This legislative session, there are many child support-related bills that we are watching closely. They include:
A bill to remove the provision in that allows for a sharp reduction in a non-custodial parent’s child support obligation once they reach 128 overnights or more each year. Many cases are litigated over parents who want to get over or under 128 overnights for the change in child support. If passed, this law would remove the unintended incentive of getting 128 overnights and focus the schedule on what is best for the child, and not what will make child support higher or lower. The legislature is proposing that once a parent has 92 overnights, there be a gradual reduction to child support.
A bill to change the child support formula to make sure courts consider a non-custodial parents’ obligation to his or her children in a subsequent relationship to make sure all children receive adequate support. For example, under the existing law, if a father has two children with different mothers, the mother who files first for child support would receive more than the one who files second. While judges have discretion in awarding child support, often the second parent to file gets less.
A bill to allow a parent to establish child support even if the other parent has had his or her rights terminated under the rape survivor act, so long as the custodial parent files within 5 years from the date of termination of parental rights.