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  H.B. No. 3538
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the adoption of the Uniform Interstate Family Support
  Act of 2008.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 159.102, Family Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 159.102.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Child" means an individual, whether over or under
  the age of majority, who:
                     (A)  is or is alleged to be owed a duty of support
  by the individual's parent; or
                     (B)  is or is alleged to be the beneficiary of a
  support order directed to the parent.
               (2)  "Child support order" means 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" means 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" means 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" means a country, including a
  political subdivision thereof, other than the United States, that
  authorizes the issuance of support orders and:
                     (A)  which has been declared under the law of the
  United States to be a foreign reciprocating country; 
                     (B)  which has established a reciprocal
  arrangement for child support with this state as provided in
  Section 159.308; 
                     (C)  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
                     (D)  in which the Convention is in force with
  respect to the United States.
               (6)  "Foreign support order" means a support order of a
  foreign tribunal.
               (7)  "Foreign tribunal" means 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) [(4)]  "Home state" means the state or foreign
  country in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as
  parent for at least six consecutive months immediately preceding
  the time of filing of a petition or a comparable pleading for
  support and, if a child is less than six months old, the state or
  foreign country in which the child lived from birth with any of them
  [with a parent or a person acting as parent from the time of birth].
  A period of temporary absence of any of them is counted as part of
  the six-month or other period.
               (9) [(5)]  "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 this
  state.
               (10) [(6)]  "Income-withholding order" means an order
  or other legal process directed to an obligor's employer, as
  provided in Chapter 158, to withhold support from the income of the
  obligor.
               (11)  [(7) "Initiating state" means a state from which
  a proceeding is forwarded or in which a proceeding is filed for
  forwarding to a responding state under this chapter or a law or
  procedure substantially similar to this chapter.
               [(8)]  "Initiating tribunal" means the [authorized]
  tribunal of a state or foreign country from which a petition or
  comparable pleading is forwarded or a petition or comparable
  pleading is filed for forwarding to another state or foreign
  country [in an initiating state].
               (12)  "Issuing foreign country" means the foreign
  country in which a tribunal issues a support order or a judgment
  determining parentage of a child.
               (13) [(9)]  "Issuing state" means the state in which a
  tribunal issues a support order or [renders] a judgment determining
  parentage of a child.
               (14) [(10)]  "Issuing tribunal" means the tribunal of a
  state or foreign country that issues a support order or [renders] a
  judgment determining parentage of a child.
               (15) [(11)]  "Law" includes decisional and statutory
  law and rules and regulations having the force of law.
               (16) [(12)]  "Obligee" means:
                     (A)  an individual to whom a duty of support is or
  is alleged to be owed or in whose favor a support order [has been
  issued] or a judgment determining parentage of a child has been
  issued [rendered];
                     (B)  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 that has independent claims
  based on financial assistance provided to an individual obligee in
  place of child support; [or]
                     (C)  an individual seeking a judgment determining
  parentage of the individual's child; or
                     (D)  a person that is a creditor in a proceeding
  under Subchapter H.
               (17) [(13)]  "Obligor" means an individual, or the
  estate of a decedent, that:
                     (A)  [who] owes or is alleged to owe a duty of
  support;
                     (B)  [who] is alleged but has not been adjudicated
  to be a parent of a child; [or]
                     (C)  [who] is liable under a support order; or
                     (D)  is a debtor in a proceeding under Subchapter
  H.
               (18)  "Outside this state" means a location in another
  state or a country other than the United States, whether or not the
  country is a foreign country.
               (19) [(14)]  "Person" means an individual,
  corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited
  liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation,
  government or [,] governmental subdivision, agency, or
  instrumentality, [public corporation,] or any other legal or
  commercial entity.
               (20) [(15)]  "Record" means information that is:
                     (A)  inscribed on a tangible medium or that is
  stored in an electronic or other medium; and
                     (B)  retrievable in a perceivable form.
               (21) [(16)]  "Register" means to file in a tribunal of
  this state a support order or judgment determining parentage of a
  child issued in another state or a [in the registry of] foreign
  country [support orders].
               (22) [(17)]  "Registering tribunal" means a tribunal
  in which a support order or judgment determining parentage of a
  child is registered.
               (23) [(18)]  "Responding state" means a state in which
  a petition or comparable pleading for support or to determine
  parentage of a child [proceeding] is filed or to which a petition or
  comparable pleading [proceeding] is forwarded for filing from
  another [an initiating] state or a foreign country [under this
  chapter or a law or procedure substantially similar to this
  chapter].
               (24) [(19)]  "Responding tribunal" means the
  authorized tribunal in a responding state or foreign country.
               (25) [(20)]  "Spousal support order" means a support
  order for a spouse or former spouse of the obligor.
               (26) [(21)]  "State" means a state of the United
  States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States
  Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to
  the jurisdiction of the United States. The term includes[:
                     [(A)]  an Indian nation or tribe[; and
                     [(B)     a foreign country or political subdivision
  that has:
                           [(i)     been declared to be a foreign
  reciprocating country or political subdivision under federal law;
                           [(ii)     established a reciprocal arrangement
  for child support with this state as provided by Section 159.308; or
                           [(iii)     enacted a law or established
  procedures for issuance and enforcement of support orders that are
  substantially similar to the procedures under this chapter].
               (27) [(22)]  "Support enforcement agency" means a
  public official, governmental entity, or private agency authorized
  to [seek]:
                     (A)  seek enforcement of support orders or laws
  relating to the duty of support;
                     (B)  seek establishment or modification of child
  support;
                     (C)  request determination of parentage of a
  child;
                     (D)  attempt to locate [the location of] obligors
  or their assets; or
                     (E)  request determination of the controlling
  child support order.
         "Support enforcement agency" does not include a domestic
  relations office unless that office has entered into a cooperative
  agreement with the Title IV-D agency to perform duties under this
  chapter.
               (28) [(23)]  "Support order" means a judgment, decree,
  order, decision, or directive, whether temporary, final, or subject
  to modification, issued in a state or foreign country [by a
  tribunal] for the benefit of a child, a spouse, or a former spouse
  that 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 [and] may include related costs and fees, interest, income
  withholding, automatic adjustment, reasonable attorney's fees, and
  other relief.
               (29) [(24)]  "Tribunal" means a court, administrative
  agency, or quasi-judicial entity authorized to establish, enforce,
  or modify support orders or to determine parentage of a child.
         SECTION 2.  Section 159.103, Family Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 159.103.  STATE TRIBUNAL AND SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT AGENCY 
  [OF STATE]. (a) The court is the tribunal of this state.
         (b)  The office of the attorney general is the support
  enforcement agency of this state.
         SECTION 3.  Sections 159.104(a) and (b), Family Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Remedies provided by [in] this chapter are cumulative
  and do not affect the availability of remedies under other law or [,
  including] the recognition of a foreign support order [of a foreign
  country or political subdivision] on the basis of comity.
         (b)  This chapter does not:
               (1)  provide the exclusive method of establishing or
  enforcing a support order under the law of this state; or
               (2)  grant a tribunal of this state jurisdiction to
  render [a] judgment or issue an order relating to child custody or
  visitation in a proceeding under this chapter.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter B, Chapter 159, Family Code, is
  amended by adding Section 159.105 to read as follows:
         Sec. 159.105.  APPLICATION OF CHAPTER TO RESIDENT OF FOREIGN
  COUNTRY AND FOREIGN SUPPORT PROCEEDING. (a) A tribunal of this
  state shall apply Subchapters B through G and, as applicable,
  Subchapter H to a support proceeding involving:
               (1)  a foreign support order;
               (2)  a foreign tribunal; or
               (3)  an obligee, obligor, or child residing in a
  foreign country.
         (b)  A tribunal of this state that is requested to recognize
  and enforce a support order on the basis of comity may apply the
  procedural and substantive provisions of Subchapters B through G.
