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2014 Child Support and Family Law Legislative Enactments

2014 Child Support and Family Law Legislative Enactments

7/18/2014

State legislatures have been actively debating many child support and family law proposals. NCSL's Child Support Project is tracking nearly 800 bills from 46 states and the District of Columbia in the Child Support and Family Law Legislation Database. A few trends are emerging as many states begin to wrap up their 2014 sessions.

Enforcement continues to be an important topic for state legislators. There are 20 bills addressing income withholding, 25 bills addressing licenses, both professional and recreational, and 20 bills dealing with interception of lottery and gambling winnings and tax returns. In addition to enforcement policy, legislatures are continuing to deal with custody and visitation issues. Grandparent custody and visitation is the topic of 35 bills while deployed parents’ custody and visitation rights is covered by at least 30 bills. Three more states (New Mexico, South Dakota and Tennessee) have enacted the Uniform Deployed Parent Custody and Visitation Act while New York introduced a bill that would allow members of the National Guard or Reserves to modify their child support orders if their income from a civilian job has been interrupted by deployment. Check out NCSL's Military Parent Custody and Visitation page for up-to-date information on what states are doing to support military parents and families.

Enacted legislation Pending legislation Introduced w/no pending or enacted No 2014 session
 

Some states are addressing issues related to family relationships and economic stability. At least four legislatures are tackling the issue of whether families receiving public assistance benefits will receive a portion of their child support, known as pass-through and disregard policies. Illinois, California, Washington and Massachusetts have all introduced bills that will increase the amount of money passed through to the family to $100 a month for a family with one child or $200 for a family with two or more children. Also, Maryland introduced a bill that would create a task force to study the use of pass-through policies and whether the state should adopt a pass-through or disregard policy. 

A handful of states are looking at establishing a collaborative family law process, while others are providing parental education courses to both divorcing couples and teens in an effort to reduce the need for child support enforcement. South Carolina and others are seeking to help noncustodial parents afford their child support obligations through employment training and placement programs. New Jersey introduced a bill to create the New Jersey Council on Responsible Fatherhood and the Responsible Fatherhood Fund.

To view child support and family law legislation from 2012 through 2014, visit our Child Support and Family Law Legislation Database.

Below is a list of enacted legislation so far, organized by State. So far, 32 states have enacted 75 bills and resolutions related to child support and family law. This list will be updated every 2 weeks in conjunction with the legislation database.

Please type in a state in the box below to be taken directly to the state's legislative information.

Alabama

HB 82
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: HB82 allows counties to intercept income tax returns as reimbursement for debt owed. Defines debt as anything over $25, including child and spousal support owed to anyone receiving child support enforcement services. Specifies that the county must submit the debt owed to the Department of Revenue.

 

California

SB 545

Database Topic: Family Violence Collaboration

Summary: SB 545 clarifies the rules for a confidential name change for victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault by waiving newspaper publication requirements for active members of the Safe at Home program when the name he or she seeks to acquire is on file with the Secretary of State.

 

AB 2252

Database Topic: Child Support Implementation

Summary: AB 2252 requires that child support payments that are directly deposited into an account pursuant to the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act can only be deposited into a qualifying account. Defines "qualifying account" as either a demand deposit or saving account at an insured financial institution that is in the name of the person receiving child support, or a prepaid account that meets the specified requirements. Prohibits a person or entity that issues a prepaid care or maintains or manages a prepaid care account from accepting or facilitating the direct deposit of child support payments if the account does not meet the specified requirements for prepaid cards. Provides other definitions.

 

Colorado

SB 62
Database Topic: Healthy Family Relationships
Summary: SB62 allows for the reinstatement of parental rights, contingent upon certain requirements. Specifies that the parent-child legal relationship may be reinstated provided the child is 12 years of age or older; both the child and the parent consent to the reinstatement of the parent-child relationship; the child does not have a legal parent, is not in an adoptive placement, is not likely to be adopted within a reasonable period of time, and other permanency options have been exhausted; the child is in the legal custody of a county department; the termination of rights was finalized more than three years prior to the petition for reinstatement; and there were no prior substantiated allegations of sexual abuse, incidents of abuse or neglect against the child or near fatality or a suspicious fatality or near fatality. Further details the procedural requirements of reinstatement.

