|Senate Counsel & Research||State of Minnesota|
|Laws 2006, Chapter 280: Family Law and Child Support|
|Author:||Senator Thomas M. Neuville|
|Prepared by:||Kathleen Pontius, Senate Counsel (651/296-4394)|
|Date:||June 5, 2006|
Section 1 (notification of residence with convicted persons) requires a person who is granted or exercises custody of a child or parenting time to notify the child's other parent, the county social services agency, and the court that granted the custody or parenting time if the person knowingly marries or lives with a person who has been convicted of a crime listed in section 518.179, subdivision 2 (which contain special provisions governing custody or parenting time rights of a person convicted of certain offenses).
Section 2 (paternity presumptions) amends the presumptions under the paternity statute. Language creating a presumption in cases where the statistical probability of paternity based on blood or genetic testing establishes the likelihood that a man is the father by 99 percent or greater is stricken. Note that other language in current law shown in section 4, paragraph (b), and a new paragraph (c) addresses these situations.
Section 3 (actions under other paragraphs) corrects cross-references, consistent with other changes in the paternity statute.
Section 4 (positive test results) amends the paternity statute dealing with positive test results. Instead of providing that where the test result probability of paternity is 99 percent or greater, the alleged father is presumed to be the parent, there would be an evidentiary presumption that the alleged father is the biological father. A determination that the alleged father is the biological father would not preclude adjudication of another man as the legal father nor would it allow the donor of genetic material for assisted reproduction to claim to be the child's biological or legal parent.
Section 5 (interested third-party burden of proof) amends the statute dealing with custody and visitation actions by interested third parties to require a showing by clear and convincing evidence that granting the petition would not violate section 518.179, subdivision 1a (note that the corresponding section of the bill was deleted in the conference committee report so this reference is to a provision that was not enacted).
Section 6 (withdrawal of adoption consent) contains duplicative language dealing with the irrevocability of adoption consents executed as part of child protection permanency placements, which is identical to language enacted in Laws 2005, article 15, section 4.
Section 7 (communication or contact agreements) amends the statute dealing with communication or contact agreements as part of adoptions to provide that for children under state guardianship, when there is a written communication or contact agreement between prospective adoptive parents and birth relatives other than the birth parents, it must be included in the final decree unless all parties agree to omit it. If the adoptive parents or birth relatives do not comply with the agreement, the court must determine the terms of the communication or contact agreement.
Section 8 (Hennepin County referee appeals) amends provisions governing the appeal of family court referee decisions in the Fourth Judicial District (Hennepin County). The process for review of a recommended order or finding by a district court judge would be replaced by new language providing that referee orders and decrees may be appealed directly to the Court of Appeals in the same manner as judicial orders and decrees. The time for appealing an order would begin upon service by a party of written notice of the filing of the confirmed order. An immediate effective date is included.
Section 9 (filing fee surcharge) amends the $50 filing fee surcharge for marriage dissolutions so that it applies to the first paper filed for a party, rather than the initial pleading. This includes an effective date of July 1, 2006 (this special filing fee became effective July 1, 2005).
Section 10 (agreement on standard for removal of child) amends the statute dealing with moving the residence of a child to another state to authorize parents to agree upon the legal standard that will govern court decisions as to whether to allow a move by applying it to all cases, not just those involving parenting plans.
Sections 11 and 12 (parenting time presumption) amend the parenting time statute to provide that in the absence of other evidence, there is a rebuttable presumption that a parent is entitled to receive at least 25 percent of the parenting time for the child. The standard for calculating the percentage of parenting time is specified. Note that the same section appears twice in the final act.
Section 13 (standard for removal of child) amends the general law governing approval of moving the residence of a child to another state. The court must apply a best interests standard when considering the request of a parent with whom the child resides to move the child's residence to another state. Factors that must be considered are specified. The burden of proof is upon the parent requesting the move unless the court finds that that person has been a victim of domestic abuse by the other parent, in which case the burden of proof is on the parent opposing the move.
Section 14 (modification of custody order) amends the statute dealing with modification of custody orders to allow a modification in a case where a court has denied a request to move the residence of a child to another state and the primary custodial parent relocated despite the court's order.
Section 15 (scope of child support guidelines; public authority) reinstates language inadvertently repealed last session, dealing with the scope of the child support guidelines and payments to the public authority. Some changes in the language are made.
Section 16 (failure of notice) corrects a cross-reference.
Section 17 (contents of pleadings) updates the language and cross-references in the required contents of pleadings in the expedited child support process.
Section 18 (pension plans) modifies references to pension plans in the division of marital property to refer to "defined benefit" pension plans.
Section 19 (potential income) adds language defining "potential income" into a substantive section of law (it is stricken in the definitions in section 21).
Section 20 (six-month review) provides that the six-month review hearing request form must be attached to initial child support orders signed on or after January 1, 2007.
Section 21 (definitions) contains a number of amendments to the definitions.
Subdivision 1 adds a cross-reference to the six-month review hearing statute in the application provision for this section.
Subdivision 4a modifies the definition of "support order" consistent with language that was enacted last session in another law, with an additional reference to a "former spouse."