         (c)  Subchapter H applies only to a support proceeding under
  the Convention. In such a proceeding, if a provision of Subchapter H
  is inconsistent with Subchapters B through G, Subchapter H
  controls. 
         SECTION 5.  Section 159.201, Family Code, as amended by
  S.B. 219, Acts of the 84th Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 159.201.  BASES FOR JURISDICTION OVER NONRESIDENT. (a)
  In a proceeding to establish or enforce a support order or to
  determine parentage of a child, a tribunal of this state may
  exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident individual or the
  individual's guardian or conservator if:
               (1)  the individual is personally served with citation
  in this state;
               (2)  the individual submits to the jurisdiction of this
  state by consent in a record, by entering a general appearance, or
  by filing a responsive document having the effect of waiving any
  contest to personal jurisdiction;
               (3)  the individual resided with the child in this
  state;
               (4)  the individual resided in this state and provided
  prenatal expenses or support for the child;
               (5)  the child resides in this state as a result of the
  acts or directives of the individual;
               (6)  the individual engaged in sexual intercourse in
  this state and the child may have been conceived by that act of
  intercourse;
               (7)  the individual asserted parentage of a child in
  the paternity registry maintained in this state by the vital
  statistics unit; or
               (8)  there is any other basis consistent with the
  constitutions of this state and the United States for the exercise
  of personal jurisdiction.
         (b)  The [A tribunal of this state may not use the] bases of
  personal jurisdiction listed in Subsection (a) or in any other law
  of this state may not be used to acquire personal jurisdiction for a
  tribunal of this state to modify a child support order of another
  state unless the requirements of Section 159.611 are met, or, in the
  case of a foreign support order, unless the requirements of Section
  159.615 are met [or 159.615 are satisfied].
         SECTION 6.  Section 159.202, Family Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 159.202.  DURATION OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION. Personal
  jurisdiction acquired by a tribunal of this state in a proceeding
  under this chapter or other law of this state relating to a support
  order continues as long as the tribunal of this state has
  continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify its order or
  continuing jurisdiction to enforce its order as provided by [under]
  Sections 159.205, 159.206, and 159.211.
         SECTION 7.  Section 159.203, Family Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 159.203.  INITIATING AND RESPONDING TRIBUNAL OF STATE.
  Under this chapter, a tribunal of this state may serve as an
  initiating tribunal to forward proceedings to a tribunal of another
  state and as a responding tribunal for proceedings initiated in
  another state or a foreign country.
         SECTION 8.  Section 159.204, Family Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 159.204.  SIMULTANEOUS PROCEEDINGS. (a) A tribunal of
  this state may exercise jurisdiction to establish a support order
  if the petition or comparable pleading is filed after a pleading is
  filed in another state or a foreign country only if:
               (1)  the petition or comparable pleading in this state
  is filed before the expiration of the time allowed in the other
  state or the foreign country for filing a responsive pleading
  challenging the exercise of jurisdiction by the other state or the
  foreign country;
               (2)  the contesting party timely challenges the
  exercise of jurisdiction in the other state or the foreign country;
  and
               (3)  if relevant, this state is the home state of the
  child.
         (b)  A tribunal of this state may not exercise jurisdiction
  to establish a support order if the petition or comparable pleading
  is filed before a petition or comparable pleading is filed in
  another state or a foreign country if:
               (1)  the petition or comparable pleading in the other
  state or foreign country is filed before the expiration of the time
  allowed in this state for filing a responsive pleading challenging
  the exercise of jurisdiction by this state;
               (2)  the contesting party timely challenges the
  exercise of jurisdiction in this state; and
               (3)  if relevant, the other state or foreign country is
  the home state of the child.
         SECTION 9.  Sections 159.205(a), (b), (c), and (d), Family
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  A tribunal of this state that has issued a child support
  order consistent with the law of this state has and shall exercise
  continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify its child support
  order if the order is the controlling order and:
               (1)  at the time of the filing of a request for
  modification [is filed,] this state is the [state of] residence of
  the obligor, the individual obligee, or the child for whose benefit
  the support order is issued; or
               (2)  even if this state is not the residence of the
  obligor, the individual obligee, or the child for whose benefit the
  support order is issued, the parties consent in a record or in open
  court that the tribunal of this state may continue to exercise
  jurisdiction to modify its order.
         (b)  A tribunal of this state that has issued a child support
  order consistent with the law of this state may not exercise
  continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify the order if:
               (1)  all of the parties [each party] who are
  individuals file [is an individual files a] consent in a record with
  the tribunal of this state that a tribunal of another state that has
  jurisdiction over at least one of the parties who is an individual
  or that is located in the state of residence of the child may modify
  the order and assume continuing, exclusive jurisdiction; or
               (2)  the tribunal's order is not the controlling order.
         (c)  If a [A] tribunal of another [this] state [shall
  recognize the continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of a tribunal of
  another state if the tribunal of the other state] has issued a child
  support order pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act
  or a law substantially similar to that Act that modifies a child
  support order of a tribunal of this state, tribunals of this state
  shall recognize the continuing, exclusive jurisdiction of the
  tribunal of the other state [under a law substantially similar to
  this chapter].
         (d)  A tribunal of this state that lacks [does not have]
  continuing, exclusive jurisdiction to modify a child support order
  may serve as an initiating tribunal to request a tribunal of another
  state to modify a support order issued in that state.
         SECTION 10.  Section 159.206(a), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A tribunal of this state that has issued a child support
  order consistent with the law of this state may serve as an
  initiating tribunal to request a tribunal of another state to
  enforce:
               (1)  the order, if the order:
                     (A)  is the controlling order; and
                     (B)  has not been modified by a tribunal of
  another state that assumed jurisdiction under the Uniform
  Interstate Family Support Act; or
               (2)  a money judgment for arrears of support
  [arrearages] and interest on the order accrued before a
  determination that an order of a tribunal of another state is the
  controlling order.
         SECTION 11.  Section 159.207, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.207.  DETERMINATION OF CONTROLLING CHILD SUPPORT
  ORDER. (a) If a proceeding is brought under this chapter and only
  one tribunal has issued a child support order, the order of that
  tribunal controls and must be [so] recognized.
         (b)  If a proceeding is brought under this chapter and two or
  more child support orders have been issued by tribunals of this
  state, [or] another state, or a foreign country with regard to the
  same obligor and same child, a tribunal of this state having
  personal jurisdiction over both the obligor and individual obligee
  shall apply the following rules and by order shall [to] determine
  [by order] which order controls and must be recognized:
               (1)  if only one of the tribunals would have
  continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this chapter, the order of
  that tribunal controls [and must be so recognized];
               (2)  if more than one of the tribunals would have
  continuing, exclusive jurisdiction under this chapter:
                     (A)  an order issued by a tribunal in the current
  home state of the child controls [if an order is issued in the
  current home state of the child]; or
                     (B)  [the order most recently issued controls] if
  an order has not been issued in the current home state of the child,
  the order most recently issued controls; and
               (3)  if none of the tribunals would have continuing,
  exclusive jurisdiction under this chapter, the tribunal of this
  state shall issue a child support order that controls.
         (c)  If two or more child support orders have been issued for
  the same obligor and same child, on request of a party who is an
  individual or that is a support enforcement agency, a tribunal of
  this state having personal jurisdiction over both the obligor and
  the obligee who is an individual shall determine which order
  controls under Subsection (b). The request may be filed[:
               [(1)]  with a registration for enforcement or
  registration for modification under Subchapter G[;] or may be filed
               [(2)]  as a separate proceeding.
         (d)  A request to determine which is the controlling order
  must be accompanied by a copy of every [each] child support order in
  effect and the applicable record of payments. The requesting party
  shall give notice of the request to each party whose rights may be
  affected by the determination.
         (e)  The tribunal that issued the controlling order under
  Subsection (a), (b), or (c) has continuing jurisdiction to the
  extent provided by [under] Section 159.205 or 159.206.