 

HB 1162
Database Topic: Family Violence Collaboration
Summary: HB 1162 establishes a process to allow a victim in a sexual assault case where no conviction occurred to file a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship of the parent who allegedly committed the sexual assault and the child conceived as a result of the alleged sexual assault. Repeals provisions that allowed for a stay of civil domestic relations proceedings or a paternity action until criminal charges of sexual assault are resolved against the alleged perpetrator. Sets due process protections for the alleged perpetrator who is a member of an Indian tribe and requires tribal notification in accordance with the Indian Child Welfare Act. Requires the victim of a sexual assault and the child to be identified by their initials in summons and other documents relating to a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship. Allows protective measures to be taken during court proceedings at the request of the victim. Establishes a process to determine the parentage of the child allegedly conceived through sexual assault, through genetic testing or paternity acknowledgement. Instructs the court not to presume that have only one parent is contrary to the best interest of the child where the child was conceived as a result of sexual assault.

 

HB 1362

Database Topic: Custody and Visitation

Summary: HB 1362 includes great-grandparents in the statutory provisions concerning visitation rights of grandparents.

 

Connecticut

HB 5526

Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: HB 5526 requires the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement to establish, maintain, and periodically update a list of all delinquent child support obligors and publish a list of the 100 individuals with the highest delinquent child support obligations on the Department of Social Services' website. Specifies the information that must be published, including the obligor's name, residential address, and the amount of child support owed. Defines ""delinquent child support obligor."" Requires the list to be made using the state case registry which is part of the centralized automated system that stores and reports information on all IV-D child support cases.

 

Florida

SR 1432
Database Topic: Father Engagement
Summary: SR1432 recognizes May 14, 2014 as ""Father in Education Day."" Details that the Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida has reached out to fathers to encourage participation in educational activities with their children. Acknowledges that father involvement benefits children academically, emotionally, and socially, particularly when fathers take an interest in their education. Declares the ultimate goal of the Fathers in Education movement to be identification of people willing to organize school activities and increase involvement of father in their children's lives and education.

 

HB 755
Database Topics: Enforcement, Other/Miscellaneous
Summary: HB 755 adds a court-ordered time-sharing schedule and a time-sharing arrangement exercised by agreement of the parties that has the child spending a significant amount of time, but less than 20 percent of the overnights, with one parent to the list of child support deviation factors. Specifies judicial notice requirements. Sets rules for admission to the Florida bar by an applicant who was brought to the United States as a minor.

 

HB 7005

Database Topic: Child Support Enforcement

Summary: HB 7005 allows a child support obligor to demonstrate that he or she receives reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation, that he or she is disabled and incapable of self-support or that he or she receives benefits under the federal SSI or SSDI programs, that he or she receives temporary cash assistances or that he or she is making payments in accordance with a confirmed bankruptcy plan in order to avoid having his or her driver's license suspended for failure to pay child support or respond to a paternity action.

 

Georgia

SB 282
Database Topics: Guidelines, Implementation/Administration
Summary: SB282 enacts provisions recommended by the Georgia Child Support Commission relating to alimony, child support and enforcement of child support orders. Revises definitions used in calculating child support. Clarifies that worksheets and the calculator determine monthly child support figures. Clarifies provisions relating to gross income. Defines and clarifies the correct cross-references relating to the Department of Human Services Bank Match Registry and child support orders.

 

SR 973
Database Topics: Healthy Family Relationships, Other/Miscellaneous
Summary: SR973 establishes the Senate Child Protection Study Committee. Recognizes that child support services should be capable of quickly identifying and assessing potential risks to children and should develop and implement plans of family assistance and intervention. Tasks the committee with studying the specified conditions, needs and issues and recommending actions or legislation they deem necessary.

 

Hawaii

SB 2229
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: SB 2229 allows a power of attorney to make temporary payments of child support on behalf of the principal.

 

Idaho

SB 1293
Database Topic: Other/Miscellaneous
Summary: S1293 details when a biological father has the right to consent to adoption. Requires the father to meet enumerated requirements prior to the filing of a proceeding to adopt the child, or the execution of a consent to terminate the birth mother's parental rights, otherwise he does not have the right to consent to adoption of the child.

 

Illinois

HR 826
Database Topic: Child Support Prevention
Summary: HR826 acknowledges that the House of Representatives believes that human services, healthcare, education and justice authorities should include parenting education and early childhood education funding in their budgets. Resolves that universal, high-quality, and research-based parenting education best equips parents to raise children. Urges the State Board of Education to identify potential grants that may be used for parenting programs and early care and education programs. Urges the State Board of Education to require family engagement policies in early care and education programs, including a high-quality parenting education.

 

Indiana

SB 63
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: S63 changes the penalty for nonsupport of a child from a Level 6 felony to a Level 5 felony if the person has a previous conviction for the offense. Details the procedure for a court to lower the penalty for a person convicted of nonsupport of a child, if the person has accomplished specified related actions and the prosecuting attorney agrees to the reduction of the penalty.

 

SB 80
Database Topic: Other/Miscellaneous
Summary: SB80 establishes an Interim Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human Services to study issues assigned by legislative council.

 

SB 312
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: S312 allows a person who wins a prize payable in installments from the lottery commission to assign the future prize payments to satisfy a debt owed to the state, including the child support debt, under certain circumstances and upon court approval. Details the requirements for a court order approving the assignment of a lottery prize. Requires that a petition to assign a prize must be served upon the lottery commission's counsel and the child support bureau and limits the number of assignment transactions per year. Specifies other notice requirements.

 

SR 28
Database Topic: Father Engagement
Summary: SR 28 congratulates the Fathers and Families Center, a nonprofit agency that assists young fathers achieve self-sufficiency and parental involvement. Acknowledges that the Fathers and Families Center has provided educational and career services, such as employment counseling, career planning, job placement, retention services, GED preparation, parenting education, anger management and personal finance classes, among other services.

 

HB 1110
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: HB1110 removes the requirement that an income withholding order be ordered along with a child support order upon notice and instead requires the issuance of an income withholding order unless the court has stayed the implementation of the income withholding order and provided notice to the parties. Further provides that the stay of the implementation of the income withholding order may be terminated, if the child support obligor's child support and arrearage payments are delinquent, by issuing an income withholding order.

 

HB 1279
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: H1279 allows a child support obligor, whose license has been revoked or suspended, to obtain specialized driving privileges. Specifies that specialized driving privileges may be granted for up to 180 day and may be restricted to certain times of day and certain locations, such as a place of employment. Details further restrictions and procedural requirements.

 

Iowa

SB 2168
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary:  SB 2168 allows a power of attorney to make temporary payments of child support on behalf of the principal.

 

Kansas

HB 2568
Database Topics: Custody and Visitation, Guidelines
Summary: HB 2568 sets factors for the court to consider when making rules establishing child support guidelines, including the needs of the child, the standards of living and circumstances of the parents, the relevant financial means of the parents, the earning ability of the parents, the need and capacity of the child for education, the age of the child, the financial resources and earning ability of the child, the responsibility of the parents for the support of others and the value of services contributed by both parents. Allows for retroactive judgment for the mother for support and education of the child from the time of birth and for reimbursement of the expenses of the birth of the child. Requires the child support amount to be made using the child support guidelines and for any period occurring five years of less before the commencement of a paternity establishment proceeding, there is a rebuttable presumption that the child support guidelines reflect actual expenditures made on the child’s behalf. Allows for payment of attorney’s fees. Sets the procedure for modifying child support. Details factors to consider the setting custody, residency and parenting time, including each parent’s role and involvement with the minor child, the desires of the child if they are of sufficient age and maturity, the age of the child, the emotional and physical needs of the child, evidence of emotional or physical spousal abuse, the ability of the parties to communicate, cooperate and manage parental duties, the school activity schedule of the child, the work schedule of the parties, the location of the parties residences and places of employment and the location of the child’s school.

 

Kentucky

SB 108
Database Topic: Family Violence Collaboration
Summary: SB108 prohibits a person convicted of sexual assault from obtaining custody of or visitation with a child that was conceived as a result of the sexual assault. Allows the mother to waive the prohibition against custody and visitation. Requires a child support order to be established against the perpetrator of the offense.

 

Louisiana

SB 85

Database Topic: Guidelines
Summary: SB 85 allows the definition of child care costs, for purposes of calculating basic child support obligations, to include the reasonable child care expenses incurred by either parent while receiving job training or education necessary to obtain employment or enhance earning potential. Includes worksheets for the calculation of total child support obligation including the application of the new definition of child care costs.

 

SB 248

Database Topics: Custody and Visitation
Summary: SB 248 requires the court to consider the best interest of the child when considering supervised visitation between the child and an incarcerated parent. Factors for best interest include the mental and physical health and safety of the child, the love, affection and other emotional ties between the child and the incarcerated parent, the length of time that the child had lived with the parent prior to the parent’s incarceration, the opinion of the child who is at least 12, the desirability of maintaining the relationship between the child and the incarcerated parent, the willingness of the child’s custodial parent, caretaker, legal guardian, or other relative to voluntarily take the child to visit the incarcerated parent, the effect on the child of supervised visitation in the place of incarceration and the availability of alternative or additional use of technology to facilitate visitation and other factors as specified by law. Requires the court to consider the mental and physical health of the child when considering whether to authorize visitation between the child and an incarcerated parent, which had previously been prohibited.

 

SB 578

Database Topic: Custody and Visitation
Summary: SB 578 allows a grandparent to be granted reasonable visitation rights if the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child, whether they were granted custody or not. Permits any other relative, by blood or affinity, stepparent, or step-grandparent, under extraordinary circumstances, to be granted reasonable visitation rights if the court finds that it is in the child's best interest, whether they were granted custody or not.

 

HB 300

Database Topic: Guidelines
Summary: HB 300 clarifies that financial obligations, for purposes of establishing spousal support, includes any interim allowance or final child support obligation. Allows any interim allowance or final child support obligations to be considered in awarding interim spousal support.

 

HB 747

Database Topics: Custody and Visitation, Family Violence Collaboration
Summary: HB 747 adds domestic abuse aggravated assault to the list of crimes of violence. Clarifies provisions related to this classification. Requires an offender to participate in a court-monitored domestic abuse intervention program as defined. Clarifies that the designation of domestic abuse aggravated assault as a crime of violence is for purposes of any civil or criminal proceeding. Clarifies that the presumption that no parent who has a history of perpetuating family violence shall be awarded sole or joint custody of children may be overcome by evidence that the perpetrating parent has successfully completed a court-monitored domestic abuse intervention program as defined. Requires that both parents complete a court-monitored domestic abuse intervention program if they both have a history of perpetuating family violence. Allows the court to order supervised visitation to a parent with a history of perpetrating family violence, so long as the parent completes a court-monitored domestic abuse intervention program.

 

HCR 179

Database Topic: Other/Miscellaneous
Summary: HCR 179 urges and requests the Louisiana State Law Institute to study the prescriptive or statute of limitations periods for disavowals of paternity and revocation of paternity acknowledgements and to report its findings 30 days prior to the next legislative session.

 

Maine

HB 1211
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: H1211 authorizes the Secretary of State, upon written notice from the Penobscot Nation that a child support obligor is not in compliance with a child support order, to suspend the driver's license of a noncompliant child support obligor. Details the notice of suspension requirements and review procedures. Allows for a temporary license upon receipt of a conditional release from the Penobscot Nation.

 

HB 1243
Database Topic: Other/Miscellaneous
Summary: HB1243 extends the date for the Family Law Advisory Commission to issue its final report on the Uniform Parentage Act to the legislature to December 15, 2014.

 

Maryland

HB 907

Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: HB 907 allows the video lottery operation licensees to withhold lottery prizes for certain child support obligors and remit those payments to the Child Support Enforcement Administration as payment for child support arrears. Requires the video lottery operation licensees to provide notice to the obligors of the withholding. Sets the requirements for notice and withholding. Authorizes obligors to appeal proposed transfers. Requires the Child Support Enforcement Administration to notify the licensees on the distribution of certain prizes and prohibits the licensee from being held liable for certain acts or omissions.

 

HB 1174
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: HB 1174 establishes that specified provisions of law governing the denial or suspension of licenses for failure to pay child support apply to recreational hunting and fishing licenses. Requires the Department of Natural Resources to require an applicant to provide only specified information related to the applicant's Social Security number on an application for a recreational hunting or fishing license.

 

Michigan

SB 714

Database Topic: Child Support Prevention
Summary: SB 714 adopts the uniform collaborative law act to allow parties to agree to a collaborative alternative dispute resolution process in cases involving child custody, visitation, parenting time and child support, among others.

 

HB 4648
Database Topic: Custody and Visitation
Summary: HB4648 details when a putative father's parental rights may and may not be terminated in a situation where the mother is seeking to terminate her parental rights or has entered a release or consent for adoption. Requires that notice to the putative father of the hearing to determine or terminate his rights state that if he does not appear his rights will be terminated. Requires the court to terminate the putative father's parental rights if it would not be in the best interests of the child to be in the custody of the putative father. Prohibits the termination of the putative father's parental rights if the court fines that he established a custodial relationship with the child, or has provided substantial and regular support to the mother or the child. If the court does not terminate the parental rights of the putative father, it must terminate the temporary placement of the child with the adoptive parents and deny the order for adoption. Further specifies the mother's rights following the determination or termination of the putative father's parental rights.

 

HR 304
Database Topic: Other/Miscellaneous, Child Support Prevention
Summary: HR304 declares March 2014 as Parenting Awareness Month in the state of Michigan.

 

Minnesota

SB 2712
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: SB 2712 clarifies the crime of failure to pay court-ordered child support by changing the terms “care and support” and “child support” to “court-ordered support.” Sets the effective date.

 

HB 892
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: HB892 updates the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act to conform to the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. Allows support orders to be modified and enforced between countries.

 

HB 2722
Database Topic: Custody and Visitation
Summary: HB 2722 declares that there is no presumption for or against joint physical custody, except when domestic abuse has occurred between the parents. Details that the court should consider all of the enumerated factors when considering custody and should not consider one to the exclusion of the others. Clarifies that disagreement between the parties does not indicate their ability to raise their children and details how the court should handle disagreement between the parties. Requires consideration of the child’s developmental needs when determining the child’s best interest for modification of a parenting plan.

 

HB 2925
Database Topic: Other/Miscellaneous
Summary: HB2925 allows for reimbursement of certain expenses to individuals who were convicted of a crime and subsequently exonerated. allows for reimbursement of child support payments owed by an exonerated individual that became due, and interest on child support arrearages that accrued, during the time served in prison. Exempts child support payments that were already owed before incarceration from reimbursement.

 

HB 3172

Database Topics: Economic Stability, Enforcement
Associated Bills: MN S 2785 - Companion
Summary: HB 3172 requires applicants for general assistance and Minnesota supplemental aid to provide specified information, including spousal and child support payments made to persons outside the household, for purposes of determining eligibility and the amount of the assistance payment.

 

Missouri

SB 491
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: SB 491 makes failure to disclose a child support arrearage on a withholding form a class E felony instead of a class D felony, among other criminal law code changes.

 

SB 530

Database Topic: Healthy Family Relationships

Summary: SB 530 creates a presumption that a parent is unfit to be a party to the parent and child relationships if their parental rights to one or more other children were terminated within three years of the current termination adjudication, if the child or the birth mother tested positive for certain controlled substances or alcohol within eight hours of the child's birth or the parent has been convicted of certain drug possession felonies within three years prior to the current termination of parental rights adjudication.

 

HB 1217

Database Topic: Enforcement

Summary: HB 1217 allows retirement plan benefits to be assigned for collection of child or spousal support.

 

HB 1231

Database Topics: Guidelines, Other/Misc.

Summary: HB 1231 allows the division to modify a child support order to include a single child support obligation for all children of the parties if an addition child or children, no subject to the original order, are born to the parties. Requires the filing of a motion to modify, services of process, and an opportunity for the parties to be heard.

 

Nebraska

LB 907
Database Topic: Child Support Prevention
Summary: LB907 creates a reentry program for inmates and parolees called the Vocational and Life Skills Program, a fund to pay for the program, among other provisions. Specifically includes community based vocational training as part of the reentry program.

 

LB 908
Database Topics: Custody and Visitation, Healthy Family Relationships
Summary: LB908 details the timing requirements for a father to file a Notice of Objection to Adoption and Intent to Obtain Custody. Requires those notices to be filed during pregnancy or within 5 days after birth of the child, 5 days after notice is received, or 5 days after published notice ends.

 

New Hampshire

SB 205

Database Topic: Custody and Visitation
Summary: SB 205 allows the court to limit visitation to supervised visitation centers that use metal detection devices and have trained security personnel on-site. Establishes a commission to study supervised visitation centers, including the licensing requirements of such centers, the availability of supervised visitation centers across the state, the criteria courts use in determining whether to order use of supervised visitation centers and the policies and procedures in place at supervised visitation centers.

 

SB 253

Database Topic: Family Violence Collaboration

Summary: SB 253 allows for termination of parental rights if the birth of the child was a result of the sexual assault of the mother and it is in the best interest of the child. Clarifies that the father of the child must have been convicted or pled guilty to sexual assault or it is found beyond a reasonable doubt that he fathered the child through a non-consensual sexual act.

 

SB 353

Database Topic: Other/Miscellaneous

Summary: SB 353 standardizes the minimum components of gestational carrier agreements, and recognizes that written gestational carrier agreements are valid and enforceable legal contracts. Defines common terms of a gestational carrier agreement. Clarifies the parental status of the parties to a gestational carrier agreement, including donors and intended parents. Requires an intended parent of a child resulting from assisted reproduction to complete a mental health consultation, undergo legal consultation regarding the terms of the gestational carrier agreement and be advised of the potential legal consequences of the gestational carrier agreement prior to any medical procedures. Requires the gestational carrier to be at least 21, to have given birth at least once before, to complete a physical medical evaluation, mental health consultation and legal consultation prior to any medical procedure. Clarifies that a gestational carrier agreement is a legal contract and is presumed valid and enforceable by the court. Specifies the requirements for a gestational carrier agreement. Details the requirements and legal consequences of parentage orders, marriage or partnership of the gestational carrier following the execution of the gestational carrier agreements, intestate and testate succession, and death of the intended parents.

 

HB 1632

Database Topic: Guidelines

Summary: HB 1632 clarifies that no child support order for a child with disabilities that takes effect after July 9, 2013 may continue after the child reaches 21 years of age. Permits the court to reinstate a child support order for a child with disabilities that was modified or vacated between July 9, 2013 and the bill's effective date.

 

New Mexico

SB 130
Database Topic: Custody and Visitation
Summary: SB 130 enacts the Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act. Specifies that deployment does not change the place of residence of the deployed parent. Details notice requirements for change of residence and for deployment. Prohibits the court from solely considering the parent's past deployment or possible future deployment when determining the best interest of the child. Specifies that a the parents may enter into a temporary custody agreement that will be in effect until the deploying parent returns, if it is in writing and signed by both parents. Details other procedures for the temporary custody arrangement.

 

SJM 26
Database Topics: Guidelines, Other/Miscellaneous
Summary: SJM 26 requires the administrative office of the courts to study equity in awarding child support and how child support is calculated and report the findings and recommendations to the appropriate interim legislative committee.

 

North Carolina

SB 794

Database Topic: Guidelines

Summary: SB 794 allows the Conference of Chief District Judges to prescribe uniform statewide presumptive guidelines for the computation of retroactive child support obligations.

 

Oklahoma

SB 1612

Database Topic: Custody and Visitation
Summary: SB 1612 requires any visitation order to contain a provision stating that the custodial parent has a duty to facilitate visitation of a minor child with the noncustodial parent. Includes court forms. Clarifies how attorneys fees are granted.

 

SB 1784
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: SB1784 removes the requirement that a court must suspend or revoke any professional licenses held by an individual who is not compliant with an order for child support and instead puts that decision at the discretion of the court.

 

SB 1993
Database Topics: Enforcement, Guidelines
Summary: SB 1993 clarifies that both the mother and the father of a child born out of wedlock are liable for the support and education of the child. Specifies that the mother is liable for the reasonable expenses of providing for the child to the same extent as the father and is subject to the same limitation of liability for any time she does not have custody of the child prior to the establishment of paternity or an order for support. Allows for both parties to seek support from the other. Includes medical support, including health insurance coverage or cash medical support as part of the liability of both parents. Clarifies paternity establishment procedures.

 

HB 1384
Database Topic: Other/Miscellaneous
Summary: HB 1384 establishes the “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” declaring that the government shall not interfere with the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children without a compelling governmental interest. Enumerates the rights protected under the new law. Directs the board of education of a school district, along with parents, teachers and school administrators to develop and adopt plans to promote the involvement of parents in their children’s education. Details the elements of the required plan. Prohibits the administration of medical treatment or medicine to minors without parental consent.

 

HB 2166

Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: HB2166 authorizes the court to require individuals who are in contempt for failure to comply with an order for child support, child support arrears, or other support and are willingly unemployed to work 2 eight hour days per week in a community service program administered by the county commissioners, if the county commissioners of that county have implemented a community service program.

 

HB 2249

Database Topic: Healthy Family Relationships
Summary: HB2249 requires parents who are divorcing based on incompatibility to attend, either separately or together, an educational program concerning the impact of divorce on children, if the child is eighteen years of age or younger. Requires the program to include short-term and longitudinal effects of divorce on child well-being, reconciliation as an optional outcome, effects of family violence, potential child behaviors and emotional states during and after divorce including information on how to respond to the child's needs, communication strategies and area resources, including but not limited to nonprofit organizations or religious entities available to address issues of substance abuse or other addictions, family violence, behavioral health, individual and couples counseling, and financial planning. Sets the fee that program attendees must pay as not less than fifteen dollars and not more than sixty dollars. Specifies the time frame for completion of the program.

 

HB 2667

Database Topic: Family Violence Collaboration
Summary: HB 2667 requires the district attorney to filed for termination of the parent-child relationships and parental rights with respect to a child no later than 60 days after a court has determined that reasonable efforts to reunite are not required due to a felony conviction of a parent of certain offenses, including permitting a child to participate in pornography, rape, or rape by instrumentation, lewd molestation of a child under sixteen years of age, child abuse or neglect, enabling child abuse or neglect, murder or aiding or abetting the murder or death of a child, the child's sibling or a parent of the child, or if the parent has made no measurable progress in correcting the conditions which caused the child to be adjudicated deprived within ninety days after the court ordered the case plan.

 

HB 3472

Database Topic: Family Violence Collaboration
Summary: HB 3472 prohibits a court from awarding custody or guardianship of a child to a person who has been convicted of certain crimes related to abuse, endangerment or exploitation of children.

