Substitute House Bill No. 6466
Public Act No. 99-193
An Act Establishing a Fatherhood Initiative, a Fatherhood Council and a Research and Demonstration Program and Concerning Other Methods to Strengthen Child Support Enforcement.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. (a) The Commissioner of Social Services, within available appropriations, shall establish a program to be known as the "Fatherhood Initiative". Said program shall promote the positive involvement and interaction of fathers with their children with an emphasis on children eligible or formerly eligible for services funded by the temporary assistance for needy families block grant and shall identify those services that effectively encourage and enhance responsible and skillful parenting and those services that increase the ability of fathers to meet the financial and medical needs of their children through employment services and child support enforcement measures. The objectives of the program shall be to: (1) Promote public education concerning the financial and emotional responsibilities of fatherhood; (2) assist men in preparation for the legal, financial and emotional responsibilities of fatherhood; (3) promote the establishment of paternity at childbirth; (4) encourage fathers, regardless of marital status, to foster their emotional connection to and financial support of their children; (5) establish support mechanisms for fathers in their relationship with their children, regardless of their marital and financial status; and (6) integrate state and local services available for families.
(b) The Commissioner of Social Services shall convene and chair a Fatherhood Council. The Fatherhood Council shall (1) develop a comprehensive plan to promote the positive involvement and interaction of fathers with their children, (2) conduct an evaluation of state programs, government policies and community initiatives relative to fatherhood, and (3) advise the Commissioner of Social Services on the development of a fatherhood research and demonstration program relative to design, implementation and evaluation pursuant to this section. The membership of the council shall include, but not be limited to: The Commissioner of Social Services, the Labor Commissioner, the Commissioner of Education, the Commissioner of Correction, the Commissioner of Children and Families, the Director of the Office of Alternative Sanctions, the chancellor of the regional community-technical colleges, or their respective designees; one representative with expertise in the area of legal assistance to low-income populations; one representative of the Family ReEntry Program; one representative of the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission; one representative of a regional workforce development board; one or more representatives of the clergy; one member with expertise in family relations; one or more representatives of a local fatherhood program; one member with expertise in male psychology and health; an individual representing the interests of custodial parents; an individual representing the interests of noncustodial parents; an individual representing the interests of children; one representative with expertise in the area of domestic violence; and one member with expertise in child development, all of whom shall be designated by the Commissioner of Social Services. The Commissioner of Social Services shall convene the Fatherhood Council no later than sixty days after the effective date of this section. Said commissioner shall seek the advice and participation of any person, organization or state or federal agency the commissioner deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. Said commissioner may designate a working group from among the members of the council to carry out specific duties required under this section.
(c) The Fatherhood Council shall establish a comprehensive plan for the implementation of the Fatherhood Initiative and the research and demonstration program. The plan may include, but shall not be limited to, the following: (1) A planning process that gathers input from the public through public hearings or other means; (2) the establishment of an inventory and evaluation of state and federal programs, community initiatives, government policies and any other services identified that encourage and enhance responsible and skillful parenting through positive involvement and interaction with fathers and those services that increase the ability of fathers to meet the financial and medical needs of their children. In establishing such inventory and evaluation, the council may collect and assess data to determine the scope of concerns, review fatherhood programs in other jurisdictions, identify private, state and federal funding opportunities or collect any other information the council deems necessary; (3) the identification of the services that can be provided to fathers including, but not limited to, employment services, parenting skills, teen pregnancy prevention services, educational services, child support enforcement services, paternity establishment services, custody and visitation services, conflict management services, family mediation and any other community-based support programs providing assistance to fathers; (4) the identification of the characteristics that will be used to target the population to be served in each demonstration program; (5) a system that establishes mechanisms for voluntary and mandatory access to the services provided in the program for those individuals identified for participation including procedures for establishing and assessing the eligibility of an individual for the services provided in the program and procedures for providing guidance to family support magistrates ordering a noncustodial parent's participation in the program in lieu of, or in addition to, a child or medical support obligation; and (6) the identification of a case management system for the full range of services offered in the program including mechanisms for referring program participants to community-based support programs.
(d) The Commissioner of Social Services, in consultation with the Labor Commissioner and the Chief Court Administrator, shall establish a research and demonstration program that specifically evaluates the effectiveness and outcomes of services provided to fathers. The research and demonstration program shall be administered in not more than three research and demonstration sites from specific geographic regions or judicial districts and no more than one hundred fathers may participate in each site. The research and demonstration sites shall have an ability to (1) utilize existing local, state and federal resources, (2) collaborate with broad-based constituencies representing schools, municipal entities, nonprofit organizations and other neighborhood, religious, health and community organizations, and (3) provide a safe, caring environment for participants. Such sites shall have experience serving the targeted population. Each site shall provide services that recognize the cultural diversity of the population served. The Commissioner of Social Services shall seek assistance in evaluating the effectiveness and outcomes from an institution of higher education, a consortium of institutes of higher education or another qualified entity. Such evaluation shall measure the effectiveness and outcomes of services in the following areas: (A) Child support and medical support; (B) job placement and retention; (C) increased earnings; (D) increased visitation; (E) family reunification; (F) paternity establishment or adjudication; (G) the need of a custodial parent for public and medical assistance; (H) teen pregnancy prevention; (I) effect on fathers under the age of twenty-three years; (J) low-income or unemployed fathers; (K) educational levels; (L) measures of emotional involvement of fathers; and (M) the overall cost effectiveness, including a cost and benefit analysis of the services provided on an aggregate and case-by-case basis.
(e) Not later than January 1, 2000, the Fatherhood Council shall submit an interim report relative to the status of the comprehensive plan established under this section to the Commissioner of Social Services. Not later than January 1, 2001, the council shall submit a final report to said commissioner on the comprehensive plan which shall include (1) recommendations for the continued implementation of the Fatherhood Initiative, and (2) recommendations for the expansion or state-wide implementation of fatherhood programs.
Sec. 2. Subsection (c) of section 4a-12 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:
(c) For purposes of this section, "liable relative" means the husband or wife of any person receiving public assistance or aided, cared for or treated in a state humane institution, as defined in said section 17b-222, and the father and mother of any such person under the age of eighteen years, but shall not include the parent or parents whose financial liability for a child is determined by the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement under subsection (b) of section 17b-179. The Commissioner of Administrative Services, in consultation with the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 establishing: (1) A uniform contribution scale for liable relatives based upon ability to pay and the administrative feasibility of collecting such contributions, provided no such liable relative shall contribute an amount in excess of twelve per cent of the remainder, if any, after the state median income, adjusted for family size, has been deducted from such liable relative's taxable income for federal income tax purposes, or if such federal income tax information is unavailable, from such relative's taxable income, as calculated from other sources, including, but not limited to, information pertaining to wages, salaries and commissions as provided by such relative's employer; (2) the manner in which the Department of Administrative Services shall determine and periodically reinvestigate the ability of such liable relatives to pay; and (3) the manner in which the department shall waive such contributions upon determination that such contribution would pose a significant financial hardship upon such liable relatives.
Sec. 3. (NEW) Notwithstanding the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a of the general statutes, only the earnings of the obligor for the first forty-five hours per week shall be included for the purposes of such guidelines.
Sec. 4. Section 17b-137 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (d) as follows:
(NEW) (d) (1) For the purposes of this subsection, "high-volume automated administrative enforcement" means the identification of assets, through automated data matches with financial institutions and other entities, as provided in this section and required by federal law, and the seizure of such assets in accordance with subsections (d) and (e) of section 52-362d.
(2) The IV-D agency shall: (A) Use high-volume automated administrative enforcement, as defined in subdivision (1) of this subsection, to the same extent as in intrastate cases; and (B) promptly report the results of such enforcement procedure to the requesting state.
(3) The Support Enforcement Division or the IV-D agency may, by electronic or other means, transmit to another state a request for assistance in enforcing support orders administratively, in a manner similar to this subsection, which request shall: (A) Include information that shall enable the state to which the request is transmitted to compare the information about the cases to the information data bases of such state; and (B) constitute a certification by this state (i) of the amount of support under an order the payment of which is in arrears, and (ii) that this state has complied with all procedural due process requirements applicable to each case.