         (f)  A tribunal of this state that determines by order which
  [order] is the controlling order under Subsection (b)(1) or (2) or
  Subsection (c), or that issues a new controlling order under
  Subsection (b)(3), shall state in that order:
               (1)  the basis upon which the tribunal made its
  determination;
               (2)  the amount of prospective [child] support, if any;
  and
               (3)  the total amount of consolidated arrears
  [arrearages] and accrued interest, if any, under all of the orders
  after all payments made are credited as provided by [under] Section
  159.209.
         (g)  Within 30 days after issuance of an order determining
  which order is the controlling order, the party obtaining the order
  shall file a certified copy of the controlling order in each
  tribunal that issued or registered an earlier order of child
  support. A party or support enforcement agency obtaining [that
  obtains] the order that [and] fails to file a certified copy [of the
  order] is subject to appropriate sanctions by a tribunal in which
  the issue of failure to file arises. The failure to file does not
  affect the validity or enforceability of the controlling order.
         (h)  An order that has been determined to be the controlling
  order, or a judgment for consolidated arrears of support
  [arrearages] and interest, if any, made [issued] under this
  section, must be recognized in proceedings [a proceeding] under
  this chapter.
         SECTION 12.  Section 159.208, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.208.  CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS FOR TWO OR MORE
  OBLIGEES. In responding to registrations or petitions for
  enforcement of two or more child support orders in effect at the
  same time with regard to the same obligor and different individual
  obligees, at least one of which was issued by a tribunal of another
  state or a foreign country, a tribunal of this state shall enforce
  those orders in the same manner as if the orders had been issued by a
  tribunal of this state.
         SECTION 13.  Section 159.209, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.209.  CREDIT FOR PAYMENTS. A tribunal of this state
  shall credit amounts collected for a particular period under any
  child [a] support order against the amounts owed for the same period
  under any other child support order for support of the same child
  issued by a tribunal of this state, [or] another state, or a foreign
  country.
         SECTION 14.  Section 159.210, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.210.  APPLICATION OF CHAPTER [APPLICABILITY] TO
  NONRESIDENT SUBJECT TO PERSONAL JURISDICTION. A [(a)   Except as
  provided by Subsection (b), Subchapters D-H do not apply to a]
  tribunal of this state exercising personal jurisdiction over a
  nonresident in a proceeding under this chapter or under other law of
  this state relating to a support order or recognizing a foreign
  support order [of a foreign country or political subdivision on the
  basis of comity. The tribunal shall apply the procedural and
  substantive law of this state in a proceeding described by this
  subsection.
         [(b)     Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a tribunal of this
  state exercising personal jurisdiction over a nonresident in a
  proceeding under this chapter or under other law of this state
  relating to a support order or recognizing a support order of a
  foreign country or political subdivision on the basis of comity]
  may[:
               [(1)]  receive evidence from outside this [another]
  state as provided by Section 159.316,[;
               [(2)]  communicate with a tribunal outside this [of
  another] state as provided by Section 159.317,[;] and
               [(3)]  obtain discovery through a tribunal outside this
  [of another] state as provided by Section 159.318.  In all other
  respects, Subchapters D, E, F, and G do not apply and the tribunal
  shall apply the procedural and substantive law of this state.
         SECTION 15.  Section 159.211(b), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  A tribunal of this state may not modify a spousal
  support order issued by a tribunal of another state or a foreign
  country having continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over that order
  under the law of that state or foreign country.
         SECTION 16.  Section 159.301(c), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (c)  An individual petitioner or a support enforcement
  agency may initiate a proceeding authorized under this chapter by
  filing a petition in an initiating tribunal for forwarding to a
  responding tribunal or by filing a petition or a comparable
  pleading directly in a tribunal of another state or foreign country
  that has or [that] can obtain personal jurisdiction over the
  respondent.
         SECTION 17.  Section 159.304(b), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  If requested by the responding tribunal, a tribunal of
  this state shall issue a certificate or other document and make
  findings required by the law of the responding state. If the
  responding tribunal [state] is in a foreign country [or political
  subdivision], on request the tribunal of this state shall specify
  the amount of support sought, convert that amount into the
  equivalent amount in the foreign currency under the applicable
  official or market exchange rate as publicly reported, and provide
  any other documents necessary to satisfy the requirements of the
  responding foreign tribunal [state].
         SECTION 18.  Sections 159.305(b) and (f), Family Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  A [Except as prohibited by other law, a] responding
  tribunal of this state, to the extent not prohibited by other law,
  may do one or more of the following:
               (1)  establish [issue] or enforce a support order,
  modify a child support order, determine the controlling child
  support order, or determine parentage of a child;
               (2)  order an obligor to comply with a support order,
  specifying [and specify] the amount and the manner of compliance;
               (3)  order income withholding;
               (4)  determine the amount of any arrearages and specify
  a method of payment;
               (5)  enforce orders by civil or criminal contempt, or
  both;
               (6)  set aside property for satisfaction of the support
  order;
               (7)  place liens and order execution on the obligor's
  property;
               (8)  order an obligor to keep the tribunal informed of
  the obligor's current residential address, electronic mail
  address, telephone number, employer, address of employment, and
  telephone number at the place of employment;
               (9)  issue a bench warrant or capias for an obligor who
  has failed after proper notice to appear at a hearing ordered by the
  tribunal and enter the bench warrant or capias in any local and
  state computer systems for criminal warrants;
               (10)  order the obligor to seek appropriate employment
  by specified methods;
               (11)  award reasonable attorney's fees and other fees
  and costs; and
               (12)  grant any other available remedy.
         (f)  If requested to enforce a support order, arrears
  [arrearages], or [a] judgment or [to] modify a support order stated
  in a foreign currency, a responding tribunal of this state shall
  convert the amount stated in the foreign currency to the equivalent
  amount in dollars under the applicable official or market exchange
  rate as publicly reported.
         SECTION 19.  Sections 159.307(b), (c), (d), and (e), Family
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  A support enforcement agency of this state that is
  providing [provides] services to the petitioner shall:
               (1)  take all steps necessary to enable an appropriate
  tribunal of [in] this state, [or] another state, or a foreign
  country to obtain jurisdiction over the respondent;
               (2)  request an appropriate tribunal to set a date,
  time, and place for a hearing;
               (3)  make a reasonable effort to obtain all relevant
  information, including information as to income and property of the
  parties;
               (4)  within two days [not later than the second day],
  exclusive of [excluding] Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays,
  after [the date of] receipt of [a written] notice in a record from
  an initiating, responding, or registering tribunal, send a copy of
  the notice to the petitioner;
               (5)  within two days [not later than the second day],
  exclusive of [excluding] Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays,
  after [the date of] receipt of [a written] communication in a record
  from the respondent or the respondent's attorney, send a copy of the
  communication to the petitioner; and
               (6)  notify the petitioner if jurisdiction over the
  respondent cannot be obtained.
         (c)  A support enforcement agency of this state that requests
  registration of a child support order in this state for enforcement
  or for modification shall make reasonable efforts [to ensure that]:
               (1)  to ensure that the order to be registered is the
  controlling order; or
               (2)  if two or more child support orders exist and the
  identity of the controlling order has not been determined, to
  ensure that a request for such a determination [of which order is
  the controlling order] is made in a tribunal having jurisdiction to
  do so [to make the determination, if two or more child support
  orders have been issued and a determination of the controlling
  order has not been made].
         (d)  A support enforcement agency of this state that requests
  registration and enforcement of a support order, arrears
  [arrearages], or a judgment stated in a foreign currency shall
  convert the amount stated in the foreign currency into [to] the
  equivalent amount in dollars under the applicable official or
  market exchange rate as publicly reported.
