment or order for the payment of either temporary or permanent maintenance, child support, or suit money has been made by the family division of the superior court, and personal jurisdiction of the person liable for the payment of money under the judgment or order has been obtained, the party entitled by the terms of the judgment or order to payment thereunder, or the office of child support in all cases in which the party or dependent children of the parties are the recipients of financial assistance from the department for children and families, may file a motion in the family division of the superior court asking for a determination of the amount due. Upon notice to the other party and hearing thereon, the family division of the superior court shall render judgment for the amount due under the judgment or order; the court may order restitution to the department, order that payments be made to the office of child support for distribution, or make such other orders o
r conditions as it deems proper. The judgment shall be as binding and as enforceable in all respects as though rendered in any other civil action. Notice shall be given in such manner as the supreme court shall by rule provide. An additional motion may be brought at any time for further unpaid balances. The family division of the superior court in which the cause was pending at the time the original judgment or order was made shall have jurisdiction of motions under the provisions of this section, irrespective of the amount in controversy or the residence of the parties. The motions may be brought and judgment obtained on judgments, decrees and orders previously rendered and still in force.
(b) For the purpose of enforcing child support orders under this title and Title 33, any support payment or installment shall become a judgment on the date it becomes due.
(c) An action to enforce a judgment under subsection (b) of this section may be brought no later than six years after the youngest child covered by the support order attains the age of majority or no later than six years after a child covered by subsection 659(b) of this title is no longer covered.
(d)(1) In lieu of interest on unpaid child support which has accrued under a child support order, a child support surcharge shall be imposed on past-due child support. Beginning July 1, 2004, the surcharge shall be computed and assessed monthly at a rate of one percent or an annual rate of 12 percent and shall not be compounded. Beginning January 1, 2012, the surcharges shall be computed and assessed monthly at a rate of one-half percent or an annual rate of six percent and shall not be compounded. All surcharges shall be deemed principal and not interest. Payments received for child support obligations shall be allocated and distributed as follows:
(A) first to current support obligations;
(B) second to arrearages; and
(C) third to surcharge arrears.
(2) In the interest of justice, the court may discharge all or part of a surcharge that accrued subsequent to the date of the last judgment upon a finding that since that date, the obligated parent became unable to comply with the underlying support obligation. The obligated parent shall bear the burden of proving inability to comply. (Added 1981, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; amended 1995, No. 59, § 7; 1997, No. 63, § 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2003, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 31; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238; 2011, No. 32, § 1.)