CHAPTER 815j
DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE, LEGAL SEPARATION
AND ANNULMENT

Table of Contents

Sec. 46b-56. (Formerly Sec. 46-42). Orders re custody, care, education, visitation and support of children. Best interests of the child. Access to records of minor child by noncustodial parent. Orders re therapy, counseling and drug or alcohol screening.
Sec. 46b-59. Court may grant right of visitation to any person.
Sec. 46b-62. (Formerly Sec. 46-59). Orders for payment of attorney's fees in certain actions.
Sec. 46b-81. (Formerly Sec. 46-51). Assignment of property and transfer of title.
Sec. 46b-82. (Formerly Sec. 46-52). Alimony.
Sec. 46b-84. (Formerly Sec. 46-57). Parents' obligation for maintenance of minor child. Order for health insurance coverage.
Sec. 46b-86. (Formerly Sec. 46-54). Modification of alimony or support orders and judgments.
Sec. 46b-88. National Medical Support Notice. Duties of issuing agency, employer and administrator of group health plan.

PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

      Sec. 46b-56. (Formerly Sec. 46-42). Orders re custody, care, education, visitation and support of children. Best interests of the child. Access to records of minor child by noncustodial parent. Orders re therapy, counseling and drug or alcohol screening.

      Subsec. (a):

      Trial court properly determined that in the absence of controversy before the court involving custody or care of minor children, section does not provide an alternative statutory basis to Sec. 46b-59 so as to allow grandparents to pursue an action for visitation. 103 CA 125.

      Subsec. (b):

      Court improperly incorporated parties' prior stipulated agreement into its final decree without making a best interests determination re children 17 months later at time of final decree. 98 CA 63.

      Subsec. (c):

      Plain meaning of section, read within context of related statutes within Ch. 815j, makes clear that this Subsec. is intended to apply only in dissolution of marriage, legal separation and annulment actions. 103 CA 746.


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      Sec. 46b-59. Court may grant right of visitation to any person.

      Trial court properly dismissed grandparents' application for visitation with grandchildren due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction as the application contained no specific, good faith allegations as to nature of relationship between the grandparents and grandchildren, and significant harm to grandchildren that would result if the application for visitation were not granted. 103 CA 125.

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      Sec. 46b-62. (Formerly Sec. 46-59). Orders for payment of attorney's fees in certain actions. In any proceeding seeking relief under the provisions of this chapter and sections 17b-743, 17b-744, 45a-257, 46b-1, 46b-6, 46b-212 to 46b-213v, inclusive, 47-14g, 51-348a and 52-362, the court may order either spouse or, if such proceeding concerns the custody, care, education, visitation or support of a minor child, either parent to pay the reasonable attorney's fees of the other in accordance with their respective financial abilities and the criteria set forth in section 46b-82. If, in any proceeding under this chapter and said sections, the court appoints an attorney for a minor child, the court may order the father, mother or an intervening party, individually or in any combination, to pay the reasonable fees of the attorney or may order the payment of the attorney's fees in whole or in part from the estate of the child. If the child is receiving or has received state aid or care, the compensation of the attorney shall be established and paid by the Commission on Child Protection.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 27; P.A. 78-230, S. 44, 54; P.A. 86-264, S. 16; P.A. 88-41; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1, S. 54, 75; P.A. 07-159, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 78-230 rephrased provisions and deleted reference to Sec. 46-5h; Sec. 46-59 transferred to Sec. 46b-62 in 1979 and references to other sections within provisions revised as necessary to reflect their transfer; P.A. 86-264 eliminated maximum compensation of $100 for attorney if child is or has received state aid or care and added provision that such compensation be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the judicial department; P.A. 88-41 authorized the court to order either parent to pay the reasonable attorney's fees of the other if the proceeding concerns the custody, care, education, visitation or support of a minor child and to order an intervening party individually or in any combination with the father and mother to pay the reasonable fees of an attorney appointed by the court for a minor child; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-1 made a technical change, effective January 1, 1998; P.A. 07-159 replaced provision re reasonable compensation of attorney established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, Judicial Department with provision re compensation of attorney established and paid by Commission on Child Protection, effective July 1, 2007.

      Trial court judgment awarding attorney's fees award must be reversed because court's basis for award was improper. 102 CA 1. Trial court improperly decided issue regarding who drafted agreement and therefore award of counsel fees was improper. Id., 96.

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PART III
SUPPORT OF CHILD AND SPOUSE.
TRANSFER OF PROPERTY

      Sec. 46b-81. (Formerly Sec. 46-51). Assignment of property and transfer of title.

      Trial court properly determined plaintiff did not own the inventory in his antiques business. 102 CA 74.

      Subsec. (a):

      Trial court's award of marital residence and 100% of equity in the residence to plaintiff wife did not constitute abuse of discretion where defendant husband was not ordered to pay alimony and retained his pensions free from any claim of the plaintiff wife. 101 CA 106.

      Subsec. (b):

      Ascribing a current value to the home, in combination with an order to sell the home, is neither absurd nor prohibited by section. 99 CA 145.

      Subsec. (c):

      Appellate court's conclusion that trial court improperly relied on total length of parties' relationship in crafting its financial orders was supported by record; under this Subsec. and Sec. 46b-82(a), a court shall consider length of parties' marriage, which does not include prior marriages or cohabitation preceding marriage. 280 C. 632.

      Defendant's annual bonus constituted an "amount and source of income" that court should have considered when determining division of marital property and awarding alimony and child support, and matter should be remanded for recalculation of all awards even though child support award was calculated correctly. 98 CA 706. There is no language of presumption in statute that marital property should be divided equally prior to applying statutory criteria. 99 CA 326.

      In dissolution of marriage case, in which plaintiff wife sought greater share in distribution of $25,840 in cash wedding gifts on basis that bride's side had more family and friends in attendance than groom's side, and where there was insufficient evidence of donor's intent, court adopted New York rule for classifying wedding gifts established in Avnet v. Avnet that where there is inadequate evidence of donor's intent, wedding gift is intended as a joint gift unless the gift is appropriate for the use of only one spouse or is earmarked for one particular spouse and because Connecticut is an all property state money received at wedding is "marital property" within meaning of statute, regardless of the donor. 50 CS 11.


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      Sec. 46b-82. (Formerly Sec. 46-52). Alimony.

      Change in value of an asset awarded at time of dissolution may be considered when modifying an alimony award. 283 C. 494. Failure to consider amount and sources of plaintiff's income and needs constitutes an abuse of discretion under the statute. Id.

      Subsec. (a):

      Appellate court's conclusion that trial court improperly relied on total length of parties' relationship in crafting its financial orders was supported by record; under Sec. 46b-81(c) and this Subsec., a court shall consider length of parties' marriage, which does not include prior marriages or cohabitation preceding marriage. 280 C. 632.

      Defendant's annual bonus constituted an "amount and source of income" that court should have considered when determining division of marital property and awarding alimony and child support, and matter should be remanded for recalculation of all awards even though child support award was calculated correctly. 98 CA 706. Court must consider all statutory criteria but there is no additional requirement that court specifically state how it weighed statutory criteria or explain in detail the importance assigned to each statutory factor. 99 CA 326.


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      Sec. 46b-84. (Formerly Sec. 46-57). Parents' obligation for maintenance of minor child. Order for health insurance coverage. (a) Upon or subsequent to the annulment or dissolution of any marriage or the entry of a decree of legal separation or divorce, the parents of a minor child of the marriage, shall maintain the child according to their respective abilities, if the child is in need of maintenance. Any postjudgment procedure afforded by chapter 906 shall be available to secure the present and future financial interests of a party in connection with a final order for the periodic payment of child support.

      (b) If there is an unmarried child of the marriage who has attained the age of eighteen and is a full-time high school student, the parents shall maintain the child according to their respective abilities if the child is in need of maintenance until such child completes the twelfth grade or attains the age of nineteen, whichever occurs first. The provisions of this subsection shall apply only in cases where the decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment is entered on or after July 1, 1994.

      (c) The court may make appropriate orders of support of any child with mental retardation, as defined in section 1-1g, or a mental disability or physical disability, as defined in subdivision (15) of section 46a-51, who resides with a parent and is principally dependent upon such parent for maintenance until such child attains the age of twenty-one. The child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a shall not apply to orders entered under this subsection. The provisions of this subsection shall apply only in cases where the decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment is entered on or after October 1, 1997, or where the initial support orders in actions not claiming any such decree are entered on or after October 1, 1997.

      (d) In determining whether a child is in need of maintenance and, if in need, the respective abilities of the parents to provide such maintenance and the amount thereof, the court shall consider the age, health, station, occupation, earning capacity, amount and sources of income, estate, vocational skills and employability of each of the parents, and the age, health, station, occupation, educational status and expectation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate and needs of the child.

      (e) At any time at which orders are entered in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, annulment, legal separation, custody, or support, whether before, at the time of, or after entry of a decree or judgment, if health insurance coverage for a child is ordered by the court to be maintained, the court shall provide in the order that (1) the signature of the custodial parent or custodian of the insured dependent shall constitute a valid authorization to the insurer for purposes of processing an insurance reimbursement payment to the provider of the medical services, to the custodial parent or to the custodian, (2) neither parent shall prevent or interfere with the timely processing of any insurance reimbursement claim and (3) if the parent receiving an insurance reimbursement payment is not the parent or custodian who is paying the bill for the services of the medical provider, the parent receiving such insurance reimbursement payment shall promptly pay to the parent or custodian paying such bill any insurance reimbursement for such services. For purposes of subdivision (1), the custodial parent or custodian is responsible for providing the insurer with a certified copy of the order of dissolution or other order requiring maintenance of insurance for a child provided if such custodial parent or custodian fails to provide the insurer with a copy of such order, the Commissioner of Social Services may provide the insurer with a copy of such order. Such insurer may thereafter rely on such order and is not responsible for inquiring as to the legal sufficiency of the order. The custodial parent or custodian shall be responsible for providing the insurer with a certified copy of any order which materially alters the provision of the original order with respect to the maintenance of insurance for a child. If presented with an insurance reimbursement claim signed by the custodial parent or custodian, such insurer shall reimburse the provider of the medical services, if payment is to be made to such provider under the policy, or shall otherwise reimburse the custodial parent or custodian.

      (f) (1) After the granting of a decree annulling or dissolving the marriage or ordering a legal separation, and upon complaint or motion with order and summons made to the Superior Court by either parent or by the Commissioner of Administrative Services in any case arising under subsection (a) or (b) of this section, the court shall inquire into the child's need of maintenance and the respective abilities of the parents to supply maintenance. The court shall make and enforce the decree for the maintenance of the child as it considers just, and may direct security to be given therefor, including an order to either party to contract with a third party for periodic payments or payments contingent on a life to the other party. The court may order that a party obtain life insurance as such security unless such party proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that such insurance is not available to such party, such party is unable to pay the cost of such insurance or such party is uninsurable.

      (2) The court shall include in each support order a provision for the health care coverage of the child who is subject to the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section. Such provision may include an order for either parent or both parents to provide such coverage under any or all of subparagraphs (A), (B) or (C) of this subdivision.

      (A) The provision for health care coverage may include an order for either parent to name any child as a beneficiary of any medical or dental insurance or benefit plan carried by such parent or available to such parent at a reasonable cost, as described in subparagraph (D) of this subdivision. If such order in a IV-D support case requires the parent to maintain insurance available through an employer, the order shall be enforced using a National Medical Support Notice as provided in section 46b-88.

      (B) The provision for health care coverage may include an order for either parent to: (i) Apply for and maintain coverage on behalf of the child under the HUSKY Plan, Part B; or (ii) provide cash medical support, as described in subparagraphs (E) and (F) of this subdivision. An order under this subparagraph shall be made only if the cost to the parent obligated to maintain the coverage under the HUSKY Plan, Part B, or provide cash medical support is reasonable, as described in subparagraph (D) of this subdivision. An order under clause (i) of this subparagraph shall be made only if insurance coverage as described in subparagraph (A) of this subdivision is unavailable at reasonable cost to either parent, or inaccessible to the child.

      (C) An order for payment of the child's medical and dental expenses, other than those described in clause (ii) of subparagraph (E) of this subdivision, that are not covered by insurance or reimbursed in any other manner shall be entered in accordance with the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a.

      (D) Health care coverage shall be deemed reasonable in cost if: (i) The parent obligated to maintain such coverage would qualify as a low-income obligor under the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a, based solely on such parent's income, and the cost does not exceed five per cent of such parent's net income; or (ii) the parent obligated to maintain such coverage would not qualify as a low-income obligor under such guidelines and the cost does not exceed seven and one-half per cent of such parent's net income. In either case, net income shall be determined in accordance with the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a. If a parent obligated to maintain insurance must obtain coverage for himself or herself to comply with the order to provide coverage for the child, reasonable cost shall be determined based on the combined cost of coverage for such parent and such child.

      (E) Cash medical support means: (i) An amount ordered to be paid toward the cost of premiums for health insurance coverage provided by a public entity, including the HUSKY Plan, Part A or Part B, except as provided in subparagraph (F) of this subdivision, or by another parent through employment or otherwise, or (ii) an amount ordered to be paid, either directly to a medical provider or to the person obligated to pay such provider, toward any ongoing extraordinary medical and dental expenses of the child that are not covered by insurance or reimbursed in any other manner, provided such expenses are documented and identified specifically on the record. Cash medical support, as described in clauses (i) and (ii) of this subparagraph may be ordered in lieu of an order under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision to be effective until such time as health insurance that is accessible to the child and reasonable in cost becomes available, or in addition to an order under subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, provided the combined cost of insurance and cash medical support is reasonable, as defined in subparagraph (D) of this subdivision. An order for cash medical support shall be payable to the state or the custodial party, as their interests may appear, provided an order under clause (i) of this subparagraph shall be effective only as long as health insurance coverage is maintained. Any unreimbursed medical and dental expenses not covered by an order issued pursuant to clause (ii) of this subparagraph are subject to an order for unreimbursed medical and dental expenses pursuant to subparagraph (C) of this subdivision.

      (F) Cash medical support to offset the cost of any insurance payable under the HUSKY Plan, Part A or Part B, shall not be ordered against a noncustodial parent who is a low-income obligor, as defined in the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a, or against a custodial parent of children covered under the HUSKY Plan, Part A or Part B.

      (g) Whenever an obligor is before the court in proceedings to establish, modify or enforce a support order, and such order is not secured by an income withholding order, the court may require the obligor to execute a bond or post other security sufficient to perform such order for support, provided the court finds that such a bond is available for purchase within the financial means of the obligor. Upon failure of such obligor to comply with such support order, the court may order the bond or the security forfeited and the proceeds thereof distributed as required by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. In any IV-D case in which the obligor is found by the court to owe past-due support, the court may issue an order for the periodic payment of such support or, if such obligor is not incapacitated, order such obligor to participate in work activities which may include, but shall not be limited to, job search, training, work experience and participation in the job training and retraining program established by the Labor Commissioner pursuant to section 31-3t.

