Bill Text: CA AB2046 | 2019-2020 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Family law: child support.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2020-07-31 - From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on APPR. with recommendation: To Consent Calendar. (Ayes 9. Noes 0.) (July 30). Re-referred to Com. on APPR. [AB2046 Detail]

Download: California-2019-AB2046-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 04, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2046


Introduced by Assembly Member Voepel

February 03, 2020


An act to amend Section 5246 of the Family Code, relating to child support.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2046, as amended, Voepel. Family law: child support.
(1) Existing law provides procedures to enforce the payment of arrearages owed pursuant to a court order to pay child support, including, among others, authorizing a local child support agency to directly serve on an employer an order/notice to withhold income that specifies an updated arrearage amount and directs the employer to withhold an additional amount to be applied towards liquidation of the arrearage not to exceed the maximum amount permitted by federal law. Existing law provides that if the person who is required to pay child support is disabled, meets certain federal eligibility requirements, and is receiving or would be eligible for certain state and federal disability payments, and the person has supplied the local child support agency with proof of eligibility or receipt of these benefits, then the order/notice to withhold income issued for the liquidation of the arrearage shall not exceed 5% of that person’s total monthly disability payments, as specified.
This bill would similarly provide that prohibit the order/notice to withhold income for the liquidation of the arrearage from exceeding 5% of a person’s total monthly disability compensation if the person who is required to pay child support is a disabled veteran receiving disability compensation from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs who meets specified income requirements and has supplied the local child support agency with proof of receipt of disability compensation, the order/notice to withhold income for the liquidation of the arrearage shall not exceed 5% of the disabled veteran’s total monthly disability compensation. compensation and other income and assets. By imposing new administrative duties on local child support agencies, this bill would create a state-mandated local program. This bill would also make technical, nonsubstantive changes to these provisions.
(2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 5246 of the Family Code is amended to read:

5246.
 (a) This section applies only to Title IV-D cases in which support enforcement services are being provided by the local child support agency pursuant to Section 17400.
(b) In lieu of an earnings assignment order signed by a judicial officer, the local child support agency may serve on the employer a notice of assignment in the manner specified in Section 5232. An order/notice to withhold income for child support shall have the same force and effect as an earnings assignment order signed by a judicial officer. An order/notice to withhold income for child support, when used pursuant to this section, shall be considered a notice and shall not require the signature of a judicial officer.
(c) Pursuant to Section 666 of Title 42 of the United States Code, the federally mandated order/notice to withhold income for child support shall be used for the purposes described in this section.
(d) (1) An order/notice to withhold income may not reduce the current amount withheld for court-ordered child support.
(2) If the underlying court order for support does not provide for an arrearage payment, or if an additional arrearage accrues after the date of the court order for support, the local child support agency may send an order/notice to withhold income for child support that shall be used for the purposes described in this section directly to the employer that specifies the updated arrearage amount and directs the employer to withhold an additional amount to be applied towards liquidation of the arrearages not to exceed the maximum amount permitted by Section 1673(b) of Title 15 of the United States Code.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), if an obligor is disabled, meets the SSI resource test, and is receiving Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payments (SSI/SSP) or, but for excess income as described in Section 416.1100 et seq. of Part 416 of Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations, would be eligible to receive SSI/SSP, pursuant to Section 12200 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and the obligor has supplied the local child support agency with proof of eligibility for and, if applicable, receipt of, SSI/SSP or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, then the order/notice to withhold income issued by the local child support agency for the liquidation of the arrearage shall not exceed 5 percent of the obligor’s total monthly Social Security Disability payments under Title II of the Social Security Act.
(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), if an obligor is a disabled veteran receiving disability compensation from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs who, but for receipt of the disability compensation would have an income that would qualify the obligor for SSI/SSP, and the obligor has supplied the local child support agency with proof of receipt of disability compensation, compensation and other income and assets, the order/notice to withhold income issued by the local child support agency for the liquidation of the arrearage shall not exceed 5 percent of the obligor’s total monthly disability compensation.
(e) If the obligor requests a hearing, a hearing date shall be scheduled within 20 days of the filing of the request with the court. The clerk of the court shall provide notice of the hearing to the local child support agency and the obligor no later than 10 days prior to the hearing.
(1) If, at the hearing, the obligor establishes that they are not the obligor or good cause or an alternative arrangement as provided in Section 5260, the court may order that service of the order/notice to withhold income for child support be quashed. If the court quashes service of the order/notice to withhold income for child support, the local child support agency shall notify the employer within 10 days.
(2) If the obligor contends at the hearing that the payment of arrearages at the rate specified in the order/notice to withhold income for child support is excessive or that the total arrearages owing is incorrect, and if it is determined that payment of the arrearages at the rate specified in this section creates an undue hardship upon the obligor or that the withholding would exceed the maximum amount permitted by Section 1673(b) of Title 15 of the United States Code, the rate at which the arrearages must be paid shall be reduced to a rate that is fair and reasonable considering the circumstances of the parties and the best interest of the child. If it is determined at a hearing that the total amount of arrearages calculated is erroneous, the court shall modify the amount calculated to the correct amount. If the court modifies the total amount of arrearages owed or reduces the monthly payment due on the arrearages, the local child support agency shall serve the employer with an amended order/notice to withhold income for child support within 10 days.
(f) If an obligor’s current support obligation has terminated by operation of law, the local child support agency may serve an order/notice to withhold income for child support on the employer that directs the employer to continue withholding from the obligor’s earnings an amount to be applied towards liquidation of the arrearages, not to exceed the maximum amount permitted by Section 1673(b) of Title 15 of the United States Code, until the employer is notified by the local child support agency that the arrearages have been paid in full. The employer shall provide the obligor with a copy of the order/notice to withhold income for child support and a blank form that the obligor may file with the court to request a hearing to modify or quash the assignment with instructions on how to file the form and obtain a hearing date. The obligor shall be entitled to the same rights to a hearing as specified in subdivision (e).
(g) The local child support agency shall retain a copy of the order/notice to withhold income for child support and shall file a copy with the court whenever a hearing concerning the order/notice to withhold income for child support is requested.
(h) The local child support agency may transmit an order/notice to withhold income for child support and other forms required by this section to the employer through electronic means.

SEC. 2.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
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