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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1271

3rd Engrossment - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 3rd Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to family law; clarifying and modifying child support laws; modifying
enforcement provisions; extending time periods for enforcing child support
judgments; amending Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 518.68, subdivision 2;
518A.28; 518A.32, subdivisions 1, 3, 5, 6; 518A.39, subdivision 2; 518A.40,
subdivisions 1, 4; 518A.41, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 15, 16; 518A.43,
subdivision 1; 518A.75, subdivision 3; 548.091, subdivision 1a.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518.68, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Contents.

The required notices must be substantially as follows:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

1. PAYMENTS TO PUBLIC AGENCY

According to Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.50, payments ordered for
maintenance and support must be paid to the public agency responsible for child
support enforcement as long as the person entitled to receive the payments is
receiving or has applied for public assistance or has applied for support and
maintenance collection services. MAIL PAYMENTS TO:

2. DEPRIVING ANOTHER OF CUSTODIAL OR PARENTAL RIGHTS -- A FELONY

A person may be charged with a felony who conceals a minor child or takes, obtains,
retains, or fails to return a minor child from or to the child's parent (or person with
custodial or visitation rights), according to Minnesota Statutes, section 609.26. A
copy of that section is available from any district court clerk.

3. NONSUPPORT OF A SPOUSE OR CHILD -- CRIMINAL PENALTIES

A person who fails to pay court-ordered child support or maintenance may be
charged with a crime, which may include misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or
felony charges, according to Minnesota Statutes, section 609.375. A copy of that
section is available from any district court clerk.

4. RULES OF SUPPORT, MAINTENANCE, PARENTING TIME

(a) Payment of support or spousal maintenance is to be as ordered, and the giving of
gifts or making purchases of food, clothing, and the like will not fulfill the obligation.

(b) Payment of support must be made as it becomes due, and failure to secure or
denial of parenting time is NOT an excuse for nonpayment, but the aggrieved party
must seek relief through a proper motion filed with the court.

(c) Nonpayment of support is not grounds to deny parenting time. The party entitled
to receive support may apply for support and collection services, file a contempt
motion, or obtain a judgment as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 548.091.

(d) The payment of support or spousal maintenance takes priority over payment
of debts and other obligations.

(e) A party who accepts additional obligations of support does so with the full
knowledge of the party's prior obligation under this proceeding.

(f) Child support or maintenance is based on annual income, and it is the
responsibility of a person with seasonal employment to budget income so that
payments are made throughout the year as ordered.

(g) Reasonable parenting time guidelines are contained in Appendix B, which is
available from the court administrator.

(h) The nonpayment of support may be enforced through the denial of student grants;
interception of state and federal tax refunds; suspension of driver's, recreational, and
occupational licenses; referral to the department of revenue or private collection
agencies; seizure of assets, including bank accounts and other assets held by financial
institutions; reporting to credit bureaus; interest charging, income withholding, and
contempt proceedings; and other enforcement methods allowed by law.

(i) The public authority may suspend or resume collection of the amount allocated
for child care expenses if the conditions of section 518A.40, subdivision 4, are met.

new text begin (j) The public authority may remove or resume a medical support offset if the
conditions of section 518A.41, subdivision 16, are met.
new text end

new text begin (k) The public authority may suspend or resume interest charging on child support
judgments if the conditions of section 548.091, subdivision 1a, are met.
new text end

5. MODIFYING CHILD SUPPORT

If either the obligor or obligee is laid off from employment or receives a pay
reduction, child support may be modified, increased, or decreased. Any modification
will only take effect when it is ordered by the court, and will only relate back to the
time that a motion is filed. Either the obligor or obligee may file a motion to modify
child support, and may request the public agency for help. UNTIL A MOTION
IS FILED, THE CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATION WILL CONTINUE AT THE
CURRENT LEVEL. THE COURT IS NOT PERMITTED TO REDUCE SUPPORT
RETROACTIVELY.