(4) If the IV-D agency provides assistance under this subsection to another state concerning a case, such case shall not be considered transferred to the caseload of the IV-D agency.
(5) The IV-D agency shall maintain records of: (A) The number of requests for assistance received under this subsection; (B) the number of cases for which such agency collected support in response to such requests; and (C) the amount of such collected support.
Sec. 5. Subsection (j) of section 17b-179 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:
(j) The Commissioner of Social Services is authorized to accept for deposit in the General Fund all allotments of federal funds, and to conform to federal requirements necessary for the receipt of federal matching grants and not prohibited by the general statutes, including, but not limited to, the distribution of collected support and the operation of an automated centralized collection and disbursement unit, which shall be known as the "State Disbursement Unit".
Sec. 6. Section 52-362 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:
(a) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Dependent" means a spouse, former spouse or child entitled to payments under a support order, provided the Support Enforcement Division of the Superior Court or the state acting under an assignment of a dependent's support rights or under an application for child support enforcement services shall, through an officer of the Support Enforcement Division or the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement [Bureau of] within the Department of Social Services or an investigator of the Bureau of Collection Services or the Attorney General, take any action which the dependent could take to enforce a support order;
(2) "Disposable earnings" means that part of the earnings of an individual remaining after deduction from those earnings of amounts required to be withheld for the payment of federal, state and local income taxes, employment taxes, normal retirement contributions, union dues and initiation fees, and group life and health insurance premiums;
(3) "Earnings" means any debt accruing to an obligor by reason of [his] such obligor's personal services, including any compensation payable by an employer to an employee for such personal services whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus or otherwise, including unemployment compensation if a purchase of service agreement between the Commissioner of Social Services and the Labor Commissioner is in effect pursuant to subsection (e) of section 17b-179;
(4) "Employer" means any person, including the Labor Commissioner, who owes earnings to an obligor;
(5) "Income" means any periodic form of payment due to an individual, regardless of source, including, but not limited to, disposable earnings, workers' compensation and disability benefits, payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program and interest;
(6) "Obligor" means a person required to make payments under a support order;
(7) "Support order" means a court order, or order of a family support magistrate including an agreement approved by a court or a family support magistrate, that requires the payment to a dependent of either current support payments, payments on an arrearage, or both;
(8) "Unemployment compensation" means any compensation payable under chapter 567, including amounts payable by the administrator of the unemployment compensation law pursuant to an agreement under any federal law providing for compensation, assistance or allowances with respect to unemployment.
(b) The Superior Court and any family support magistrate shall issue an order for withholding pursuant to this section against the income of an obligor to enforce a support order when the support order is entered or modified or when the obligor is before the court in an enforcement proceeding. The court shall order the withholding to be effective immediately or may, for cause or pursuant to an agreement by the parties, order a contingent withholding to be effective only on accrual of a delinquency in an amount greater than or equal to thirty days' obligation. Any finding that there is cause not to order withholding to be effective immediately shall be based on at least (1) a written determination that, and explanation by the court or family support magistrate of why, implementing immediate income withholding would not be in the best interests of the child, and (2) proof of timely payment of previously ordered support in cases involving the modification of such support. Before the court or family support magistrate issues an order for withholding which is effective immediately against an obligor who is before the court or a family support magistrate, it shall inform the obligor of the minimum amount of income which is exempt from withholding under state and federal law, of [his] such obligor's right to claim any applicable state or federal exemptions with respect thereto and of [his] such obligor's right to offer any evidence as to why a withholding order effective immediately should not issue. If the court or family support magistrate issues an order for withholding to be effective immediately against a nonappearing obligor, notice shall be served subsequently upon the obligor in accordance with section 52-57 or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the obligor's last known address, informing [him] such obligor: (A) That a support order has been issued to be enforced by an income withholding order, (B) that an income withholding order has been issued effective immediately as part of the support order, (C) of the minimum amount of income exempt from withholding under state and federal law and of [his] such obligor's right at the hearing on the support order to claim any other applicable state or federal exemptions with respect thereto, (D) of [his] such obligor's right to a hearing, upon motion to the court, to offer any evidence as to why the withholding order effective immediately should not continue in effect, (E) of the amount of income received by [him] such obligor which formed the basis for the support order against [him] such obligor, and (F) of [his] such obligor's right to move to modify the support order if [his] such obligor's income has changed substantially or if the support order substantially deviates from the child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a.
(c) (1) If an obligor is delinquent on support payments on any prior order of support in an amount greater than or equal to thirty days' obligation, whether or not such order is subject to a contingent income withholding, [he] such obligor shall become subject to withholding and the dependent shall cause a delinquency notice to be served on [him] such obligor. The delinquency notice shall include a claim form and be in clear and simple language informing the obligor that (A) [he] such obligor is delinquent under the support order in a specified amount and any additional amounts accruing until the effective date of the withholding order, (B) a withholding order has become effective against [his] such obligor's income, (C) [he] such obligor has fifteen days to request a hearing before the court or family support magistrate, and at such hearing [he] such obligor may contest the claimed delinquency and the imposition of the income withholding, seek modification of the withholding order, and claim any lawful exemption with respect to [his] such obligor's income, (D) [he] such obligor has a right to seek modification of the support order by a proper motion filed with the court or family support magistrate, (E) eighty-five per cent of the first one hundred forty-five dollars of disposable income per week are exempt, and (F) the amount of the withholding order may not exceed the maximum percentage of disposable income which may be withheld pursuant to Section 1673 of Title 15 of the United States Code, together with a statement of [his] such obligor's right to claim any other applicable state or federal exemptions with respect thereto. The claim form shall contain a checklist identifying the most common defenses and exemptions such that the obligor may check any which apply to [him] the obligor and a space where the obligor may briefly explain [his] the claim or request a modification of or raise a defense to the support order.
(2) An obligor shall become subject to withholding to enforce a prior order of support upon the request of the dependent regardless of any delinquency, and whether or not such order is subject to a contingent income withholding. In such cases, the dependent shall cause a notice to be served on such obligor which notice shall comply in all respects with the delinquency notice required under subdivision (1) of this subsection except that such notice shall not be required to allege a delinquency.
(d) An obligor may claim a defense based upon mistake of fact, an exemption in accordance with subsection (e) of this section with respect to the withholding order, or may file by motion a modification or defense to the support order being enforced by the withholding, by delivering a signed claim form, or other written notice or motion, with [his] the address of the obligor thereon, indicating the nature of the claim or grounds of the motion, to the clerk of the Superior Court or the assistant clerk of the Family Support Magistrate Division within fifteen days of receipt of notice. If a claim or motion is filed, imposition of the withholding order shall be stayed until the claim or motion is decided by the court or a family support magistrate. On receipt of the claim or motion, the clerk shall promptly enter the appearance of the obligor, set the matter for a short calendar hearing, send a file-stamped copy of the claim or motion to the person or agency of the state to whom the support order is payable and notify all parties of the hearing date set. The court or family support magistrate shall promptly hear and determine the claim or motion and notify the obligor within forty-five days from the date of the notice required under subsection (c) of this section of its determination. Unless the obligor successfully shows cause why the withholding order should not continue in effect, the court or family support magistrate shall order that the outstanding withholding order continue in effect against the nonexempt income of the obligor to the extent provided under subsection (e) of this section. The order shall be a final judgment for purposes of appeal. The effect of the withholding order shall not be stayed on appeal except by order of the court or a family support magistrate.
(e) A withholding order shall issue in the amount necessary to enforce a support order against only such nonexempt income of the obligor as exceeds the greater of (1) eighty-five per cent of the first one hundred forty-five dollars per week of disposable income, or (2) the amount exempt under Section 1673 of Title 15 of the United States Code, or against any lesser amount which the court or family support magistrate deems equitable. The withholding order shall secure payment of past and future amounts due under the support order and an additional amount computed in accordance with the child support guidelines established in accordance with section 46b-215a, to be applied toward liquidation of any arrearage accrued under such order, unless contested by the obligor after a notice has been served pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, in which case the court or family support magistrate may determine the amount to be applied toward the liquidation of the arrearage found to have accrued under prior order of the court or family support magistrate. In no event shall such additional amount be applied if there is an existing arrearage order from the court or family support magistrate in a IV-D support case, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, as amended by this act. Any investigator or other authorized employee of the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement [Bureau of] within the Department of Social Services, or any officer of the Support Enforcement Division of the Superior Court, shall issue a withholding order pursuant to this subsection when the obligor becomes subject to withholding under subsection (c) of this section. On service of the order of withholding on an existing or any future employer or other payer of income, and until the support order is fully satisfied or modified, the order of withholding is a continuing lien and levy on the obligor's income as it becomes due.
(f) Commencing no later than the first pay period in the case of an employer, or the date of periodic payment in the case of a payer of income other than an employer, that occurs after fourteen days following the date of service of an order for withholding and within seven business days of the date the obligor is paid thereafter, an employer or other payer of income shall pay sums withheld pursuant to the withholding order to the [person in whose favor the withholding order was issued] state disbursement unit, as required by subsection (p) of this section. When orders for withholding are payable [to the state acting by and through the IV-D agency] on behalf of a dependent in a IV-D support case, as defined in subdivision (14) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, as amended by this act, the employer or other payer of income (1) shall specify the dates on which each withholding occurred and the amount withheld for each obligor on each such date, and (2) may combine all withheld amounts into a single payment to [such IV-D agency] the state disbursement unit with the portion thereof which is attributable to each individual obligor being separately designated. If an employer or other payer of income fails to withhold from income due an obligor pursuant to an order for withholding or fails to make those payments, [he] such employer or other payer of income is liable to such person for the full amount of income not withheld since receipt of proper notice in an action therefor, and the amount secured in the action shall be applied by such person toward the arrearage owed by the obligor. Such employer or other payer of income shall be subject to a finding of contempt by the court or family support magistrate for failure to honor such order for withholding.
(g) All orders for withholding issued pursuant to this section shall take precedence over any execution issued pursuant to section 52-361 of the general statutes revised to 1983, or section 52-361a. Two or more orders for withholding may be levied concurrently under this section, but if the total levy in any week exceeds the maximum permitted under this section, all sums due shall be allocated by the [IV-D agency] state disbursement unit in proportion to the amount of such orders, giving priority in such allocation to current support.
(h) Service of any process under this section, including any notice, may be made in accordance with section 52-57, or by certified mail, return receipt requested. If service is made on behalf of the state, it may be made by an authorized employee of the Support Enforcement Division of the court, or by an investigator or other officer of the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement [Bureau of] within the Department of Social Services or by an investigator of the Bureau of Collection Services or by the Attorney General.
(i) An applicant for employment or an employee subject to an order for withholding issued pursuant to this section shall have the same protection from discipline, suspension or discharge by an employer as provided in section 52-361a.
(j) There shall be a fine [,] of not more than one thousand dollars imposed on any employer who discharges from employment, refuses to employ, takes disciplinary action against or discriminates against an employee subject to an order for withholding issued pursuant to this section because of the existence of such order for withholding and the obligations or additional obligations which it imposes upon the employer.
(k) The employer shall notify promptly the dependent or the Support Enforcement Division as directed when the obligor terminates employment, makes a claim for workers' compensation benefits or makes a claim for unemployment compensation benefits and shall provide the obligor's last-known address and the name and address of the obligor's new employer, if known.
(l) When an obligor who is subject to withholding under this section is identified as a newly hired employee pursuant to subsection (d) of section 31-2c, the state agency enforcing the obligor's child support order shall, within two business days after the date information regarding such employee is entered into the state directory of new hires, issue a withholding order to the employer of the employee in accordance with subsection (e) of this section.
(m) The provisions of this section shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any other remedy available at law to enforce or punish for failure to obey a support order.
(n) When a support order is issued in another state and the obligor has income subject to withholding derived in this state, such income shall be subject to withholding in accordance with the provisions of this section, upon the registration of the support order in accordance with sections 46b-213g to 46b-213j, inclusive. Notice of rights to the obligor and the obligor's right to contest such order are governed by sections 46b-213k to 46b-213m, inclusive.