         (e)  A support enforcement agency of this state shall issue,
  or request a tribunal of this state to issue, a child support order
  and an income-withholding order that redirects payment of current
  support, arrears [arrearages], and interest if requested to do so
  by a support enforcement agency of another state under Section
  159.319.
         SECTION 20.  The heading of Section 159.308, Family Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 159.308.  DUTY OF ATTORNEY GENERAL AND GOVERNOR
  [CERTAIN STATE OFFICIALS].
         SECTION 21.  Section 159.308(b), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The governor may determine that a foreign country [or
  political subdivision] has established a reciprocal arrangement
  for child support with this state and take appropriate action for
  notification of the determination.
         SECTION 22.  Section 159.310(b), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The state information agency shall:
               (1)  compile and maintain a current list, including
  addresses, of the tribunals in this state that have jurisdiction
  under this chapter and any support enforcement agencies in this
  state and transmit [send] a copy to the state information agency of
  every other state;
               (2)  maintain a register of names and addresses of
  tribunals and support enforcement agencies received from other
  states;
               (3)  forward to the appropriate tribunal in the county
  in this state in which [where] the obligee who is an individual or
  the obligor resides, or in which [where] the obligor's property is
  believed to be located, all documents concerning a proceeding under
  this chapter received from another state or a foreign country [an
  initiating tribunal or the state information agency of the
  initiating state]; and
               (4)  obtain information concerning the location of the
  obligor and the obligor's property in this state not exempt from
  execution, by such means as postal verification and federal or
  state locator services, examination of telephone directories,
  requests for the obligor's address from employers, and examination
  of governmental records, including, to the extent not prohibited by
  other law, those relating to real property, vital statistics, law
  enforcement, taxation, motor vehicles, driver's licenses, and
  social security.
         SECTION 23.  Section 159.311(a), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  In a proceeding under this chapter, a petitioner seeking
  to establish a support order, to determine parentage of a child, or
  to register and modify a support order of a tribunal of another
  state or foreign country must file a petition. Unless otherwise
  ordered under Section 159.312, the petition or accompanying
  documents must provide, so far as known, the name, residential
  address, and social security numbers of the obligor and the obligee
  or the parent and alleged parent, and the name, sex, residential
  address, social security number, and date of birth of each child for
  whose benefit support is sought or whose parentage is to be
  determined. Unless filed at the time of registration, the petition
  must be accompanied by a copy of any support order known to have
  been issued by another tribunal. The petition may include any other
  information that may assist in locating or identifying the
  respondent.
         SECTION 24.  Section 159.312, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.312.  NONDISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION IN EXCEPTIONAL
  CIRCUMSTANCES. If a party alleges in an affidavit or pleading under
  oath that the health, safety, or liberty of a party or child would
  be jeopardized by disclosure of specific identifying information
  [regarding the party or the child], that [the identifying]
  information must [shall] be sealed and may not be disclosed to the
  other party or [to] the public. After a hearing in which a tribunal
  takes into consideration [considers] the health, safety, or liberty
  of the party or [the] child, the tribunal may order disclosure of
  information that [if] the tribunal determines to be in the interest
  [that the disclosure serves the interests] of justice.
         SECTION 25.  Sections 159.313(b) and (c), Family Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  If an obligee prevails, a responding tribunal of this
  state may assess against an obligor filing fees, reasonable
  attorney's fees, other costs, and necessary travel and other
  reasonable expenses incurred by the obligee and the obligee's
  witnesses. The tribunal may not assess fees, costs, or expenses
  against the obligee or the support enforcement agency of either the
  initiating [state] or [the] responding state or foreign country,
  except as provided by other law. Attorney's fees may be taxed as
  costs, and may be ordered paid directly to the attorney, who may
  enforce the order in the attorney's own name. Payment of support
  owed to the obligee has priority over fees, costs, and expenses.
         (c)  The tribunal shall order the payment of costs and
  reasonable attorney's fees if it determines that a hearing was
  requested primarily for delay. In a proceeding under Subchapter G
  [pursuant to Sections 159.601 through 159.608], a hearing is
  presumed to have been requested primarily for delay if a registered
  support order is confirmed or enforced without change.
         SECTION 26.  Section 159.314(c), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (c)  The immunity granted by this section does not extend to
  civil litigation based on acts unrelated to a proceeding under this
  chapter committed by a party while physically present in this state
  to participate in the proceeding.
         SECTION 27.  Sections 159.316(a), (b), (d), (e), and (f),
  Family Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The physical presence of a nonresident party who is an
  individual in a tribunal of this state is not required for the
  establishment, enforcement, or modification of a support order or
  the rendition of a judgment determining parentage of a child.
         (b)  An affidavit, a document substantially complying with
  federally mandated forms, or a document incorporated by reference
  in an affidavit or document, that would not be excluded under the
  hearsay rule if given in person, is admissible in evidence if given
  under penalty of perjury by a party or witness residing outside this
  [in another] state.
         (d)  Copies of bills for testing for parentage of a child,
  and for prenatal and postnatal health care of the mother and child
  [that are] furnished to the adverse party at least [not less than]
  10 days before [the date of] trial are admissible in evidence to
  prove the amount of the charges billed and that the charges were
  reasonable, necessary, and customary.
         (e)  Documentary evidence transmitted from outside this
  [another] state to a tribunal of this state by telephone,
  telecopier, or other electronic [another] means that does not
  provide an original record may not be excluded from evidence on an
  objection based on the means of transmission.
         (f)  In a proceeding under this chapter, a tribunal of this
  state shall permit a party or witness residing outside this [in
  another] state to be deposed or to testify under penalty of perjury
  by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means at a
  designated tribunal or other location [in that state]. A tribunal
  of this state shall cooperate with other tribunals [a tribunal of
  another state] in designating an appropriate location for the
  deposition or testimony.
         SECTION 28.  Section 159.317, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.317.  COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN TRIBUNALS. A tribunal
  of this state may communicate with a tribunal outside this [of
  another] state [or of a foreign country or political subdivision]
  in a record or [,] by telephone, electronic mail, or by other means,
  to obtain information concerning the laws, the legal effect of a
  judgment, decree, or order of that tribunal, and the status of a
  proceeding [in the other state, foreign country, or political
  subdivision]. A tribunal of this state may furnish similar
  information by similar means to a tribunal outside this state [of
  another state or of a foreign country or political subdivision].
         SECTION 29.  Section 159.318, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.318.  ASSISTANCE WITH DISCOVERY. A tribunal of
  this state may:
               (1)  request a tribunal outside this [of another] state
  to assist in obtaining discovery; and
               (2)  on request, compel a person over whom the tribunal
  has jurisdiction to respond to a discovery order issued by a
  tribunal outside this [of another] state.
         SECTION 30.  Section 159.319(a), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A support enforcement agency or tribunal of this state
  shall disburse promptly any amounts received under a support order,
  as directed by the order. The agency or tribunal shall furnish to a
  requesting party or tribunal of another state or a foreign country a
  certified statement by the custodian of the record of the amounts
  and dates of all payments received.
         SECTION 31.  The heading to Subchapter E, Chapter 159,
  Family Code, is amended to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER E. ESTABLISHMENT OF SUPPORT ORDER OR DETERMINATION OF
  PARENTAGE
         SECTION 32.  Section 159.401, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.401.  ESTABLISHMENT OF [PETITION TO ESTABLISH]
  SUPPORT ORDER. (a) If a support order entitled to recognition under
  this chapter has not been issued, a responding tribunal of this
  state with personal jurisdiction over the parties may issue a
  support order if:
               (1)  the individual seeking the order resides outside
  this [in another] state; or
               (2)  the support enforcement agency seeking the order
  is located outside this [in another] state.