6. PARENTAL RIGHTS FROM MINNESOTA STATUTES, SECTION 518.17,
SUBDIVISION 3

Unless otherwise provided by the Court:

(a) Each party has the right of access to, and to receive copies of, school, medical,
dental, religious training, and other important records and information about the
minor children. Each party has the right of access to information regarding health
or dental insurance available to the minor children. Presentation of a copy of this
order to the custodian of a record or other information about the minor children
constitutes sufficient authorization for the release of the record or information to the
requesting party.

(b) Each party shall keep the other informed as to the name and address of the school
of attendance of the minor children. Each party has the right to be informed by
school officials about the children's welfare, educational progress and status, and to
attend school and parent teacher conferences. The school is not required to hold a
separate conference for each party.

(c) In case of an accident or serious illness of a minor child, each party shall notify
the other party of the accident or illness, and the name of the health care provider
and the place of treatment.

(d) Each party has the right of reasonable access and telephone contact with the
minor children.

7. WAGE AND INCOME DEDUCTION OF SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE

Child support and/or spousal maintenance may be withheld from income, with or
without notice to the person obligated to pay, when the conditions of Minnesota
Statutes, section 518A.53 have been met. A copy of those sections is available
from any district court clerk.

8. CHANGE OF ADDRESS OR RESIDENCE

Unless otherwise ordered, each party shall notify the other party, the court, and
the public authority responsible for collection, if applicable, of the following
information within ten days of any change: the residential and mailing address,
telephone number, driver's license number, Social Security number, and name,
address, and telephone number of the employer.

9. COST OF LIVING INCREASE OF SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE

deleted text begin Childdeleted text end new text beginBasic new text endsupport and/or spousal maintenance may be adjusted every two years
based upon a change in the cost of living (using Department of Labor Consumer
Price Index .........., unless otherwise specified in this order) when the conditions
of Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.75, are met. Cost of living increases are
compounded. A copy of Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.75, and forms necessary
to request or contest a cost of living increase are available from any district court
clerk.

10. JUDGMENTS FOR UNPAID SUPPORT

If a person fails to make a child support payment, the payment owed becomes a
judgment against the person responsible to make the payment by operation of law on
or after the date the payment is due, and the person entitled to receive the payment
or the public agency may obtain entry and docketing of the judgment WITHOUT
NOTICE to the person responsible to make the payment under Minnesota Statutes,
section 548.091. Interest begins to accrue on a payment or installment of child
support whenever the unpaid amount due is greater than the current support due,
according to Minnesota Statutes, section 548.091, subdivision 1a.

11. JUDGMENTS FOR UNPAID MAINTENANCE

A judgment for unpaid spousal maintenance may be entered when the conditions of
Minnesota Statutes, section 548.091, are met. A copy of that section is available
from any district court clerk.

12. ATTORNEY FEES AND COLLECTION COSTS FOR ENFORCEMENT OF
CHILD SUPPORT

A judgment for attorney fees and other collection costs incurred in enforcing a child
support order will be entered against the person responsible to pay support when the
conditions of section 518A.735, are met. A copy of sections 518.14 and 518A.735
and forms necessary to request or contest these attorney fees and collection costs are
available from any district court clerk.

13. PARENTING TIME EXPEDITOR PROCESS

On request of either party or on its own motion, the court may appoint a parenting
time expeditor to resolve parenting time disputes under Minnesota Statutes, section
518.1751. A copy of that section and a description of the expeditor process is
available from any district court clerk.

14. PARENTING TIME REMEDIES AND PENALTIES

Remedies and penalties for the wrongful denial of parenting time are available under
Minnesota Statutes, section 518.175, subdivision 6. These include compensatory
parenting time; civil penalties; bond requirements; contempt; and reversal of
custody. A copy of that subdivision and forms for requesting relief are available
from any district court clerk.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.28, is amended to read:


518A.28 PROVIDING INCOME INFORMATION.