(o) An employer who withholds the income of an obligor pursuant to a withholding order issued under subsection (e) or (l) of this section that is regular on its face shall not be subject to civil liability to any individual or agency for conduct in compliance with such order.
(p) All withholding orders issued under this section shall be payable to the state disbursement unit established and maintained by the Commissioner of Social Services in accordance with subsection (j) of section 17b-179, as amended by this act. The [IV-D agency] state disbursement unit shall insure distribution of all money collected under this section to the dependent, the state and the support enforcement agencies of other states, as their interests may appear, within two business days.
(q) The judges of the Superior Court may adopt any rules they deem necessary to implement the provisions of this section and sections 46b-69a, 46b-178 and 52-361a and such judges, or their designee, shall prescribe any forms required to implement such provisions.
Sec. 7. Subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 46b-172 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:
(a) (1) In lieu of or in conclusion of proceedings under section 46b-160, a written acknowledgment of paternity executed and sworn to by the putative father of the child when accompanied by (A) an attested waiver of the right to a blood test, the right to a trial and the right to an attorney, and (B) a written affirmation of paternity executed and sworn to by the mother of the child [and filed with the Superior Court, for the judicial district in which the mother of the child or the putative father resides] shall have the same force and effect as a judgment of [that court] the Superior Court. It shall be considered a legal finding of paternity without requiring or permitting judicial ratification, and shall be binding on the person executing the same whether [he] such person is an adult or a minor, subject to subdivision (2) of this subsection. Such acknowledgment shall not be binding unless, prior to the signing of any affirmation or acknowledgement of paternity, the mother and the putative father are given oral and written notice of the alternatives to, the legal consequences of, and the rights and responsibilities that arise from signing such affirmation or acknowledgement. The notice to the mother shall include, but shall not be limited to, notice that the affirmation of paternity may result in rights of custody and visitation, as well as a duty of support, in the person named as father. The notice to the putative father shall include, but not be limited to, notice that [he] such father has the right to contest paternity, including the right to appointment of counsel, a genetic test to determine paternity and a trial by the Superior Court or a family support magistrate and that acknowledgment of paternity will make [him] such father liable for the financial support of the child until the child's eighteenth birthday. In addition, the notice shall inform the mother and the father that DNA testing may be able to establish paternity with a high degree of accuracy and may, under certain circumstances, be available at state expense. The notices shall also explain the right to rescind the acknowledgment, as set forth in subdivision (2) of this subsection, including the address where such notice of rescission should be sent, and shall explain that the acknowledgment cannot be challenged after sixty days, except in court upon a showing of fraud, duress or material mistake of fact.
Sec. 8. Section 46b-213f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:
(a) A party seeking to enforce a support order or an income withholding order, or both, issued by a tribunal of another state may send the documents required for registering the order to the Support Enforcement Division.
(b) Upon receipt of the documents, the Support Enforcement Division, with the assistance of the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement [Bureau of] within the Department of Social Services, as appropriate, without initially seeking to register the order, shall consider and, if appropriate, use any administrative procedure authorized by the law of this state to enforce a support order or an income withholding order, or both. If the obligor does not contest administrative enforcement, the order need not be registered. If the obligor contests the validity or administrative enforcement of the order, the support enforcement agency shall file the order with the Support Enforcement Division of the Superior Court to be recorded in the register of support orders of the Family Support Magistrate Division.
[(c) The Support Enforcement Division shall respond within five business days to a request made by another state for administrative enforcement pursuant to this section, and maintain records of the number of requests received, the number of such cases resulting in collection and the amounts collected. The Support Enforcement Division or the Child Support Enforcement Bureau may request similar assistance from other states. Any such request shall constitute a certification to such other state of the amount in arrears under the court order and that all procedural requirements have been satisfied.]
Sec. 9. Section 46b-213q of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:
(a) After a child support order issued in another state has been registered in this state, a family support magistrate may modify that order only if subsection (e) of this section does not apply and, after notice and hearing, [he] such magistrate finds that: (1) The following requirements are met: (A) The child, the individual obligee and the obligor do not reside in the issuing state; (B) a petitioner who is a nonresident of this state seeks modification; and (C) the respondent is subject to the personal jurisdiction of the Family Support Magistrate Division; or (2) the child or party who is an individual is subject to the personal jurisdiction of the Family Support Magistrate Division and all of the parties who are individuals have filed written consents in the issuing tribunal for a family support magistrate to modify the support order and assume continuing exclusive jurisdiction over the order provided if the issuing state is a foreign jurisdiction that has not enacted a law or established procedures substantially similar to sections 46b-212 to 46b-213v, inclusive, as amended by this act, the consent otherwise required of an individual residing in this state is not required for the family support magistrate to assume jurisdiction to modify a child support order.
(b) Modification of a registered child support order is subject to the same requirements, procedures and defenses that apply to the modification of an order issued by the Family Support Magistrate Division and the order may be enforced and satisfied in the same manner. [If two or more tribunals have issued child support orders for the same obligor and child, the order that controls and shall be so recognized under section 46b-212j establishes the aspects of the support order which are nonmodifiable.]
(c) A family support magistrate may not modify any aspect of a child support order that may not be modified under the law of the issuing state. If two or more tribunals have issued child support orders for the same obligor and child, the order that controls and shall be so recognized under section 46b-212j establishes the aspects of the support order which are nonmodifiable.
(d) On issuance of an order modifying a child support order issued in another state, the Family Support Magistrate Division becomes the tribunal of continuing exclusive jurisdiction.
(e) (1) If all of the parties who are individuals reside in this state and the child does not reside in the issuing state, the Family Support Magistrate Division has jurisdiction to enforce and to modify the issuing state's child support order in a proceeding to register that order.
(2) The Family Support Magistrate Division exercising jurisdiction under this subsection shall apply the provisions of sections 46b-212a to 46b-212l, inclusive, and sections 46b-213g to 46b-213r, inclusive, as amended by this act, and the procedural and substantive law of this state to the proceeding for enforcement or modification. Sections 46b-212m to 46b-213f, inclusive, as amended by this act, sections 46b-213s to 46b-213u, inclusive, and section 46b-213w shall not apply to such proceeding.
[(e)] (f) The family support magistrate shall order the party obtaining the modification of a child support order to file, within thirty days after issuance of such modification order, a certified copy of such order with each tribunal that issued or registered an earlier order of child support. The failure to file such orders pursuant to this subsection shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the controlling order.
Sec. 10. Section 46b-218 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:
[Any person who is legally liable for the support of any person and who is making payments toward the support of such person to the state of Connecticut, who fails to notify the Support Enforcement Division of a change of his address within ten days of such change, shall be fined not more than twenty-five dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days.]
(a) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Identification and location information" means current information on the location and identity of a party to any paternity or child support proceeding, including, but not limited to, the party's Social Security number, residential and mailing addresses, telephone number, driver's license number, employer's name, address and telephone number, and such other information as may be required for the state case registry to comply with federal law and regulations;
(2) "Paternity or child support proceeding" means any court action or administrative process authorized by state statute in which the paternity or support of a child is established; and
(3) "State case registry" means the database included in the automated system established and maintained by the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement under subsection (l) of section 17b-179 which database shall contain information on each support order established or modified in the state.
(b) Each party to any paternity or child support proceeding shall file identification and location information with the state case registry upon entry of an order and whenever such information changes.
(c) All identification and location information provided to the state case registry under subsection (b) of this section shall be subject to the provisions of section 17b-90.
Sec. 11. Subsection (b) of section 46b-231 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:
(b) For the purposes of this section:
(1) "Chief Family Support Magistrate" means the family support magistrate designated by the Chief Court Administrator as provided in subsection (g) of this section;
(2) "Child support enforcement services" means the services provided by the IV-D agency or an agency under cooperative or purchase of service agreement therewith pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, including, but not limited to, location; establishment of paternity; establishment, modification and enforcement of child and medical support orders and the collection and distribution of support payments;
(3) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Social Services [,] or a designee or authorized representative;
(4) ["Connecticut Child Support Enforcement Bureau"] "Bureau of Child Support Enforcement" means a division within the Department of Social Services established pursuant to section 17b-179, as amended by this act;
(5) "Department" means the Department of Social Services or any bureau, division or agency of the Department of Social Services;
(6) "Family Support Magistrate Division" means a division of the Superior Court created by this section for the purpose of establishing and enforcing child and spousal support in IV-D cases and in cases brought pursuant to sections 46b-212 to 46b-213v, inclusive, as amended by this act, utilizing quasi-judicial proceedings;
(7) "Family support magistrate" means a person, appointed as provided in subsection (f) of this section to establish and enforce child and spousal support orders;
(8) "Foster care cases" are cases in which children are receiving foster care under [Title IV-E of the Social Security Act] part I of chapter 319a or part I of chapter 815t, but does not include cases in which children reside in detention facilities, forestry camps, training schools or other facilities operated primarily for the detention of children adjudicated as delinquent;
(9) "Law" includes both common and statute law;
(10) "Obligee" means any person to whom a duty of support is owed;
(11) "Obligor" means any person owing a duty of support;
(12) "IV-D agency" means [the agency created by section 17b-179,] the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement [Bureau of] within the Department of Social Services, created by section 17b-179, as amended by this act, and authorized to administer the child support program mandated by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act;
(13) "IV-D support cases" are those in which the IV-D agency is providing child support enforcement services under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, [;] including all foster care cases referred to the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement under section 46b-130; and
(14) "Support order" means a judgment, decree or order, whether temporary, final or subject to modification, issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, for the support and maintenance of a child, including a child who has attained the age of majority under the law of the issuing state, or a child and parent with whom the child is living, which provides for monetary support, health care, arrearages or reimbursement, and which may include related costs and fees, interest and penalties, income withholding, attorneys' fees and other relief.
Sec. 12. Subdivision (1) of subsection (s) of section 46b-231 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:
(1) Supervise the payment of any child or spousal support order made by a family support magistrate. Supervision of such orders is defined as the utilization of all procedures available by law to collect child or spousal support, including issuance and implementation of income withholdings ordered by the Superior Court or a family support magistrate pursuant to section 52-362, as amended by this act, and if necessary, bringing an application for contempt to a family support magistrate and, in connection with such application, issuing an order requiring the obligor to appear before a family support magistrate to show cause why [he] such obligor should not be held in contempt for failure to pay an order for child or spousal support entered by the Superior Court or a family support magistrate.
Sec. 13. Section 52-362c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:
A voluntary wage deduction authorization for payment of amounts due for support shall have the same force and effect as a wage withholding order issued [by the court when signed by a judge or family support magistrate of said court and all such payments shall be made payable to the bureau of collection services and] under section 52-362, as amended by this act, and all payments under such authorization shall be made to the state disbursement unit established and maintained by the Commissioner of Social Services in accordance with subsection (j) of section 17b-179, as amended by this act. A voluntary wage deduction authorization under this section shall have the same priority over execution issued under section 52-361a as is provided for wage withholding issued under section 52-362, as amended by this act.
Sec. 14. Section 46b-235 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:
The provisions of subsection (a) of section 4a-2, subsection (a) of section 4a-12, sections 17b-137, as amended by this act, 17b-179, as amended by this act, 17b-745, 46b-172, as amended by this act, 46b-207, 46b-208, 46b-215, 46b-218, as amended by this act, 46b-231, as amended by this act, [, 46b-234] and 46b-235, as amended by this act, subsection (a) of section 51-348a, subsection (d) of section 52-50, sections 52-259a, 52-362, as amended by this act, 52-362c to 52-362f, inclusive, as amended by this act, and 53-304 shall not be construed to alter, modify, impair or change existing collective bargaining agreements, any bargaining unit designation, award, settlement, benefit, existing employment practice or classification of any employee in the event of transfer from one division, bureau, or agency or department to another division, agency or department.
Sec. 15. Section 46b-234 of the general statutes is repealed.
Sec. 16. This act shall take effect from its passage, except that sections 2, 7 and 11 shall take effect July 1, 1999, and sections 5, 6, 12 and 13 shall take effect October 1, 1999.
Approved June 23, 1999TOP