Bill Text: TX SB286 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to suits affecting the parent-child relationship and the calculation and enforcement of child support.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-03 - Referred to State Affairs [SB286 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-SB286-Introduced.html
  87R6284 EAS-F
 
  By: West S.B. No. 286
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to suits affecting the parent-child relationship and the
  calculation and enforcement of child support.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 8, Family Code, is amended
  by adding Section 8.062 to read as follows:
         Sec. 8.062.  PLACE OF PAYMENT.  If an obligor is ordered to
  pay an obligee maintenance under this chapter and child support
  under Chapter 154, the court shall order the payment of maintenance
  to the state disbursement unit as provided by Chapter 234.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter B, Chapter 154, Family Code, is
  amended by adding Section 154.0655 to read as follows:
         Sec. 154.0655.  IMPUTATION OF INCOME. (a) In this section,
  "resources" has the meaning assigned by Section 154.062(b).
         (b)  To the extent possible, the court shall rely on evidence
  of a party's resources when applying the support guidelines.
         (c)  In the absence of evidence of a party's resources, the
  court, when applying Section 154.066 or 154.068, shall consider
  relevant background circumstances regarding the obligor,
  including:
               (1)  the obligor's:
                     (A)  assets;
                     (B)  residence;
                     (C)  employment;
                     (D)  earnings history;
                     (E)  job skills;
                     (F)  educational attainment;
                     (G)  literacy;
                     (H)  age;
                     (I)  health;
                     (J)  criminal history;
                     (K)  barriers to employment; and
                     (L)  record of seeking work; 
               (2)  job opportunities in the obligor's community;
               (3)  the prevailing wage in the obligor's community;
  and
               (4)  whether there are employers willing to hire the
  obligor.
         SECTION 3.  Section 154.066, Family Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:
         (c)  The court may not consider incarceration as intentional
  unemployment or underemployment when establishing or modifying a
  support order.
         SECTION 4.  Section 154.125, Family Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 154.125.  APPLICATION OF GUIDELINES TO NET RESOURCES.
  (a) The guidelines for the support of a child in this section are
  specifically designed to apply to situations in which the obligor's
  monthly net resources are not greater than the maximum amount of net
  resources to which the statutory guidelines are applicable, as most
  recently published by the Title IV-D agency in the Texas Register
  [$7,500 or the adjusted amount determined under Subsection (a-1),
  whichever is greater].
         (a-1)  The [dollar] amount prescribed by Subsection (a) is
  adjusted every six years as necessary to reflect inflation. The
  Title IV-D agency shall compute the adjusted amount, to take effect
  beginning September 1 of the year of the adjustment, based on the
  percentage change in the consumer price index during the 72-month
  period preceding March 1 of the year of the adjustment, as rounded
  to the nearest $50 increment. The Title IV-D agency shall publish
  the adjusted amount in the Texas Register before September 1 of the
  year in which the adjustment takes effect. For purposes of this
  subsection, "consumer price index" has the meaning assigned by
  Section 341.201, Finance Code.
         (b)  If the obligor's monthly net resources are not greater
  than the amount described [provided] by Subsection (a) and the
  obligor's monthly net resources are equal to or greater than the
  amount described by Subsection (c), the court shall presumptively
  apply the following schedule in rendering the child support order:
  CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
  BASED ON THE MONTHLY NET RESOURCES OF THE OBLIGOR
         1 child               20% of Obligor's Net Resources
         2 children            25% of Obligor's Net Resources
         3 children            30% of Obligor's Net Resources
         4 children            35% of Obligor's Net Resources
         5 children            40% of Obligor's Net Resources
         6+ children           Not less than the amount for 5 children
         (c)  If the obligor's monthly net resources are less than
  $1,000, the court shall presumptively apply the following schedule
  in rendering the child support order:
  LOW-INCOME CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
  BASED ON THE MONTHLY NET RESOURCES OF THE OBLIGOR  
         1 child               15% of Obligor's Net Resources
         2 children            20% of Obligor's Net Resources
         3 children            25% of Obligor's Net Resources
         4 children            30% of Obligor's Net Resources
         5 children            35% of Obligor's Net Resources
         6+ children           Not less than the amount for 5 children
         SECTION 5.  Section 154.129, Family Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 154.129.  ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF COMPUTING SUPPORT FOR
  CHILDREN IN MORE THAN ONE HOUSEHOLD. (a)  If the obligor's monthly
  net resources are not greater than the amount described by Section
  154.125(a) and if the obligor's monthly net resources are equal to
  or greater than the amount described by Section 154.125(c), in [In]
  lieu of performing the computation under the preceding section, the
  court may determine the child support amount for the children
  before the court by applying the percentages in the table below to
  the obligor's net resources:
  MULTIPLE FAMILY ADJUSTED GUIDELINES
  (% OF NET RESOURCES)
  Number of children before the court
 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
 
Number of 0 20.00 25.00 30.00 35.00 40.00 40.00 40.00
 
other 1 17.50 22.50 27.38 32.20 37.33 37.71 38.00
 
children for 2 16.00 20.63 25.20 30.33 35.43 36.00 36.44
 
whom the 3 14.75 19.00 24.00 29.00 34.00 34.67 35.20
 
obligor 4 13.60 18.33 23.14 28.00 32.89 33.60 34.18
 
has a 5 13.33 17.86 22.50 27.22 32.00 32.73 33.33
 
duty of 6 13.14 17.50 22.00 26.60 31.27 32.00 32.62
 
support 7 13.00 17.22 21.60 26.09 30.67 31.38 32.00
         (b)  If the obligor's monthly net resources are less than the
  amount described by Section 154.125(c), in lieu of performing the
  computation under the preceding section, the court may determine
  the child support amount for the children before the court by
  applying the percentages in the table below to the obligor's net
  resources:
  LOW-INCOME MULTIPLE FAMILY ADJUSTED GUIDELINES
  (% OF NET RESOURCES)
  Number of children before the court
 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
 
Number of 0 15.00 20.00 25.00 30.00 35.00 35.00 35.00
 
other 1 13.50 18.33 23.13 27.90 32.96 33.25 33.47
 
children for 2 12.50 17.00 21.50 26.50 31.50 31.94 32.28
 
whom the 3 11.63 15.80 20.63 25.50 30.41 30.92 31.33
 
obligor 4 10.80 15.33 20.00 24.75 29.56 30.10 30.55
 
has a 5 10.63 15.00 19.53 24.17 28.88 29.43 29.90
 
duty of 6 10.50 14.75 19.17 23.70 28.32 28.88 29.35
 
support 7 10.41 14.56 18.88 23.32 27.85 28.40 28.88
         SECTION 6.  Section 156.401, Family Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (c-1) to read as follows:
         (c-1)  Incarceration of a child support obligor in a local,
  state, or federal jail or prison for a period exceeding 180 days is
  a material and substantial change of circumstances for the purposes
  of this section.
         SECTION 7.  Section 157.005(b), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The court retains jurisdiction to confirm the total
  amount of child support, medical support, and dental support
  arrearages and render [a] cumulative money judgments [judgment] for
  past-due child support, medical support, and dental support, as
  provided by Section 157.263, if a motion for enforcement requesting
  a [cumulative] money judgment is filed not later than the 10th
  anniversary after the date:
               (1)  the child becomes an adult; or
               (2)  on which the child support obligation terminates
  under the child support order or by operation of law.
         SECTION 8.  Section 157.263, Family Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a), (b), and (b-1) and adding Subsections
  (b-2) and (b-3) to read as follows:
         (a)  If a motion for enforcement of child support requests a
  money judgment for arrearages, the court shall confirm the amount
  of arrearages and render [one] cumulative money judgments as
  follows:
               (1)  a cumulative money judgment for the amount of
  child support owed under Subsection (b);
               (2)  a cumulative money judgment for the amount of
  medical support owed under Subsection (b-1); and
               (3)  a cumulative money judgment for the amount of
  dental support owed under Subsection (b-2) [judgment].
         (b)  A cumulative money judgment for the amount of child
  support owed includes:
               (1)  unpaid child support not previously confirmed;
               (2)  the balance owed on previously confirmed child
  support arrearages or lump sum or retroactive child support
  judgments;
               (3)  interest on the child support arrearages; and
               (4)  a statement that it is a cumulative judgment for
  the amount of child support owed.
         (b-1)  A cumulative money judgment for the amount of medical
  support owed includes:
               (1)  unpaid medical support not previously confirmed;
               (2)  the balance owed on previously confirmed medical
  support arrearages or lump sum or retroactive medical support
  judgments;
               (3)  interest on the medical support arrearages; and
               (4)  a statement that it is a cumulative judgment for
  the amount of medical support owed.
         (b-2)  A cumulative money judgment for the amount of dental
  support owed includes:
               (1)  unpaid dental support not previously confirmed;
               (2)  the balance owed on previously confirmed dental
  support arrearages or lump sum or retroactive dental support
  judgments;
               (3)  interest on the dental support arrearages; and
               (4)  a statement that it is a cumulative judgment for
  the amount of dental support owed.
         (b-3)  In rendering a money judgment under this section, the
  court may not reduce or modify the amount of child support, medical
  support, or dental support arrearages but, in confirming the amount
  of arrearages, may allow a counterclaim or offset as provided by
  this title.
         SECTION 9.  Section 159.605(b), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  A notice must inform the nonregistering party:
               (1)  that a registered order is enforceable as of the
  date of registration in the same manner as an order issued by a
  tribunal of this state;
               (2)  that a hearing to contest the validity or
  enforcement of the registered order must be requested within 30
  [20] days after notice unless the registered order is under Section
  159.707;
               (3)  that failure to contest the validity or
  enforcement of the registered order in a timely manner will result
  in confirmation of the order and enforcement of the order and the
  alleged arrearages; and
               (4)  of the amount of any alleged arrearages.
         SECTION 10.  Section 234.007(a), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A court that orders a party to pay [income to be withheld
  for] child support under a temporary or final order shall order that
  all [income ordered withheld for] child support payments [shall] be
  paid through [to] the state disbursement unit, including any child
  support that the court orders an employer to withhold from the
  income of the obligor.
         SECTION 11.  Section 240.009, Property Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (e) to read as follows:
         (e)  A disclaimer of an interest in property made by an
  individual must contain a sworn statement regarding whether the
  disclaimant is a child support obligor whose disclaimer is barred
  under Section 240.151(g).
         SECTION 12.  Section 102.0091(b), Family Code, is repealed.
         SECTION 13.  The enactment of this Act does not constitute a
  material and substantial change of circumstances sufficient to
  warrant modification of a court order or portion of a decree that
  provides for the support of a child rendered before the effective
  date of this Act.
         SECTION 14.  (a) Section 8.062, Family Code, as added by this
  Act, applies only to a maintenance order rendered on or after the
  effective date of this Act.  A maintenance order rendered before the
  effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the
  date the order was rendered, and the former law is continued in
  effect for that purpose.
         (b)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a) of this section, an
  obligor subject to a maintenance order rendered before the
  effective date of this Act may choose to remit maintenance payments
  to the state disbursement unit as provided by Chapter 234, Family
  Code, and the state disbursement unit shall accept those payments.
         SECTION 15.  Section 154.0655, Family Code, as added by this
  Act, and Section 154.066, Family Code, as amended by this Act, apply
  only to a proceeding to establish or modify a child support
  obligation that is pending in a trial court on or filed on or after
  the effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 16.  The changes in law made by this Act to Sections
  154.125 and 154.129, Family Code, apply to a suit affecting the
  parent-child relationship that is filed on or after the effective
  date of this Act. A suit filed before the effective date of this Act
  is governed by the law in effect on the date that the suit is filed,
  and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 17.  Section 156.401, Family Code, as amended by
  this Act, applies only to a suit for modification of a child support
  order that is filed on or after the effective date of this Act.  A
  suit for modification that is filed before the effective date of
  this Act is governed by the law in effect on the date the suit was
  filed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 18.  Section 157.263, Family Code, as amended by
  this Act, applies only to a cumulative money judgment rendered on or
  after the effective date of this Act. A judgment rendered before the
  effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect at the
  time the judgment was rendered, and the former law is continued in
  effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 19.  Section 159.605, Family Code, as amended by
  this Act, applies only to a support order or income-withholding
  order issued by a court of another state that is registered in this
  state on or after the effective date of this Act. A support order or
  income-withholding order that is registered in this state before
  the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on
  the date the order was registered, and the former law is continued
  in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 20.  Section 240.009, Property Code, as amended by
  this Act, applies only to a disclaimer made on or after the
  effective date of this Act.  A disclaimer made before the effective
  date of this Act is governed by the law in effect at the time the
  disclaimer was made, and the former law is continued in effect for
  that purpose.
         SECTION 21.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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