(a) In any case where the parties have joint children for which a child support
order must be determined, the parties shall serve and file with their initial pleadings
or motion documents, a financial affidavit, disclosing all sources of gross income for
purposes of section 518A.29. The financial affidavit shall include relevant supporting
documentation necessary to calculate the parental income for child support under section
518A.26, subdivision 15, including, but not limited to, pay stubs for the most recent three
months, employer statements, or statements of receipts and expenses if self-employed.
Documentation of earnings and income also include relevant copies of each parent's
most recent federal tax returns, including W-2 forms, 1099 forms, unemployment benefit
statements, workers' compensation statements, and all other documents evidencing
earnings or income as received that provide verification for the financial affidavit. The
deleted text begin commissioner of human servicesdeleted text endnew text begin state court administratornew text end shall prepare a financial
affidavit form that deleted text beginmustdeleted text endnew text begin maynew text end be used by the parties for disclosing information under
this section.new text begin The parties may provide the information required under this section in a
substantially similar affidavit form.
new text end

(b) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (a), at any time after an action
seeking child support has been commenced or when a child support order is in effect, a
party or the public authority may require the other party to give them a copy of the party's
most recent federal tax returns that were filed with the Internal Revenue Service. The
party shall provide a copy of the tax returns within 30 days of receipt of the request unless
the request is not made in good faith. A request under this paragraph may not be made
more than once every two years, in the absence of good cause.

(c) If a parent under the jurisdiction of the court does not serve and file the financial
affidavit with the parent's initial pleading or motion documents, the court shall set income
for that parent based on credible evidence before the court or in accordance with section
518A.32. Credible evidence may include documentation of current or recent income,
testimony of the other parent concerning recent earnings and income levels, and the
parent's wage reports filed with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic
Development under section 268.044. The court may consider credible evidence from one
party that the financial affidavit submitted by the other party is false or inaccurate.

(d) If the court determines that a party does not have access to documents that are
required to be disclosed under this section, the court may consider the testimony of that
party as credible evidence of that party's income.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.32, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

General.

new text beginThis section applies to child support orders, including
orders for past support or reimbursement of public assistance, issued under this chapter,
chapter 256, 257, 518B, or 518C.
new text endIf a parent is voluntarily unemployed, underemployed, or
employed on a less than full-time basis, or there is no direct evidence of any income, child
support must be calculated based on a determination of potential income. For purposes of
this determination, it is rebuttably presumed that a parent can be gainfully employed on
a full-time basis. As used in this section, "full time" means 40 hours of work in a week
except in those industries, trades, or professions in which most employers, due to custom,
practice, or agreement, use a normal work week of more or less than 40 hours in a week.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.32, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Parent not considered voluntarily unemployed deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin,new text end underemployednew text begin,
or employed on a less than full-time basis
new text end.

A parent is not considered voluntarily
unemployed deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin,new text end underemployednew text begin, or employed on a less than full-time basisnew text end upon a
showing by the parent that:

(1)new text begin thenew text end unemployment deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin,new text end underemploymentnew text begin, or employment on a less than full-time
basis
new text end is temporary and will ultimately lead to an increase in income; deleted text beginor
deleted text end

(2) the unemployment deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin,new text end underemploymentnew text begin, or employment on a less than full-time
basis
new text end represents a bona fide career change that outweighs the adverse effect of that parent's
diminished income on the childdeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (3) the unemployment, underemployment, or employment on a less than full-time
basis is because a parent is physically or mentally incapacitated or due to incarceration,
except where the reason for incarceration is the parent's nonpayment of support.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective retroactively from January 1, 2007.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.32, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Caretaker.