         (b)  The tribunal may issue a temporary child support order
  if the tribunal determines that such an [the] order is appropriate
  and the individual ordered to pay is:
               (1)  a presumed father of the child;
               (2)  [a man] petitioning to have his paternity
  adjudicated;
               (3)  [a man] identified as the father of the child
  through genetic testing;
               (4)  an alleged father who has declined to submit to
  genetic testing;
               (5)  [a man] shown by clear and convincing evidence to
  be the father of the child;
               (6)  an acknowledged father as provided by applicable
  state law;
               (7)  the mother of the child; or
               (8)  an individual who has been ordered to pay child
  support in a previous proceeding and the order has not been reversed
  or vacated.
         (c)  On finding, after notice and an opportunity to be heard,
  that an obligor owes a duty of support, the tribunal shall issue a
  support order directed to the obligor and may issue other orders
  under Section 159.305.
         SECTION 33.  Subchapter E, Chapter 159, Family Code, is
  amended by adding Section 159.402 to read as follows:
         Sec. 159.402.  PROCEEDING TO DETERMINE PARENTAGE. A
  tribunal of this state authorized to determine parentage of a child
  may serve as a responding tribunal in a proceeding to determine
  parentage of a child brought under this chapter or a law or
  procedure substantially similar to this chapter.
         SECTION 34.  The heading to Subchapter F, Chapter 159,
  Family Code, is amended to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER F. ENFORCEMENT OF SUPPORT ORDER [OF ANOTHER STATE]
  WITHOUT REGISTRATION
         SECTION 35.  Section 159.506, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.506.  CONTEST BY OBLIGOR. (a) An obligor may
  contest the validity or enforcement of an income-withholding order
  issued in another state and received directly by an employer in this
  state by registering the order in a tribunal of this state and [:
               [(1)] filing a contest to that order as provided in
  [under] Subchapter G[;] or otherwise
               [(2)] contesting the order in the same manner as if the
  order had been issued by a tribunal of this state.
         (b)  The obligor shall give notice of the contest to:
               (1)  a support enforcement agency providing services to
  the obligee;
               (2)  each employer that has directly received an
  income-withholding order relating to the obligor; and
               (3)  the person designated to receive payments in the
  income-withholding order or [to the obligee], if no person is
  designated, to the obligee.
         SECTION 36.  Section 159.507(a), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A party or support enforcement agency seeking to enforce
  a support order or an income-withholding order, or both, issued in
  [by a tribunal of] another state or a foreign support order may send
  the documents required for registering the order to a support
  enforcement agency of this state.
         SECTION 37.  Sections 159.601, 159.602, 159.603, and
  159.604, Family Code, are designated as Part 1, Subchapter G,
  Chapter 159, Family Code, and a heading for that part is added to
  read as follows:
  PART 1. REGISTRATION FOR ENFORCEMENT OF SUPPORT ORDER
         SECTION 38.  Section 159.601, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.601.  REGISTRATION OF ORDER FOR ENFORCEMENT. A
  support order or income-withholding order issued in [by a tribunal
  of] another state or a foreign support order may be registered in
  this state for enforcement.
         SECTION 39.  Sections 159.602(a), (b), and (d), Family Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Except as otherwise provided by Section 159.706, a [A]
  support order or income-withholding order of another state or a
  foreign support order may be registered in this state by sending
  [to] the following records to the appropriate tribunal in this
  state:
               (1)  a letter of transmittal to the tribunal requesting
  registration and enforcement;
               (2)  two copies, including one certified copy, of the
  order to be registered, including any modification of the order;
               (3)  a sworn statement by the person requesting
  registration or a certified statement by the custodian of the
  records showing the amount of any arrearage;
               (4)  the name of the obligor and, if known:
                     (A)  the obligor's address and social security
  number;
                     (B)  the name and address of the obligor's
  employer and any other source of income of the obligor; and
                     (C)  a description of and the location of property
  of the obligor in this state not exempt from execution; and
               (5)  except as otherwise provided by Section 159.312,
  the name and address of the obligee and, if applicable, the person
  to whom support payments are to be remitted.
         (b)  On receipt of a request for registration, the
  registering tribunal shall cause the order to be filed as an order
  of a tribunal of another state or a foreign support order
  [judgment], together with one copy of the documents and
  information, regardless of their form.
         (d)  If two or more orders are in effect, the person
  requesting registration shall:
               (1)  furnish [provide] to the tribunal a copy of each
  support order asserted to be in effect in addition to [and] the
  documents specified in this section;
               (2)  specify [identify] the order alleged to be the
  controlling order, if any; and
               (3)  specify [state] the amount of consolidated arrears
  [arrearages], if any.
         SECTION 40.  Section 159.603, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.603.  EFFECT OF REGISTRATION FOR ENFORCEMENT. (a)
  A support order or income-withholding order issued in another state
  or a foreign support order is registered when the order is filed in
  the registering tribunal of this state.
         (b)  A registered support order issued in another state or a
  foreign country is enforceable in the same manner and is subject to
  the same procedures as an order issued by a tribunal of this state.
         (c)  Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, a
  tribunal of this state shall recognize and enforce, but may not
  modify, a registered support order if the issuing tribunal had
  jurisdiction.
         SECTION 41.  Section 159.604, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.604.  CHOICE OF LAW. (a) Except as otherwise
  provided by Subsection (d), the law of the issuing state or foreign
  country governs:
               (1)  the nature, extent, amount, and duration of
  current payments under a registered support order;
               (2)  the computation and payment of arrearages and
  accrual of interest on the arrearages under the support order; and
               (3)  the existence and satisfaction of other
  obligations under the support order.
         (b)  In a proceeding for arrears [arrearages] under a
  registered support order, the statute of limitation of this state,
  or of the issuing state or foreign country, whichever is longer,
  applies.
         (c)  A responding tribunal of [in] this state shall apply the
  procedures and remedies of this state to enforce current support
  and collect arrears [arrearages] and interest due on a support
  order of another state or a foreign country registered in this
  state.
         (d)  After a tribunal of this state or another state
  determines which [order] is the controlling order and issues an
  order consolidating arrears [arrearages], if any, the tribunal of
  this state shall prospectively apply the law of the state or foreign
  country issuing the controlling order, including that state's or
  country's law on interest on arrears [arrearages], on current and
  future support, and on consolidated arrears [arrearages].
         SECTION 42.  Sections 159.605, 159.606, 159.607, and
  159.608, Family Code, are designated as Part 2, Subchapter G,
  Chapter 159, Family Code, and a heading for that part is added to
  read as follows:
  PART 2. CONTEST OF VALIDITY OR ENFORCEMENT
         SECTION 43.  Section 159.605, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.605.  NOTICE OF REGISTRATION OF ORDER. (a) When a
  support order or income-withholding order issued in another state
  or a foreign support order is registered, the registering tribunal
  of this state shall notify the nonregistering party. The notice
  must be accompanied by a copy of the registered order and the
  documents and relevant information accompanying the order.
         (b)  A notice [under this section] must inform the
  nonregistering party:
               (1)  that a registered order is enforceable as of the
  date of registration in the same manner as an order issued by a
  tribunal of this state;
               (2)  that a hearing to contest the validity or
  enforcement of the registered order must be requested within 20
  days after notice unless the registered order is under Section
  159.707;
               (3)  that failure to contest the validity or
  enforcement of the registered order in a timely manner[:
                     [(A)]  will result in confirmation of the order
  and enforcement of the order and the alleged arrearages; and
                     [(B)     precludes further contest of that order with
  respect to any matter that could have been asserted; and]
               (4)  of the amount of any alleged arrearages.
         (c)  If the registering party asserts that two or more orders
  are in effect, the notice [under this section] must also:
               (1)  identify[:
                     [(A)]  the two or more orders and the [, including
  which] order [is] alleged by the registering party [person] to be
  the controlling order[;] and
                     [(B)]  the consolidated arrears [arrearages], if
  any;
               (2)  notify the nonregistering party of the right to a
  determination of which [order] is the controlling order;
               (3)  state that the procedures provided in Subsection
  (b) apply to the determination of which [order] is the controlling
  order; and
               (4)  state that failure to contest the validity or
  enforcement of the order alleged to be the controlling order in a
  timely manner may result in confirmation that the order is the
  controlling order.