 

South Carolina

SB 687

Database Topics: Healthy Family Relationships, Implementation/Administration
Summary: SB 687 prohibits the court from denying guardianship, custody or visitation of a child solely because the party is blind. Prohibits the Department of Social Services, a guardian, or a child placement agency and the court from denying an adoption petition solely because the petitioner is blind. Requires the Department of Social Services to promulgate regulations prohibiting a local department from removing a child from a home and placing the child in foster care solely because the child's parent or guardian is blind.

 

HB 4348

Database Topic: Custody and Visitation
Summary: HB 4348 allows the court to order grandparent visitation of a minor child where either or both parents of the minor child is or are deceased, or are divorced, or are living in different habitats, if the court finds that the child's parents or guardians are unreasonably depriving the grandparent of the opportunity to visit with the child, that awarding grandparent visitation would not interfere with the parent-child relationship and the court finds that the child's parents are unfit, or the court finds that there is compelling circumstances to overcome the presumption that the parental decision is in the child's best interest.

 

South Dakota

HB 1165
Database Topic: Custody and Visitation
Summary: HB1165 enacts the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act. Specifies that deployment does not change the place of residence of the deployed parent and affords the court temporary emergency jurisdiction under certain circumstances. Details notice requirements for change of residence and for deployment. Prohibits the court from solely considering the parent's past deployment or possible future deployment when determining the best interest of the child. Allows the court to consider the effects of deployment on the parent and the child when making a best interest determination. Specifies that a the parents may enter into a temporary custody agreement that will be in effect until the deploying parent returns, if it is in writing and signed by both parents. Details other procedures for the temporary custody arrangement. Allows a court to grant caretaking and decision-making authority to an adult nonparent who has a close and substantial relationship with the child.

 

Tennessee

SB 1488
DatabaseTopic: Custody and Visitation
Summary: SB 1488 mandates a temporary injunction prohibiting parties to a divorce from relocating the child more than 50 miles from the marital residence, as opposed to 100 miles in previous law. Requires notarized signatures by one or both parties filing a parenting plan to the court. Details how the noncustodial parent may communicate with the child and what information the noncustodial parent is entitled to receive regarding the child. Alters the factors to be considered in a best interest determination when setting custody and visitation and makes other sections of the Code consistent with the new factors.

 

HB 1396
Database Topic: Enforcement
Summary: HB 1396 allows an individual who is not in compliance with a child support order to request a restricted license, rather than have the license suspended or revoked, if he/she is employed for at least thirty hours per week, the employment is located more than one mile from the obligor’s place of residence and the obligor’s employment can reasonably be expected to contribute to bringing the obligor into compliance with the support order. Details the procedure for obtaining and requesting a restricted license and clarifies the appropriate definitions.

 

HB 2314
Database Topic: Custody and Visitation
Summary: HB 2314 enacts the Uniform Deployed Parent Custody and Visitation Act. Prohibits the parents residency to be effected by deployment for purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Employment Act. Sets notice of deployment and address change requirements between the parents and requires each parent to provide the other with a plan for fulfilling that parent’s share of custodial responsibility during deployment. Allows a temporary agreement between the parties regarding custodial responsibility during deployment so long as it is in writing and signed by all parties and allows for modification of the agreement subject to certain requirements. Sets further requirements for the temporary order, including the termination of the order upon return from deployment. Allows for a nonparent to exercise custodial responsibility during deployment if the other parent is not available or is prohibited from contacting the child. Allows a nonparent or adult family member with whom the child has a close and substantial relationship to obtain custodial responsibility and be granted part of the deploying parent’s decision-making authority during deployment upon agreement by the other parent or subject to certain restrictions. Sets other procedural requirements for setting, modifying and terminating the temporary order.

 

Utah

HB 201
Database Topics: Custody and Visitation, Healthy Family Relationships
Summary: HB201 defines supervised parent-time. Describes the conditions under which a court can order supervised parent-time. Creates a process for selecting persons to supervise parent-time, including relatives or, if necessary, a professional or agency. Allows the supervised parent to petition the court for unsupervised parent-time.

 

Vermont

HB 88
Database Topic: Family Violence Collaboration, Custody and Visitation
Summary: HB 88 allows the court to award sole parental rights and responsibilities to a parent and denying all parent-child contact with the other parent if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the noncustodial parent was convicted of sexual assault of the custodial parent and the child was conceived as a result of the sexual assault. Allows the court to award sole parental rights and responsibilities to one parent and deny all parent-child contact with the other parent if the Court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child was conceived as a result of sexual assault, without conviction for the sexual assault, and the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child. Clarifies that a parental rights order under these circumstances must not affect the custodial parent's right to seek child support from the noncustodial parent.
 
