Child Support Enforcement

Provides alternative child support payment mechanism.  (CD1)

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                H.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            C.D. 1

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the child support
 2 enforcement agency, despite a new computer system, is still
 3 criticized as slow and inefficient by the parents who use the
 4 system.  More parents want the ability to opt out of the system,
 5 and thereby, have the obligor parent transmit the payment
 6 directly to the custodial parent. 
 7      Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to:
 8      (1)  Permit parents who are having problems getting a
 9           response from the child support enforcement agency to
10           go to family court for a speedy resolution of their
11           situation; and
12      (2)  Establish a parallel mechanism whereby the Office of
13           Child Support Hearings may allow for the direct payment
14           of child support obligations.
15      SECTION 2.  Chapter 580, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
16 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
17 read as follows:
18      "580-    Notice to parties with children.  When a party
19 files for divorce and there are minor children involved, or when
20 a party institutes a proceeding under chapter 576D or 576E, the 

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 1 court or the office of child support hearings shall provide
 2 notice to each party informing them of the opportunity to enter
 3 into an alternative arrangement for direct payment of child
 4 support under chapter 576D.  A party may petition the court at
 5 any time, under chapter 576D or 576E, to opt out of the child
 6 support enforcement agency system and such a petition shall be
 7 assigned priority on the docket and be acted on expeditiously by
 8 the court."
 9      SECTION 3.  Section 576D-10, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
10 amended as follows:
11      1.   By amending subsection (a) to read:
12      "(a)  The agency shall collect and disburse child support
13 payments when an order requires the collection and disbursal.  In
14 the event of any default by the obligor, upon notification of the
15 default by the custodial parent, the agency shall proceed against
16 the obligor for the arrearage and the agency shall have
17 jurisdiction over future child support payments.  Notwithstanding
18 any other law to the contrary, the agency shall maintain a
19 special interest bearing account for child support payments.
20 Moneys collected by the agency for child support payments shall
21 not be deposited into the state treasury, but shall be deposited
22 into this account.  Moneys to be disbursed by the agency for
23 child support payments shall be disbursed from this account

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 1 without appropriation or allotment.  The interest realized from
 2 this account shall be used [for]:
 3      (1)  For related costs of the maintenance and operation of
 4           the account; and [the]
 5      (2)  To improve the child support enforcement agency's
 6           ability to promptly disburse payments to the custodial
 7           parent.
 8 The balance shall be deposited into the state treasury to the
 9 credit of the general fund."
10      2.   By amending subsection (d) to read:
11      "(d)  The court or office may approve an alternative
12 arrangement for the direct payment of child support where either:
13      (1)  The obligor or custodial parent demonstrates and the
14           court or office finds that there is good cause not to
15           require immediate withholding; or
16      (2)  A written agreement is reached between the obligor and
17           the custodial parent and signed by both parties;
18 provided that in either case where child support has been ordered
19 previously, an alternative arrangement for direct payment shall
20 be approved only where the obligor provides proof of the timely
21 payment of previously ordered support.  For purposes of this
22 section, good cause to approve an alternative arrangement shall
23 be based upon a determination by the court or office, either in
24 writing or on the record, that implementing income withholding
25 would not be in the best interests of the child.  Such a

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 1 determination shall include a statement setting forth the basis
 2 of the court's or office's conclusion."
 3      SECTION 4.  Section 576E-10, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 4 amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:
 5      "(c)  In exercising the powers conferred upon the attorney
 6 general in section 576E-2, the hearings officers shall have the
 7 authority to conduct hearings and enter the following orders:
 8      (1)  Child support orders which have the effect of
 9           modifying, suspending, terminating, or enforcing the
10           child support provisions of orders of the family
11           courts;
12      (2)  Child support orders establishing, modifying,
13           suspending, terminating, or enforcing child support
14           obligations;
15      (3)  Orders enforcing the collection of spousal support when
16           child support is being established, modified, or
17           enforced;
18      (4)  Income withholding orders pursuant to section 576E-16;
19      (5)  Automatic income assignment orders pursuant to sections
20           571-52.2 and 576D-14;
21      (6)  Interstate income withholding orders pursuant to
22           chapter 576B;

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 1      (7)  State income tax refund setoff orders pursuant to
 2           section 231-54;
 3      (8)  Orders determining whether Aid to Families with
 4           Dependent Children pass through payments were properly
 5           distributed;
 6      (9)  Orders determining whether a party should be required
 7           to post bond in order to secure payment of past due
 8           support pursuant to section 576D-6;
 9     (10)  Medical insurance coverage orders;
10     (11)  Orders suspending or denying the granting, the renewal,
11           the reinstatement, or the restoration of licenses or
12           applications of an obligor or individual for
13           noncompliance with an order of support or failure to
14           comply with a subpoena or warrant relating to a
15           paternity or child support proceeding, and
16           authorizations allowing the reinstatement of suspended
17           licenses or consideration of license applications
18           pursuant to section 576D-13;
19     (12)  Orders concerning whether a responsible parent's child
20           support obligation should be reported to consumer
21           credit reporting agencies pursuant to chapter 576D;
22           [and]
23     (13)  Orders permitting alternative arrangements pursuant to
24           section 576D-10; and

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 1     (14)  Orders in other child support areas as authorized by
 2           the attorney general."
 3      SECTION 5.  Section 576E-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 4 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
 5      "(a)  Whenever an administrative order is entered
 6 establishing, modifying, or enforcing support, establishing an
 7 arrearage that has accrued under a previous judicial or
 8 administrative order for support, or establishing a public
 9 assistance debt, there shall concurrently be issued an order
10 which shall operate as an assignment to the agency for the
11 benefit of the child or in the case of spousal support, for the
12 benefit of a spouse or former spouse, of such amounts at such
13 times as may be specified in the order, from the responsible
14 parent's income due or to become due in the future from the
15 responsible parent's employer, or successor employers, until
16 further court or administrative order[.]; except when alternative
17 arrangements are ordered pursuant to section 576D-10.  A copy of
18 the income withholding order shall be filed in the office of the
19 clerk of the circuit court in the circuit where the order was
20 issued along with the copy of the support order as provided in
21 section 576E-12."

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 1      SECTION 6.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 2 New statutory material is underscored.
 3      SECTION 7.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.