         (d)  On registration of an income-withholding order for
  enforcement, the support enforcement agency or the registering
  tribunal shall notify the obligor's employer under Chapter 158.
         SECTION 44.  Section 159.606, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.606.  PROCEDURE TO CONTEST VALIDITY OR ENFORCEMENT
  OF REGISTERED SUPPORT ORDER. (a) A nonregistering party seeking to
  contest the validity or enforcement of a registered support order
  in this state shall request a hearing within the time required by
  Section 159.605 [20 days after notice of the registration]. The
  nonregistering party may seek [under Section 159.607] to[:
               [(1)]  vacate the registration, to [;
               [(2)]  assert any defense to an allegation of
  noncompliance with the registered order, [;] or to
               [(3)]  contest the remedies being sought or the amount
  of any alleged arrearages under Section 159.607.
         (b)  If the nonregistering party fails to contest the
  validity or enforcement of the registered support order in a timely
  manner, the order is confirmed by operation of law.
         (c)  If a nonregistering party requests a hearing to contest
  the validity or enforcement of the registered support order, the
  registering tribunal shall schedule the matter for hearing and give
  notice to the parties of the date, time, and place of the hearing.
         SECTION 45.  Section 159.607, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.607.  CONTEST OF REGISTRATION OR ENFORCEMENT. (a)
  A party contesting the validity or enforcement of a registered
  support order or seeking to vacate the registration has the burden
  of proving one or more of the following defenses:
               (1)  the issuing tribunal lacked personal jurisdiction
  over the contesting party;
               (2)  the order was obtained by fraud;
               (3)  the order has been vacated, suspended, or modified
  by a later order;
               (4)  the issuing tribunal has stayed the order pending
  appeal;
               (5)  there is a defense under the law of this state to
  the remedy sought;
               (6)  full or partial payment has been made;
               (7)  the statute of limitation under Section 159.604
  precludes enforcement of some or all of the alleged arrearages; or
               (8)  the alleged controlling order is not the
  controlling order.
         (b)  If a party presents evidence establishing a full or
  partial defense under Subsection (a), a tribunal may stay
  enforcement of the registered support order, continue the
  proceeding to permit production of additional relevant evidence,
  and issue other appropriate orders. An uncontested portion of the
  registered support order may be enforced by all remedies available
  under the law of this state.
         (c)  If the contesting party does not establish a defense
  under Subsection (a) to the validity or enforcement of the 
  registered support order, the registering tribunal shall issue an
  order confirming the order.
         SECTION 46.  Section 159.608, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.608.  CONFIRMED ORDER. Confirmation of a
  registered support order, whether by operation of law or after
  notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the order with
  respect to any matter that could have been asserted at the time of
  registration.
         SECTION 47.  Sections 159.609, 159.610, 159.611, 159.612,
  159.613, and 159.614, Family Code, are designated as Part 3,
  Subchapter G, Chapter 159, Family Code, and a heading is added for
  that part to read as follows:
  PART 3. REGISTRATION AND MODIFICATION OF CHILD SUPPORT ORDER OF
  ANOTHER STATE
         SECTION 48.  Section 159.609, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.609.  PROCEDURE TO REGISTER CHILD SUPPORT ORDER OF
  ANOTHER STATE FOR MODIFICATION. A party or support enforcement
  agency seeking to modify, or to modify and enforce, a child support
  order issued in another state shall register that order in this
  state in the same manner provided in Sections 159.601 through
  159.608 [159.601-159.604] if the order has not been registered. A
  petition for modification may be filed at the same time as a request
  for registration, or later. The pleading must specify the grounds
  for modification.
         SECTION 49.  Section 159.610, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.610.  EFFECT OF REGISTRATION FOR MODIFICATION. A
  tribunal of this state may enforce a child support order of another
  state registered for purposes of modification in the same manner as
  if the order had been issued by a tribunal of this state, but the
  registered support order may be modified only if the requirements
  of Section 159.611 or [,]159.613 [, or 159.615] have been met.
         SECTION 50.  Section 159.611, Family Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a), (c), (d), and (e) and adding Subsection
  (f) to read as follows:
         (a)  If [Except as provided by] Section 159.613 does not
  apply [159.615], on petition a tribunal of this state may modify a
  child support order issued in another state that is [and]
  registered in this state [only] if, [Section 159.613 does not apply
  and] after notice and hearing, the tribunal finds that:
               (1)  the following requirements are met:
                     (A)  the child, the obligee who is an individual,
  and the obligor do not reside in the issuing state;
                     (B)  a petitioner who is a nonresident of this
  state seeks modification; and
                     (C)  the respondent is subject to the personal
  jurisdiction of the tribunal of this state; or
               (2)  this state is the [state of] residence of the
  child, or a party who is an individual is subject to the personal
  jurisdiction of the tribunal of this state, and all of the parties
  who are individuals have filed consents in a record in the issuing
  tribunal for a tribunal of this state to modify the support order
  and assume continuing, exclusive jurisdiction.
         (c)  A [Except as provided by Section 159.615, a] tribunal of
  this state may not modify any aspect of a child support order that
  may not be modified under the law of the issuing state, including
  the duration of the obligation of support [, that may not be
  modified under the law of the issuing state]. If two or more
  tribunals have issued child support orders for the same obligor and
  same child, the order that controls and must be so recognized under
  Section 159.207 establishes the aspects of the support order that
  are nonmodifiable.
         (d)  In a proceeding to modify a child support order, the law
  of the state that is determined to have issued the initial
  controlling order governs the duration of the obligation of
  support. The obligor's fulfillment of the duty of support
  established by that order precludes imposition of a further
  obligation of support by a tribunal of this state.
         (e)  On issuance of an order by a tribunal of this state
  modifying a child support order issued in another state, the
  tribunal of this state becomes the tribunal of continuing,
  exclusive jurisdiction.
         (f)  Notwithstanding Subsections (a) through (e) of this
  section and Section 159.201(b), a tribunal of this state retains
  jurisdiction to modify an order issued by a tribunal of this state
  if:
               (1)  one party resides in another state; and
               (2)  the other party resides outside the United States.
         [(e)     In a proceeding to modify a child support order, the
  law of the state that is determined to have issued the initial
  controlling order governs the duration of the obligation of
  support. The obligor's fulfillment of the duty of support
  established by that order precludes imposition of a further
  obligation of support by a tribunal of this state.]
         SECTION 51.  Section 159.612, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.612.  RECOGNITION OF ORDER MODIFIED IN ANOTHER
  STATE. If a child support order issued by a tribunal of this state
  is modified by a tribunal of another state that assumed
  jurisdiction under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, a
  tribunal of this state:
               (1)  may enforce the order that was modified only as to
  arrears [arrearages] and interest accruing before the
  modification;
               (2)  may provide appropriate relief for violations of
  the order that occurred before the effective date of the
  modification; and
               (3)  shall recognize the modifying order of the other
  state, on registration, for the purpose of enforcement.
         SECTION 52.  Section 159.613(b), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  A tribunal of this state exercising jurisdiction under
  this section shall apply the provisions of Subchapters B and C, this
  subchapter, [Sections 159.101 through 159.209] and [159.601
  through 159.614 and] the procedural and substantive law of this
  state to the proceeding for enforcement or modification.
  Subchapters D, E, F, H, and I [Sections 159.301 through 159.507 and
  159.701 through 159.802] do not apply.
