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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 15 : Domestic Relations

Chapter 011 : Annulment and Divorce

Subchapter 007 : Child Support Enforcement

(Cite as: 15 V.S.A. § 791)
  • § 791. Arrearage judgment lien

    (a)(1) A judgment issued by the court for support arrearages in excess of one-twelfth of the annualized amount of support shall constitute an arrearage judgment lien, if properly recorded under this section. The court shall also issue an order that payment of support shall be made through the Registry.

    (2) If payments are being made through the Registry, a sworn affidavit of the Office of Child Support, establishing an arrearage in excess of one-quarter of the annualized amount of support attached to the underlying court order shall constitute an arrearage lien, if properly recorded under this section.

    (3) Before filing a lien provided for in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the Office of Child Support shall serve the obligor pursuant to subsection 783(b) of this title with notice of the amount of the past due child support, the consequences of the filing of the lien, and the procedure for contesting the arrearage and challenging the lien pursuant to 33 V.S.A. § 4108. If the obligor does not contest the notice of lien within 20 days of service, the Office may record the lien under this section. For the purposes of this section, such a lien shall be considered an arrearage judgment lien.

    (4) A copy of any document recorded under this subsection shall be sent to the parties by certified mail.

    (b) An arrearage judgment lien shall be recorded in accordance with 12 V.S.A. § 2904 with the clerk in any town where real property owned by the obligor may be found, or in the case of personal property in the proper place for recording a security interest under Title 9A, article 9. The judgment shall become a lien for the amount of support arrearages at the time the judgment is issued and any arrearages that accrue after that time and until the lien is released. The judgment shall not become a lien for any sum or sums prior to the date they severally become due and payable.

    (c) Within 10 days of the request of the obligor, the Office of Child Support shall issue a certificate of release of an arrearage judgment lien if:

    (1) liability for the amount due has been satisfied or has become enforceable by reason of lapse of time; or

    (2) the interest of the obligee in the property has no value.

    (d) If the Office of Child Support does not issue a release of lien within 10 days or if there is a disagreement over the amount of arrearages, the obligor may request the court to determine the amount of arrearages or to issue a release of lien, or both. The court shall schedule a hearing to be held within 14 days of the request. The court may issue a release of lien without requiring the obligor to satisfy his or her liability for the total amount due if it finds that justice so requires.

    (e) A certificate of release of lien applicable to real property and issued by the Office of Child Support or the court shall be in substantially the following form:

    I hereby certify that the judgment for child support arrearages is paid in full and that the lien recorded in book ____ , page ____ of the land records of the town of _________ is satisfied. A certificate of release of lien which is recorded by the town clerk in the land records shall release the lien and bar actions brought thereon.

    (f) The lien created pursuant to this section shall be effective eight years from the date of issuance of the judgment or eight years after termination of the obligation to pay support, whichever is later. If the lien is not satisfied within 30 days of recording, it may be foreclosed and redeemed as provided in Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 80.1.

    (g) The lien created by this section shall be in addition to and separate from any other remedy or interest created by law or contract.

    (h) Upon compliance with subsection (a) of this section, this State shall accord full faith and credit to arrearage liens that arise in another state if the other state accords reciprocity to this State’s arrearage liens. (Added 1989, No. 220 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; amended 1997, No. 63, §§ 14, 14a, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; 2017, No. 11, § 46.)