HB 325

Database Topic: Healthy Family Relationships
Summary: HB 325 requires the Secretary of Human Services, Commission of Corrections, and the Commissioner for Children and Families to study and develop recommendations, within the Integrated Family Services Initiative (IFS) regarding the capacity needed to identify and connect children and families of incarcerated individuals to appropriate services within the IFS, existing services available to children with incarcerated parents and the need for any additional services, appropriate physical settings for children to visit incarcerated parents and services while the parent is incarcerated, a mechanism to ensure that coordinated services are provided to children of incarcerated parents by the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Corrections, agency data systems to track and coordinate services for children of incarcerated parents, and the cost of services necessary to implement a comprehensive system of care addressing the unique needs of children of incarcerated parents. Identifies stakeholders to be included and consulted.

 

HB 581

Database Topic: Custody and Visitation
Summary: HB 581 sets the requirements to become a legal guardian of the child and establishes the duties of a legal guardian with respect to child support paid on behalf of the child.

 

Virginia

HB 359
Database Topic: Custody and Visitation
Summary: HB359 includes step-grandparents in the definition of people with a legitimate interest in the custody, visitation and support of a child.

 

HB 933
Database Topic: Guidelines
Summary: HB933 specifies a statutory minimum for child support rather than a presumptive minimum. Allows the court to set the child support below the statutory minimum if the noncustodial parent's income is equal to or less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level, unless that would limit the custodial parent's ability to maintain adequate housing and provide basic necessities to the child. Updates the child support schedule.

 

HB 1233
Database Topic: Healthy Family Relationships
Summary: HB1233 defines stalking and adds requires the Statewide Facilitator for Victims of Domestic Violence to include victims of stalking in the Address Confidentiality Program. Specifies other procedures for the protection of stalking victims.

 

West Virginia

HB 4139
Database Topic: Family Violence Collaboration
Summary: HB4139 prohibits the court from granting custody of or parenting time with the child if the parent was convicted of sexual assault which resulted in the conception of the child, unless the court finds that it is in the best interests of the child, the child and victim are protected and the custodial parent consents to the biological parent having custody or parenting time. Allows for an exception if the biological parents are married and create a mutual custodial environment or if they are unmarried and cohabitate following the conviction for sexual assault. Clarifies that the denial of custody or parenting time does not automatically terminate the parental rights of the convicted parent.

 

Wisconsin

SB 68
Database Topic: Implementation/Administration
Summary: SB68 restates that spousal maintenance terminates upon the death of either party. Requires the party receiving spousal maintenance to notify the court and the payer if they remarry within 10 days of the remarriage and requires the court to terminate the spousal maintenance up0on notification of remarriage.

 

AB 566
Database Topic: Other/Miscellaneous
Summary: AB566, among other child welfare changes, specifies procedures for seizure of a child support obligor's financial account. Modifies the procedure for rescinding an acknowledgement of paternity to reflect that minors may not acknowledge paternity and makes other changes consistent with that rule. Details other procedures for paternity establishment proceedings.

 

Wyoming

SB 84
Database Topic: Guidelines
Summary: SB84 clarifies the calculation of a daily support obligation which abates the child support amount by one-half for each day the noncustodial parent has physical custody of the child. Clarifies that administrative driver's license suspension is best if the obligor owes more than five thousand dollars and has not made a full monthly child support payment for ninety consecutive days. Allows for electronic notice between the payor and payee.

About This NCSL Project

NCSL staff in D.C. and Denver can provide comprehensive, thorough, and timely information on critical child support policy issues. We provide services to legislators and staff working to improve state policies affecting children and their families. NCSL's online clearinghouse for state legislators includes resources on child support police, financing, laws, research and promicing practices. Technical assistance visits to states are available to any state legisalture that would like training or assistance related to this topic.  

The Denver-based child support project staff focuses on state policy, tracking legislation and providing research and policy analysis, consultation, and technical assistance specifically geared to the legislative audience. Denver staff can be reached at (303) 364-7700 or cyf-info@ncsl.org.

NCSL staff in Washington, D.C. track and analyze federal legislation and policy and represent state legislatures on child support issues before Congress and the Administration. In D.C., Joy Johnson Wilson (joy.wilson@ncsl.org) and Rachel Morgan (rachel.morgan@ncsl.org) can be reached at (202) 624-5400.

The child support project and D.C. human services staff receive guidance and support from NCSL's Standing Committee on Health & Human Services.

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