         SECTION 53.  Section 159.615, Family Code, is designated as
  Part 4, Subchapter G, Chapter 159, Family Code, and a heading for
  that part is added to read as follows:
  PART 4. REGISTRATION AND MODIFICATION OF FOREIGN CHILD SUPPORT
  ORDER
         SECTION 54.  Section 159.615, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.615.  JURISDICTION TO MODIFY CHILD SUPPORT ORDER OF
  FOREIGN COUNTRY [OR POLITICAL SUBDIVISION]. (a) Except as
  otherwise provided by Section 159.711, if [If] a foreign country
  lacks or [political subdivision that is a state] refuses to
  exercise jurisdiction to modify its child support order pursuant to
  its laws [or may not under its law modify its order], a tribunal of
  this state may assume jurisdiction to modify the child support
  order and bind all individuals subject to the personal jurisdiction
  of the tribunal regardless of whether the[:
               [(1)]  consent to modification of a child support order
  otherwise required of the individual [has been given] under Section
  159.611 has been given[;] or whether
               [(2)]  the individual seeking modification is a
  resident of this state or of the foreign country [or political
  subdivision].
         (b)  An order issued by a tribunal of this state modifying a
  foreign child support order under this section is the controlling
  order.
         SECTION 55.  Part 4, Subchapter G, Chapter 159, Family Code,
  as designated by this Act, is amended by adding Section 159.616 to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.616.  PROCEDURE TO REGISTER CHILD SUPPORT ORDER OF
  FOREIGN COUNTRY FOR MODIFICATION. A party or support enforcement
  agency seeking to modify, or to modify and enforce, a foreign child
  support order not under the Convention may register that order in
  this state under Sections 159.601 through 159.608 if the order has
  not been registered. A petition for modification may be filed at the
  same time as a request for registration or at another time. The
  petition must specify the grounds for modification.
         SECTION 56.  The heading to Subchapter H, Chapter 159,
  Family Code, is amended to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER H. SUPPORT PROCEEDING UNDER CONVENTION [DETERMINATION
  OF PARENTAGE]
         SECTION 57.  Section 159.701, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.701.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Application" means a request under the Convention
  by an obligee or obligor, or on behalf of a child, made through a
  central authority for assistance from another central authority.
               (2)  "Central authority" means the entity designated by
  the United States or a foreign country described in Section
  159.102(5)(D) to perform the functions specified in the Convention.
               (3)  "Convention support order" means a support order
  of a tribunal of a foreign country described in Section
  159.102(5)(D).
               (4)  "Direct request" means a petition filed by an
  individual in a tribunal of this state in a proceeding involving an
  obligee, obligor, or child residing outside the United States.
               (5)  "Foreign central authority" means the entity
  designated by a foreign country described in Section 159.102(5)(D)
  to perform the functions specified in the Convention.
               (6)  "Foreign support agreement":
                     (A)  means an agreement for support in a record
  that:
                           (i)  is enforceable as a support order in the
  country of origin;
                           (ii)  has been:
                                 (a)  formally drawn up or registered as
  an authentic instrument by a foreign tribunal; or
                                 (b) authenticated by, or concluded,
  registered, or filed with a foreign tribunal; and
                           (iii)  may be reviewed and modified by a
  foreign tribunal; and
                     (B)  includes a maintenance arrangement or
  authentic instrument under the Convention.
               (7)  "United States central authority" means the
  secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human
  Services.  [PROCEEDING TO DETERMINE PARENTAGE. A court of this
  state authorized to determine the parentage of a child may serve as
  a responding tribunal in a proceeding to determine parentage
  brought under this chapter or a law substantially similar to this
  chapter.]
         SECTION 58.  Subchapter H, Chapter 159, Family Code, is
  amended by adding Sections 159.702 through 159.713 to read as
  follows:
         Sec. 159.702.  APPLICABILITY. This subchapter applies only
  to a support proceeding under the Convention. In such a proceeding,
  if a provision of this subchapter is inconsistent with Subchapters
  B through G, this subchapter controls.
         Sec. 159.703.  RELATIONSHIP OF OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL TO
  UNITED STATES CENTRAL AUTHORITY. The office of the attorney
  general of this state is recognized as the agency designated by the
  United States central authority to perform specific functions under
  the Convention.
         Sec. 159.704.  INITIATION BY OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL OF
  SUPPORT PROCEEDING UNDER CONVENTION. (a) In a support proceeding
  under this subchapter, the office of the attorney general of this
  state shall:
               (1)  transmit and receive applications; and
               (2)  initiate or facilitate the institution of a
  proceeding regarding an application in a tribunal of this state.
         (b)  The following support proceedings are available to an
  obligee under the Convention:
               (1)  recognition or recognition and enforcement of a
  foreign support order;
               (2)  enforcement of a support order issued or
  recognized in this state;
               (3)  establishment of a support order if there is no
  existing order, including, if necessary, determination of
  parentage of a child;
               (4)  establishment of a support order if recognition of
  a foreign support order is refused under Section 159.708(b)(2),
  (4), or (9);
               (5)  modification of a support order of a tribunal of
  this state; and
               (6)  modification of a support order of a tribunal of
  another state or a foreign country.
         (c)  The following support proceedings are available under
  the Convention to an obligor against which there is an existing
  support order:
               (1)  recognition of an order suspending or limiting
  enforcement of an existing support order of a tribunal of this
  state;
               (2)  modification of a support order of a tribunal of
  this state; and
               (3)  modification of a support order of a tribunal of
  another state or a foreign country.
         (d)  A tribunal of this state may not require security, bond,
  or deposit, however described, to guarantee the payment of costs
  and expenses in proceedings under the Convention.
         Sec. 159.705.  DIRECT REQUEST. (a) A petitioner may file a
  direct request seeking establishment or modification of a support
  order or determination of parentage of a child. In the proceeding,
  the law of this state applies.
         (b)  A petitioner may file a direct request seeking
  recognition and enforcement of a support order or support
  agreement. In the proceeding, Sections 159.706 through 159.713
  apply.
         (c)  In a direct request for recognition and enforcement of a
  Convention support order or foreign support agreement:
               (1)  a security, bond, or deposit is not required to
  guarantee the payment of costs and expenses; and
               (2)  an obligee or obligor that in the issuing country
  has benefited from free legal assistance is entitled to benefit, at
  least to the same extent, from any free legal assistance provided
  for by the law of this state under the same circumstances.
         (d)  A petitioner filing a direct request is not entitled to
  assistance from the office of the attorney general.
         (e)  This subchapter does not prevent the application of laws
  of this state that provide simplified, more expeditious rules
  regarding a direct request for recognition and enforcement of a
  foreign support order or foreign support agreement.
         Sec. 159.706.  REGISTRATION OF CONVENTION SUPPORT ORDER.
  (a) Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, a party who is
  an individual or a support enforcement agency seeking recognition
  of a Convention support order shall register the order in this state
  as provided in Subchapter G.
         (b)  Notwithstanding Sections 159.311 and 159.602(a), a
  request for registration of a Convention support order must be
  accompanied by:
               (1)  the complete text of the support order or an
  abstract or extract of the support order drawn up by the issuing
  foreign tribunal, which may be in the form recommended by the Hague
  Conference on Private International Law;
               (2)  a record stating that the support order is
  enforceable in the issuing country;
               (3)  if the respondent did not appear and was not
  represented in the proceedings in the issuing country, a record
  attesting, as appropriate, either that the respondent had proper
  notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard or that the
  respondent had proper notice of the support order and an
  opportunity to be heard in a challenge or appeal on fact or law
  before a tribunal;
               (4)  a record showing the amount of arrears, if any, and
  the date the amount was calculated;
               (5)  a record showing a requirement for automatic
  adjustment of the amount of support, if any, and the information
  necessary to make the appropriate calculations; and
               (6)  if necessary, a record showing the extent to which
  the applicant received free legal assistance in the issuing
  country.
         (c)  A request for registration of a Convention support order
  may seek recognition and partial enforcement of the order.
         (d)  A tribunal of this state may vacate the registration of
  a Convention support order without the filing of a contest under
  Section 159.707 only if, acting on its own motion, the tribunal
  finds that recognition and enforcement of the order would be
  manifestly incompatible with public policy.