If a parent stays at home to care for a child who is subject to
the child support order, the court may consider the following factors when determining
whether the parent is voluntarily unemployed deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin,new text end underemployednew text begin, or employed on a less
than full-time basis
new text end:

(1) the parties' parenting and child care arrangements before the child support action;

(2) the stay-at-home parent's employment history, recency of employment, earnings,
and the availability of jobs within the community for an individual with the parent's
qualifications;

(3) the relationship between the employment-related expenses, including, but not
limited to, child care and transportation costs required for the parent to be employed,
and the income the stay-at-home parent could receive from available jobs within the
community for an individual with the parent's qualifications;

(4) the child's age and health, including whether the child is physically or mentally
disabled; and

(5) the availability of child care providers.

This subdivision does not apply if the parent stays at home only to care for other
nonjoint children.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.32, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Economic conditions.

A self-employed parent is not considered to be
voluntarily unemployed deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin,new text end underemployednew text begin, or employed on a less than full-time basisnew text end if
that parent can show that the parent's net self-employment income is lower because of
economic conditions that are directly related to the source or sources of that parent's
income.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.39, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Modification.

(a) The terms of an order respecting maintenance or support
may be modified upon a showing of one or more of the following, any of which makes
the terms unreasonable and unfair: (1) substantially increased or decreased gross income
of an obligor or obligee; (2) substantially increased or decreased need of an obligor or
obligee or the child or children that are the subject of these proceedings; (3) receipt of
assistance under the AFDC program formerly codified under sections 256.72 to 256.87
or 256B.01 to 256B.40, or chapter 256J or 256K; (4) a change in the cost of living for
either party as measured by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics; (5) extraordinary
medical expenses of the child not provided for under section 518A.41; (6)new text begin a change in the
availability of appropriate health care coverage or a substantial increase or decrease in
health care coverage costs; (7)
new text end the addition of work-related or education-related child care
expenses of the obligee or a substantial increase or decrease in existing work-related or
education-related child care expenses; or deleted text begin(7)deleted text endnew text begin (8)new text end upon the emancipation of the child, as
provided in subdivision 5.

(b) It is presumed that there has been a substantial change in circumstances under
paragraph (a) and the terms of a current support order shall be rebuttably presumed to be
unreasonable and unfair if:

(1) the application of the child support guidelines in section 518A.35, to the current
circumstances of the parties results in a calculated court order that is at least 20 percent
and at least $75 per month higher or lower than the current support order or, if the current
support order is less than $75, it results in a calculated court order that is at least 20
percent per month higher or lower;

(2) the medical support provisions of the order established under section 518A.41
are not enforceable by the public authority or the obligee;

(3) health coverage ordered under section 518A.41 is not available to the child for
whom the order is established by the parent ordered to provide;

(4) the existing support obligation is in the form of a statement of percentage and
not a specific dollar amount; deleted text beginordeleted text end

(5) the gross income of an obligor or obligee has decreased by at least 20 percent
through no fault or choice of the partydeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; or
new text end

new text begin (6) a deviation was granted based on the factor in section 518A.43, subdivision 1,
clause (4), and the child no longer resides in a foreign country or the factor is otherwise no
longer applicable.
new text end

(c) A child support order is not presumptively modifiable solely because an obligor
or obligee becomes responsible for the support of an additional nonjoint child, which is
born after an existing order. Section 518A.33 shall be considered if other grounds are
alleged which allow a modification of support.

(d) On a motion for modification of maintenance, including a motion for the
extension of the duration of a maintenance award, the court shall apply, in addition to all
other relevant factors, the factors for an award of maintenance under section 518.552 that
exist at the time of the motion. On a motion for modification of support, the court:

(1) shall apply section 518A.35, and shall not consider the financial circumstances of
each party's spouse, if any; and

(2) shall not consider compensation received by a party for employment in excess of
a 40-hour work week, provided that the party demonstrates, and the court finds, that:

(i) the excess employment began after entry of the existing support order;

(ii) the excess employment is voluntary and not a condition of employment;

(iii) the excess employment is in the nature of additional, part-time employment, or
overtime employment compensable by the hour or fractions of an hour;

(iv) the party's compensation structure has not been changed for the purpose of
affecting a support or maintenance obligation;

(v) in the case of an obligor, current child support payments are at least equal to the
guidelines amount based on income not excluded under this clause; and

(vi) in the case of an obligor who is in arrears in child support payments to the
obligee, any net income from excess employment must be used to pay the arrearages
until the arrearages are paid in full.

(e) A modification of support or maintenance, including interest that accrued
pursuant to section 548.091, may be made retroactive only with respect to any period
during which the petitioning party has pending a motion for modification but only from the
date of service of notice of the motion on the responding party and on the public authority
if public assistance is being furnished or the county attorney is the attorney of record.

(f) Except for an award of the right of occupancy of the homestead, provided in
section 518.63, all divisions of real and personal property provided by section 518.58
shall be final, and may be revoked or modified only where the court finds the existence
of conditions that justify reopening a judgment under the laws of this state, including
motions under section 518.145, subdivision 2. The court may impose a lien or charge on
the divided property at any time while the property, or subsequently acquired property, is
owned by the parties or either of them, for the payment of maintenance or support money,
or may sequester the property as is provided by section 518A.71.

(g) The court need not hold an evidentiary hearing on a motion for modification of
maintenance or support.

(h) Sections 518.14 and 518A.735 shall govern the award of attorney fees for
motions brought under this subdivision.

(i) Except as expressly provided, an enactment, amendment, or repeal of law does
not constitute a substantial change in the circumstances for purposes of modifying a
child support order.

(j) There may be no modification of an existing child support order during the first
year following January 1, 2007, except as follows:

(1) there is at least a 20 percent change in the gross income of the obligor;

(2) there is a change in the number of joint children for whom the obligor is legally
responsible and actually supporting;

(3) a parent or another caregiver of the child who is supported by the existing support
order begins to receive public assistance, as defined in section 256.741;

(4) there are additional work-related or education-related child care expenses of the
obligee or a substantial increase or decrease in existing work-related or education-related
child care expenses;

(5) there is a change in the availability of health care coverage, as defined in section
518A.41, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), or a substantial increase or decrease in the cost
of existing health care coverage;

(6) the child supported by the existing child support order becomes disabled; or

(7) both parents consent to modification of the existing order under section 518A.34.

A modification under clause (4) may be granted only with respect to child care
support. A modification under clause (5) may be granted only with respect to medical
support. This paragraph expires January 1, 2008.

(k) On the first modification under the income shares method of calculation, the
modification of basic support may be limited if the amount of the full variance would
create hardship for either the obligor or the obligee.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.40, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Child care costs.

Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties and
approved by the court, the court must order that work-related or education-related child
care costs of joint children be divided between the obligor and obligee based on their
proportionate share of the parties' combined monthly PICS.new text begin The amount of work-related or
education-related child care costs required by this subdivision to be divided between the
obligor and obligee is the total amount received by the child care provider from the obligee
and any public agency for the joint child or children.
new text end Child care costs shall be adjusted by
the amount of the estimated federal and state child care credit payable on behalf of a joint
child. The Department of Human Services shall develop tables to calculate the applicable
credit based upon the custodial parent's PICS.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.40, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Change in child care.

(a) When a court order provides for child care
expensesnew text begin,new text end andnew text begin child care support is not assigned under section 256.741,new text end the public
authoritynew text begin, if the public authoritynew text end provides child support enforcement services, deleted text beginthe public
authority
deleted text end must suspend collecting the amount allocated for child care expenses when:

(1) either party informs the public authority that no child care costs are being
incurred; and

(2) the public authority verifies the accuracy of the information with the deleted text beginother
party
deleted text endnew text begin obligeenew text end.

new text begin The suspension is effective as of the first day of the month following the date that the
public authority received the verification.
new text endThe public authority will resume collecting
child care expenses when either party provides information that child care costs have
resumednew text begin, or when a child care support assignment takes effect under section 256.741,
subdivision 4. The resumption is effective as of the first day of the month after the date
that the public authority received the information
new text end.

(b) If the parties provide conflicting information to the public authority regarding
whether child care expenses are being incurred,new text begin or if the public authority is unable to
verify with the obligee that no child care costs are being incurred,
new text end the public authority will
continue or resume collecting child care expenses. Either party, by motion to the court,
may challenge the suspensionnew text begin, continuation,new text end or resumption of the collection of child care
expensesnew text begin under this subdivisionnew text end. If the public authority suspends collection activities
for the amount allocated for child care expenses, all other provisions of the court order
remain in effect.

(c) In cases where there is a substantial increase or decrease in child care expenses,
the parties may modify the order under section 518A.39.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.41, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

The definitions in this subdivision apply to this chapter
and chapter 518.

(a) "Health care coverage" means new text beginmedical, dental, or other new text endhealth care benefits that
are provided by deleted text beginadeleted text end new text beginone or more new text endhealth deleted text beginplandeleted text endnew text begin plansnew text end. Health care coverage does not include
any form of deleted text beginmedical assistance under chapter 256B or MinnesotaCare under chapter
256L
deleted text endnew text begin public coveragenew text end.

(b) "Health carrier" means a carrier as defined in sections 62A.011, subdivision
2, and 62L.02, subdivision 16.

(c) "Health plan" means a plan deleted text beginmeeting the definition under section 62A.011,
subdivision 3
, a group health plan governed under the federal Employee Retirement
Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), a self-insured plan under sections 43A.23 to
43A.317 and 471.617, or a policy, contract, or certificate issued by a community-integrated
service network licensed under chapter 62N. Health plan includes plans
deleted text endnew text begin, other than any
form of public coverage, that provides medical, dental, or other health care benefits and is
new text end:

(1) provided on an individual deleted text beginanddeleted text end new text beginor new text endgroup basis;

(2) provided by an employer or union;

(3) purchased in the private market; deleted text beginanddeleted text endnew text begin ornew text end

(4) available to a person eligible to carry insurance for the joint childnew text begin, including a
party's spouse or parent
new text end.

Health plan includesnew text begin, but is not limited to,new text end a plan deleted text beginproviding for dependent-only dental
or vision coverage and a plan provided through a party's spouse or parent
deleted text endnew text begin meeting the
definition under section 62A.011, subdivision 3, except that the exclusion of coverage
designed solely to provide dental or vision care under section 62A.011, subdivision 3,
clause (6), does not apply to the definition of health plan under this section; a group
health plan governed under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of
1974 (ERISA); a self-insured plan under sections 43A.23 to 43A.317 and 471.617; and a
policy, contract, or certificate issued by a community-integrated service network licensed
under chapter 62N
new text end.

(d) "Medical support" means providing health care coverage for a joint child by
carrying health care coverage for the joint child or by contributing to the cost of health
care coverage, public coverage, unreimbursed medical expenses, and uninsured medical
expenses of the joint child.

(e) "National medical support notice" means an administrative notice issued by the
public authority to enforce health insurance provisions of a support order in accordance
with Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 303.32, in cases where the public
authority provides support enforcement services.

(f) "Public coverage" means health care benefits provided by any form of medical
assistance under chapter 256B or MinnesotaCare under chapter 256L.

(g) "Uninsured medical expenses" means a joint child's reasonable and necessary
health-related expenses if the joint child is not covered by a health plan or public coverage
when the expenses are incurred.

(h) "Unreimbursed medical expenses" means a joint child's reasonable and necessary
health-related expenses if a joint child is covered by a health plan or public coverage and
the plan or coverage does not pay for the total cost of the expenses when the expenses
are incurred. Unreimbursed medical expenses do not include the cost of premiums.
Unreimbursed medical expenses include, but are not limited to, deductibles, co-payments,
and expenses for orthodontia, and prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses, but not
over-the-counter medications if coverage is under a health plan.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.41, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Order.