Subdivision 8 amends the definition of "obligor." It retains the general concept under current law that the primary physical custodian is not an obligor except for purposes of ordering medical support. It adds a reference to the provision in the parenting expense adjustment statute that applies in cases where parenting time is presumed equal (the noncustodial parent has 45 to 50 percent parenting time), where the parent with primary physical custody could be an obligor depending on the relative incomes of the parties (note that there is a cross-reference error in this provision; the correct reference is section 518.722, subdivision 3, not section 518.72). Language specifying that for purposes of medical support a custodial parent may be an obligor subject to a cost-of-living adjustment is stricken.
Subdivision 15 makes technical changes in the definition of "parental income for child support."
Subdivision 17 amends the definition of "basic support." It includes a cross-reference to the statute dealing with the computation of basic support, rather than restating part of the computation in the definition.
Subdivision 18 amends the definition of "gross income" by striking language that appears in the substantive law in section 518.7123, dealing with calculation of gross income.
Subdivisions 19 and 20 make technical and stylistic changes in the definitions of "joint child" and "nonjoint child."
Subdivision 21 strikes the definition of "parenting time" (it is moved to the substantive section dealing with the parenting expense adjustment in section 40).
Subdivision 23 strikes the definition of "potential income," which is replaced by the new language in section 19.
Subdivision 25 (renumbered subdivision 23) amends and clarifies the definition of "Social Security benefits."
Subdivision 26 strikes the definition of "split custody" because the term is never used.
Section 22 (income information) modifies and clarifies provisions dealing with providing income information. The Commissioner of Human Services must prepare a financial affidavit form. Language is added specifying credible evidence that may be considered by the court when determining income.
Section 23 (modification of support) addresses an ambiguity in the standards governing modification of support or maintenance orders by requiring a showing that a change makes the terms of a current order unreasonable or unfair in all cases, except when an order is modified because of emancipation of a child. The current requirement appears in the middle of a series of clauses and its application is not explicit. It also addresses situations where modification is allowed if the current support order is less than $75. Additional provisions are added under which existing orders may be modified for the first year following the effective date of the law enacted last session (January 1, 2007) to include a reference to the receipt of public assistance by a parent or caregiver; changes in child care expenses; or changes in health care coverage availability. It also amends the modification rules dealing with phasing in support orders under the new guidelines.
Section 24 (child care) amends the child care exception in the modification statute. Child care support must be based on actual expenses.
Section 25 (calculation of gross income) amends the statute dealing with calculation of gross income. Technical and clarifying amendments are included. Court-ordered child support payments for a nonjoint child and spousal maintenance are deducted for purposes of determining gross income.
Section 26 (self-employment or business income) amends the statute dealing with income from self-employment to specify that a person seeking to deduct an expense, including depreciation, has the burden of proving that it is ordinary and necessary.
Section 27 (computation of child support) contains a number of amendments to the statute dealing with computation of child support obligations. Technical and clarifying amendments are included, in particular specifying calculations that apply to both parents versus calculations that apply only to the obligor. Cross-references are corrected and redundant cross-references are stricken.
Section 28 (deviation from presumptive child support obligation) contains technical and clarifying amendment to the statute dealing with the general factors for deviation from the child support guidelines.
Section 29 (written findings) amends the statute requiring written findings to specify and clarify the findings required depending on whether the court deviates from a presumptive child support amount.
Section 30 (nonjoint children deduction) makes changes in the deduction from income for nonjoint children.
Section 31 (Social Security or veterans' benefits) amends the statute addressing Social Security or veterans benefit payments.
Section 32 (health care order) amends the health care obligation order requirements to strike language referring to a cost of living adjustment.
Section 33 (appropriate coverage) clarifies language regarding a determination of appropriate health care coverage.
Section 34 (ordering coverage) strikes language in the health care coverage statute providing that a presumption of no less than $50 per month must be applied to the actual health care costs of joint children or to the cost of health care coverage and makes the terminology consistent.
Section 35 (offset) modifies the statute dealing with offsets to the child support obligation based on the health care obligation.
Section 36 (collecting unreimbursed or uninsured expenses) modifies the provisions for collecting unreimbursed or uninsured medical expenses. Time periods for requesting reimbursement are specified and other procedural requirements are included.
Section 37 (enforcement) amends and substantially rewrites the statute dealing with enforcing unreimbursed or uninsured medical expenses as arrears.
Sections 38 and 39 (PICS) contain technical term changes.
Section 40 (parenting expense adjustment) contains amendments to the parenting expense adjustment. It also contains language moved from the definition of "parenting time" with some changes (see section 21, subdivision 21). Changes are made in the formula for calculating support when parenting time is presumed equal.
Section 41 (self-support) contains amendments to the ability to pay and self-support adjustment statute.
Section 42 (basic child support guidelines) strikes an unnecessary cross-reference in the guideline statute. The basic support amounts are revised based on the economic evaluation of the basic support schedule required by the law enacted last session.
Section 43 (2005 repealer language) reinstates definitions that should not have been repealed as well as general language at the beginning of the child support guidelines dealing with payments to the public authority.
Section 44 (2005 law effective date and application) modifies the application rules governing the new child support law. In general, it would be applicable to actions commenced or motions filed after the effective date.
Section 45 (tribal and foreign protective orders) modifies and clarifies the effective date of a provision dealing with recognition of tribal and foreign protective orders that was enacted in the Omnibus Crime and Public Safety Bill (Laws 2006, chapter 260).
Section 46 (Revisor instruction) instructs the Revisor to change statutory references to the medical support law.
Section 47 (repealer) repeals a duplicative provision dealing with forgiveness of arrearage debt.
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