         (e)  The tribunal shall promptly notify the parties of the
  registration or the order vacating the registration of a Convention
  support order.
         Sec. 159.707.  CONTEST OF REGISTERED CONVENTION SUPPORT
  ORDER. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter,
  Sections 159.605 through 159.608 apply to a contest of a registered
  Convention support order.
         (b)  A party contesting a registered Convention support
  order shall file a contest not later than 30 days after notice of
  the registration.  If the contesting party does not reside in the
  United States, the contest must be filed not later than 60 days
  after notice of the registration.
         (c)  If the nonregistering party fails to contest the
  registered Convention support order by the time specified in
  Subsection (b), the order is enforceable.
         (d)  A contest of a registered Convention support order may
  be based only on grounds set forth in Section 159.708. The
  contesting party bears the burden of proof.
         (e)  In a contest of a registered Convention support order, a
  tribunal of this state:
               (1)  is bound by the findings of fact on which the
  foreign tribunal based its jurisdiction; and
               (2)  may not review the merits of the order.
         (f)  A tribunal of this state deciding a contest of a
  registered Convention support order shall promptly notify the
  parties of its decision.
         (g)  A challenge or appeal, if any, does not stay the
  enforcement of a Convention support order unless there are
  exceptional circumstances.
         Sec. 159.708.  RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF REGISTERED
  CONVENTION SUPPORT ORDER. (a)  Except as otherwise provided in
  Subsection (b), a tribunal of this state shall recognize and
  enforce a registered Convention support order.
         (b)  The following grounds are the only grounds on which a
  tribunal of this state may refuse recognition and enforcement of a
  registered Convention support order:
               (1)  recognition and enforcement of the order is
  manifestly incompatible with public policy, including the failure
  of the issuing tribunal to observe minimum standards of due
  process, which include notice and an opportunity to be heard;
               (2)  the issuing tribunal lacked personal jurisdiction
  consistent with Section 159.201;
               (3)  the order is not enforceable in the issuing
  country;
               (4)  the order was obtained by fraud in connection with
  a matter of procedure;
               (5)  a record transmitted in accordance with Section
  159.706 lacks authenticity or integrity;
               (6)  a proceeding between the same parties and having
  the same purpose is pending before a tribunal of this state and that
  proceeding was the first to be filed;
               (7)  the order is incompatible with a more recent
  support order involving the same parties and having the same
  purpose if the more recent support order is entitled to recognition
  and enforcement under this chapter in this state;
               (8)  payment, to the extent alleged arrears have been
  paid in whole or in part;
               (9)  in a case in which the respondent neither appeared
  nor was represented in the proceeding in the issuing foreign
  country:
                     (A)  if the law of that country provides for prior
  notice of proceedings, the respondent did not have proper notice of
  the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard; or
                     (B)  if the law of that country does not provide
  for prior notice of the proceedings, the respondent did not have
  proper notice of the order and an opportunity to be heard in a
  challenge or appeal on fact or law before a tribunal; or
               (10)  the order was made in violation of Section
  159.711.
         (c)  If a tribunal of this state does not recognize a
  Convention support order under Subsection (b)(2), (4), or (9):
               (1)  the tribunal may not dismiss the proceeding
  without allowing a reasonable time for a party to request the
  establishment of a new Convention support order; and
               (2)  the office of the attorney general shall take all
  appropriate measures to request a child support order for the
  obligee if the application for recognition and enforcement was
  received under Section 159.704.
         Sec. 159.709.  PARTIAL ENFORCEMENT. If a tribunal of this
  state does not recognize and enforce a Convention support order in
  its entirety, it shall enforce any severable part of the order. An
  application or direct request may seek recognition and partial
  enforcement of a Convention support order.
         Sec. 159.710.  FOREIGN SUPPORT AGREEMENT. (a) Except as
  otherwise provided by Subsections (c) and (d), a tribunal of this
  state shall recognize and enforce a foreign support agreement
  registered in this state.
         (b)  An application or direct request for recognition and
  enforcement of a foreign support agreement must be accompanied by:
               (1)  the complete text of the foreign support
  agreement; and
               (2)  a record stating that the foreign support
  agreement is enforceable as an order of support in the issuing
  country.
         (c)  A tribunal of this state may vacate the registration of
  a foreign support agreement only if, acting on its own motion, the
  tribunal finds that recognition and enforcement would be manifestly
  incompatible with public policy.
         (d)  In a contest of a foreign support agreement, a tribunal
  of this state may refuse recognition and enforcement of the
  agreement if it finds:
               (1)  recognition and enforcement of the agreement is
  manifestly incompatible with public policy;
               (2)  the agreement was obtained by fraud or
  falsification;
               (3)  the agreement is incompatible with a support order
  involving the same parties and having the same purpose in this
  state, another state, or a foreign country if the support order is
  entitled to recognition and enforcement under this chapter in this
  state; or
               (4)  the record submitted under Subsection (b) lacks
  authenticity or integrity.
         (e)  A proceeding for recognition and enforcement of a
  foreign support agreement must be suspended during the pendency of
  a challenge to or appeal of the agreement before a tribunal of
  another state or a foreign country.
         Sec. 159.711.  MODIFICATION OF CONVENTION CHILD SUPPORT
  ORDER. (a) A tribunal of this state may not modify a Convention
  child support order if the obligee remains a resident of the foreign
  country where the support order was issued unless:
               (1)  the obligee submits to the jurisdiction of a
  tribunal of this state, either expressly or by defending on the
  merits of the case without objecting to the jurisdiction at the
  first available opportunity; or
               (2)  the foreign tribunal lacks or refuses to exercise
  jurisdiction to modify its support order or issue a new support
  order.
         (b)  If a tribunal of this state does not modify a Convention
  child support order because the order is not recognized in this
  state, Section 159.708(c) applies.
         Sec. 159.712.  PERSONAL INFORMATION; LIMIT ON USE. Personal
  information gathered or transmitted under this subchapter may be
  used only for the purposes for which it was gathered or transmitted.
         Sec. 159.713.  RECORD IN ORIGINAL LANGUAGE; ENGLISH
  TRANSLATION. A record filed with a tribunal of this state under this
  subchapter must be in the original language and, if not in English,
  must be accompanied by an English translation.
         SECTION 59.  Section 159.801(a), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  For purposes of this [In this] subchapter, "governor"
  includes an individual performing the functions of governor or the
  executive authority of a state covered by this chapter.
         SECTION 60.  Section 159.802(a), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  Before making a demand that the governor of another
  state surrender an individual charged criminally in this state with
  having failed to provide for the support of an obligee, the governor
  of this state may require a prosecutor of this state to
  demonstrate[:
               [(1)]  that, not less than 60 days previously [before
  the date of the demand], the obligee had initiated proceedings for
  support under this chapter[;] or
               [(2)]  that [initiating] the proceeding would be of no
  avail.
         SECTION 61.  Section 159.901, Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 159.901.  UNIFORMITY OF APPLICATION AND CONSTRUCTION.
  In applying and construing this uniform act [chapter],
  consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the
  law with respect to its [the] subject matter [of this chapter] among
  states that enact it [a law similar to this chapter].
         SECTION 62.  Chapter 159, Family Code, as amended by this
  Act, applies to proceedings commenced on or after the effective
  date of this Act to establish a support order, determine parentage
  of a child, or register, recognize, enforce, or modify a prior
  support order, determination, or agreement regardless of the date
  the order, determination, or agreement was issued or entered.
         SECTION 63.  This Act takes effect July 1, 2015, if it
  receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each
  house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  
  If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for effect on that
  date, this Act takes effect on the 91st day after the last day of the
  legislative session.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 3538 was passed by the House on May 7,
  2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 140, Nays 0, 2 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 3538 was passed by the Senate on May
  20, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor