Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1091 Child support: suspension.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 4007.5 of the Family Code is amended to read:

4007.5.
 (a) Every money judgment or order for support of a child shall be suspended, by operation of law, for any period exceeding 90 consecutive days in which the person ordered to pay support is incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized, and the suspension shall apply starting on the first day of that incarceration or involuntary institutionalization unless either of the following conditions exist:
(1) The person owing support has the means to pay support while incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized.
(2) The person owing support was incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized for an offense constituting domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, against the supported party or supported child, or for an offense that could be enjoined by a protective order pursuant to Section 6320, or as a result of the person’s failure to comply with a court order to pay child support.
(b) The child support obligation shall resume on the 90th day after the release of the person owing support, upon the person commencing employment, or the first month the person is in receipt of earned or unearned income, whichever occurs first, in the amount previously ordered, and that amount is presumed to be appropriate under federal and state law. This section does not preclude a person owing support from seeking a modification of the child support order pursuant to Section 3651, based on a change in circumstances or other appropriate reason.
(c) (1) A local child support agency enforcing a child support order under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.) may, upon written notice of the proposed adjustment to the support obligor and obligee along with a blank form provided for the support obligor or obligee to object to the administrative adjustment to the local child support agency, administratively adjust account balances for a money judgment or order for support of a child suspended pursuant to subdivision (a) if all of the following occurs:
(A) The agency verifies that arrears and interest were accrued in violation of this section.
(B) The agency verifies that neither of the conditions set forth in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) exist.
(C) Neither the support obligor nor obligee objects, within 30 days of receipt of the notice of proposed adjustment, whether in writing or by telephone, to the administrative adjustment by the local child support agency.
(2) If either the support obligor or obligee objects to the administrative adjustment set forth in this subdivision, the agency shall not adjust the order, but shall file a motion with the court to seek to adjust the arrears and shall serve copies of the motion on the parties, who may file an objection to the agency’s motion with the court. The obligor’s arrears shall not be adjusted unless the court approves the adjustment.
(3) The agency may perform this adjustment without regard to whether it was enforcing the child support order at the time the parent owing support qualified for relief under this section.
(d) This section does not prohibit the local child support agency or a party from petitioning a court for a determination of child support or arrears amounts.
(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized” includes, but is not limited to, involuntary confinement to the state prison, a county jail, a juvenile facility operated by the Division of Juvenile Facilities in the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, or a mental health facility.
(2) “Suspend” means that the payment due on the current child support order, an arrears payment on a preexisting arrears balance, or interest on arrears created during a qualifying period of incarceration pursuant to this section is, by operation of law, set to zero dollars ($0) for the period in which the person owing support is incarcerated or involuntarily institutionalized.
(f) To the extent authorized by federal law, if the Department of Child Support Services or a local agency erroneously collects or attempts to collect any amount of child support that is suspended by operation of this section, the department or local agency, upon learning of the error, shall promptly correct the calculation of child support owed.
(g) This section applies to every money judgment or child support order issued or modified on or after October 8, 2015.
(h) On or before February 1, 2020, the Department of Child Support Services and the Judicial Council shall conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of the administrative adjustment process authorized by this section and shall report to the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee the results of the review, as well as any recommended changes necessary to maximize the positive impact of this section to parents, families, and children. The evaluation shall include a review of the ease of the process to both the obligor and obligee, as well as an analysis of the number of cases administratively adjusted, the number of cases adjusted in court, and the number of cases not adjusted. The recommendations shall consider whether an information sharing agreement between the institutions listed in paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) and the Department of Child Support Services should be developed, and if so, the parameters of the agreement and funding necessary to execute the agreement.