40-5-271. Registration of support orders. (1) The department may, for the purpose of review and modification proceedings under 40-5-272 and 40-5-273, register support orders issued by a court or administrative agency of another state, an Indian tribe, or a country. Registration of the order under this section does not confer jurisdiction for any purpose other than for the review and modification process.
(2) When the department conducts review and modification proceedings, the department shall give the parties notice by personal service or certified mail and opportunity to contest registration of the order. The notice may be included in the notice issued under 40-5-273. A party seeking to vacate the registered order has the burden of proving that the court or agency issuing the order:
(a) did not have jurisdiction to enter the order;
(b) did not have personal jurisdiction over the party; or
(c) did not give the party reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard before the order was entered.
(3) (a) As an alternative to any other registration process or remedy available for the enforcement of a support order issued by a court or agency in another state, an Indian tribe, or a country, the department may register the support order under this subsection (3).
(b) Registration under this subsection (3) is only for the purpose of enforcement and does not confer jurisdiction for any other purpose such as visitation, custody, or paternity disputes.
(c) If an order is registered for enforcement under this subsection (3), the department shall notify the parties to the order of the registration. A copy of the registered order must be included with the notice. The notice must inform the parties:
(i) of the amount of any alleged arrearage as of the date of the notice;
(ii) that a party may request a hearing to vacate the registration or to assert defense to any alleged arrearage for any reason set out in subsection (3)(e);
(iii) that a hearing to contest the validity or enforcement of the order must be requested within 20 days after service of the notice; and
(iv) that failure to contest the validity or enforcement of the registered order in a timely manner will result in confirmation of the order and enforcement of the order and the alleged arrearage and will preclude further contest of the order with respect to any matter that could have been asserted at the hearing.
(d) A party seeking to contest the validity or enforcement of a registered order shall request a hearing within 20 days after service of the notice of registration. If a party fails to contest the validity or enforcement of the registered order in a timely manner, the order is confirmed by operation of law. If a party timely requests a hearing to contest the validity or enforcement of the order, the department shall schedule the matter for hearing.
(e) A party contesting the validity or enforcement of a registered order or seeking to vacate the registration has the burden of proving one or more of the following defenses:
(i) the court or agency issuing the order did not have subject matter jurisdiction to enter the order or lacked personal jurisdiction over the contesting party;
(ii) the court or agency issuing the order did not give the party reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard before the order was entered;
(iii) the order was obtained by fraud;
(iv) the issuing court or agency has stayed enforcement of the order pending appeal;
(v) the order has been vacated, suspended, or modified by a later order;
(vi) there is a defense under the law of this state to the remedy sought; or
(vii) the statute of limitations precludes enforcement of some or all of the arrearages.
(f) If the contesting party does not establish a defense under subsection (3)(e) to the validity or enforcement of the order, the department shall issue an order confirming the order. Confirmation of a registered 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 the registration. A confirmed order is enforceable as of the date of confirmation in the same manner as an order issued by the department or a district court of this state.
(g) In a proceeding for arrears, the statute of limitations under the laws of this state or of the issuing jurisdiction, whichever is longer, applies.
(h) Hearings under this subsection (3) are subject to the provisions of the Montana Administrative Procedure Act and must initially be conducted by teleconferencing methods. At the request of a party, the hearings officer shall, at the close of a teleconference hearing, grant a de novo in-person hearing.