      (h) In IV-D support cases, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, a copy of any support order established or modified pursuant to this section or, in the case of a motion for modification of an existing support order, a notice of determination that there should be no change in the amount of the support order, shall be provided to each party and the state case registry within fourteen days after issuance of such order or determination.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 26; P.A. 74-169, S. 14, 18; P.A. 77-614, S. 70, 610; P.A. 78-230, S. 42, 54; P.A. 83-527, S. 2; P.A. 84-205, S. 1; 84-230; P.A. 87-207, S. 2; P.A. 89-195, S. 2; P.A. 91-4, S. 1, 2; P.A. 94-61, S. 1, 2; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-5, S. 9, 30; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1, S. 63, 130; P.A. 97-321, S. 1; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 104, 165; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7, S. 17, 38; P.A. 99-279, S. 29, 45; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7, S. 42; P.A. 03-130, S. 4; 03-202, S. 24; P.A. 06-149, S. 8; P.A. 07-247, S. 6, 7.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 required parents to maintain child "subsequent to" as well as "upon" annulment or dissolution of marriage or separation decree and added reference to divorce; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of finance and control with commissioner of administrative services; P.A. 78-230 divided section into Subsecs. and restated provisions in Subsecs. (a) and (c); Sec. 46-57 transferred to Sec. 46b-84 in 1979; P.A. 83-527 amended Subsec. (c) to provide that the court may order either party to contract with a third party for periodic payments or payments contingent on a life to the other party; P.A. 84-205 added the language concerning orders for medical or dental insurance in Subsec. (c); P.A. 84-230 inserted new Subsec. (c) re order for health insurance coverage for an insured dependent of the marriage, relettering former Subsec. (c) as (d); P.A. 87-207 amended Subsec. (c) to clarify that if the parent receiving an insurance reimbursement payment is not the parent who paid the bill, the former shall promptly pay the latter the amount of the reimbursement, and to require parents to notify insurers of any order altering responsibility for maintenance of insurance for the child; P.A. 89-195 added Subsec. (e) re authority of court to order bond or security for performance of support order and forfeiture of such bond or security and payment of proceeds; P.A. 91-4 amended Subsec. (c) by adding "or custodian" after "custodial parent"; P.A. 94-61 inserted new Subsec. (b) re support of unmarried child who has attained age of 18, is a full-time high school student and resides with a parent until such child completes the twelfth grade or attains age of 19, whichever first occurs, effective July 1, 1994; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-5 allowed the commissioner of social services to provide an insurer with a copy of the order of dissolution or other order requiring maintenance of insurance for a minor child if the custodial parent or custodian fails to provide the insurer with a copy, effective July 1, 1994; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1 made technical changes in Subsecs. (d) and (e), effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 97-321 added new provisions as Subsec. (c) re order of support of child with mental retardation or mental disability residing with parent until child is twenty-one, redesignating remaining Subsecs. accordingly; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 amended Subsec. (g) to replace references to "AFDC" with reference to "TANF", effective July 1, 1997; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7 amended Subsec. (f) by requiring court to include provision for health care coverage of child in each support order, amended Subsec. (g) by changing "wage garnishment" to "income withholding order" and adding provision re IV-D cases in which obligor found to owe past-due support and added Subsec. (h) re copy of support order notification or other determination to be supplied to each party and state case registry, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 99-279 amended Subsec. (f) by adding provisions re health care coverage under HUSKY Plan where coverage is unavailable at reasonable cost through a parent, effective July 1, 1999; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7 amended Subsec. (f) by adding provision re enforcement of employment-based order in a IV-D support case using a National Medical Support Notice; P.A. 03-130 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision re availability of postjudgment procedure; P.A. 03-202 amended Subsec. (f) by adding provision re order to obtain life insurance as security; P.A. 06-149 amended Subsec. (f) to substitute exemption from insurance payment contributions for low-income obligors for prior exemption if payment would reduce amount of support required under child support guidelines, and amended Subsec. (g) to substitute requirement that proceeds of forfeited bond or security be distributed as required by Title IV-D for prior requirement that proceeds be paid to the state in TANF cases or the obligee in non-TANF cases, effective June 6, 2006; P.A. 07-247 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting requirement that child "resides with a parent" re support for a child 18 or older who is a full-time high school student, and substantially revised Subsec. (f) by adding new Subdiv. designators (1) and (2), by adding Subpara. designators (A) to (F) in Subsec. (f)(2), by specifying in Subsec. (f)(2) that either parent may be ordered to name a child as a beneficiary of any medical or dental insurance plan carried by or available to such parent at a reasonable cost, by describing "reasonable in cost" re maintaining health care coverage, deleting language that required applying for coverage under the HUSKY Plan, Part B only if noncustodial parent had sufficient ability to pay appropriate premium, by providing that court may order either parent to provide for coverage under HUSKY Plan, Part B, or alternatively enter an order for "cash medical support" as long as any such order was reasonable, by defining "cash medical support" and requirements related to entry of a cash medical support order and by making technical changes.

      Subsec. (d):

      Defendant's annual bonus constituted an "amount and source of income" that court should have considered when determining division of marital property and awarding alimony and child support, and matter should be remanded for recalculation of all awards even though child support award was calculated correctly. 98 CA 706.


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      Sec. 46b-86. (Formerly Sec. 46-54). Modification of alimony or support orders and judgments.

      Subsec. (a):

      Plaintiff failed to demonstrate, as required by the consent to judgment, that defendant was gainfully employed and therefore there was no substantial change in circumstances. Trial court was effectively precluded from granting plaintiff any relief. 102 CA 1.

      Subsec. (b):

      Trial court properly rejected defendant's claim that his cohabitation with another woman served as a proper ground for modification of alimony as to term. 102 CA 90.


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      Sec. 46b-88. National Medical Support Notice. Duties of issuing agency, employer and administrator of group health plan. (a) For the purposes of this section:

      (1) "Issuing agency" means an agency providing child support enforcement services, as defined in subsection (b) of section 46b-231, and includes the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement within the Department of Social Services and Support Enforcement Services within Judicial Branch Court Operations; and

      (2) "NMSN" means the National Medical Support Notice required under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act used by state child support agencies to enforce health care coverage support provisions in child support orders.

      (b) (1) Whenever a court or family support magistrate enters a support order in a Title IV-D support case, as defined in subsection (b) of section 46b-231, that requires a noncustodial parent to provide employment-based health care coverage for a child, and the noncustodial parent's employer is known to the issuing agency, such agency shall enforce the health care coverage provisions of the order through the use of a NMSN. The issuing agency may also use the NMSN to enforce provisions of the support order requiring the custodial parent to provide employment-based health coverage for the child.

      (2) In addition to other notice and requirements contained therein, the NMSN shall serve as notice to the employer that: (A) The employee is obligated to provide employment-based health care coverage for the child; (B) the employer may be required to withhold any employee contributions required by the group health plan or plans in which the child is eligible to be enrolled; and (C) the employer is required to forward the NMSN to the administrator of each group health plan providing such coverage for enrollment determination purposes.

      (3) In addition to other notice requirements contained therein, the NMSN shall serve as notice to the group health plan that: (A) Receipt of the NMSN from an employer constitutes receipt of a medical support order; and (B) an appropriately completed NMSN constitutes a qualified medical child support order for health care coverage enrollment purposes.

      (4) In any case in which the noncustodial parent is a newly hired employee, the NMSN shall be transferred by the issuing agency to the employer no later than two business days after the date of the entry of the employee in the State Directory of New Hires established under section 31-254, together with any necessary income withholding notice.

      (c) (1) An employer who receives a NMSN from the issuing agency shall: (A) No later than twenty business days, after the date of NMSN, either (i) return the notice to such agency indicating why the health care coverage is not available, or (ii) transfer the notice to the administrator of each appropriate group health plan for which the child may be eligible; (B) upon notification from any such group health plan that the child is eligible for enrollment, withhold from the employee's income any employee contribution required under such plan and send the withheld payments directly to the plan, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section; and (C) notify the issuing agency whenever the employee's employment terminates. (2) Any employer who discharges an employee from employment, refuses to employ, or takes disciplinary action against an employee because of a medical child support withholding, or fails to withhold income or transmit withheld income to the group health plan as required by the NMSN shall be subject to the penalties related to employer processing of child support income withholding, as provided in subsections (f) and (j) of section 52-362. (3) The issuing agency shall notify the employer promptly when there is no longer a current order for medical support.

      (d) The NMSN shall inform the employer of the duration of the withholding requirement, of any limitations on withholding prescribed by federal or state law, and of any withholding priorities that apply when available income is insufficient to satisfy all cash and medical support obligations. A withholding for medical support obligations shall take priority over all support obligations other than current child and spousal support. The employer shall notify the issuing agency when any such withholding limitations or priorities prevent the employer from withholding the amount required to obtain coverage under the group health plan for which the child is otherwise eligible.

      (e) (1) The administrator of a group health plan who receives a NMSN from an employer pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall deem the NMSN to be a "qualified medical child support order" and an application by the issuing agency for enrollment of the child. Enrollment of the child may not be denied because the child: (A) Was born out of wedlock, (B) is not claimed as a dependent on the participant's federal income tax return, (C) does not reside with the participant or in the plan's service area, or (D) is receiving benefits or is eligible for benefits under a state medical assistance plan required by the Social Security Act. An enrollment shall be made without regard to open season enrollment restrictions, and if enrollment of a child is dependent on the enrollment of a participant who is not enrolled, both the child and the participant shall be enrolled. (2) No later than forty business days after the date of the NMSN the plan administrator shall notify the issuing agency whether coverage is available or, if necessary, of the steps to be taken to begin such coverage. The administrator shall also provide to the custodial parent a description of the coverage available and of any forms or documents necessary to begin coverage. The issuing agency, in consultation with the custodial parent, shall promptly select from any available plan options when necessary. Upon completion of enrollment, the group health plan administrator shall return the NMSN to the employer for a determination of whether any necessary employee contributions are available.

      (f) A NMSN issued pursuant to this section shall be deemed part of the court order requiring employment-based health care coverage. The NMSN shall have the same force and effect as a court order directed to an employer or group health plan administrator and may be enforced by the court or family support magistrate in the same manner as an order of the court or family support magistrate. The requirements imposed on employers and group health plan administrators under this section and the NMSN shall be in addition to any requirements imposed on said employer or administrator under other provisions of the general statutes.

      (May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7, S. 38; P.A. 07-247, S. 8, 9.)

      History: P.A. 07-247 amended Subsec. (b)(1) by providing that issuing agency may use NMSN to enforce provisions of support order requiring custodial parent to provide employment-based health coverage for the child and amended Subsec. (d) by specifying that withholding order for medical support obligations takes priority over all support obligations other than current child support and spousal support.

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