(a) A completed national medical support notice issued by the
public authority or a court order that complies with this section is a qualified medical
child support order under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
(ERISA), United States Code, title 29, section 1169(a).

(b) Every order addressing child support must state:

(1) the names, last known addresses, and Social Security numbers of the parents and
the joint child that is a subject of the order unless the court prohibits the inclusion of an
address or Social Security number and orders the parents to provide the address and Social
Security number to the administrator of the health plan;

(2) new text beginif a joint child is not presently enrolled in health care coverage, new text endwhether
appropriate health care coverage for the joint child is available and, if so, state:

(i) deleted text beginwhich parent must carrydeleted text end new text beginthe parents' responsibilities for carrying new text endhealth care
coverage;

(ii) the cost of premiums and how the cost is allocated between the parents;

deleted text begin (iii) how unreimbursed expenses will be allocated and collected by the parents;deleted text end and

deleted text begin (iv)deleted text end new text begin(iii) new text endthe circumstances, if any, under which deleted text beginthedeleted text end new text beginan new text endobligation to provide health
care coverage for the joint child will shift from one parent to the other; deleted text beginanddeleted text end

(3) if appropriate health care coverage is not available for the joint child, whether a
contribution for medical support is requireddeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; andnew text end

new text begin (4) how unreimbursed or uninsured medical expenses will be allocated between
the parents.
new text end

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.41, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Determining appropriate health care coverage.

deleted text begin(a)deleted text end In determining
whether a parent has appropriate health care coverage for the joint child, the court must
deleted text begin evaluate the health plan usingdeleted text end new text beginconsider new text endthe following factors:

deleted text begin (1) accessible coverage. Dependent health care coverage is accessible if the covered
joint child can obtain services from a health plan provider with reasonable effort by the
parent with whom the joint child resides. Health care coverage is presumed accessible if:
deleted text end

deleted text begin (i) primary care coverage is available within 30 minutes or 30 miles of the joint
child's residence and specialty care coverage is available within 60 minutes or 60 miles of
the joint child's residence;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (ii) the coverage is available through an employer and the employee can be expected
to remain employed for a reasonable amount of time; and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (iii) no preexisting conditions exist to delay coverage unduly;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (2)deleted text end new text begin(1) new text enddeleted text begincomprehensivedeleted text end new text begincomprehensiveness of health care new text endcoveragenew text begin providing
medical benefits
new text end. Dependent health care coverage new text beginproviding medical benefits new text endis presumed
comprehensive if it includes medical and hospital coverage and provides for preventive,
emergency, acute, and chronic care. If both parents have health care coverage new text beginproviding
medical benefits
new text endthat deleted text beginmeets the minimum requirementsdeleted text endnew text begin is presumed comprehensive under
this paragraph
new text end, the court must determine which deleted text beginhealth caredeleted text end new text beginparent's new text endcoverage is more
comprehensive by considering deleted text beginwhetherdeleted text end new text beginwhat other benefits are included in new text endthe coverage
deleted text begin includes:deleted text endnew text begin;new text end

deleted text begin (i) basic dental coverage;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (ii) orthodontia;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (iii) eyeglasses;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (iv) contact lenses;
deleted text end

deleted text begin (v) mental health services; or
deleted text end

deleted text begin (vi) substance abuse treatment;
deleted text end

new text begin (2) accessibility. Dependent health care coverage is accessible if the covered joint
child can obtain services from a health plan provider with reasonable effort by the parent
with whom the joint child resides. Health care coverage is presumed accessible if:
new text end

new text begin (i) primary care is available within 30 minutes or 30 miles of the joint child's
residence and specialty care is available within 60 minutes or 60 miles of the joint child's
residence;
new text end

new text begin (ii) the health care coverage is available through an employer and the employee can
be expected to remain employed for a reasonable amount of time; and
new text end

new text begin (iii) no preexisting conditions exist to unduly delay enrollment in health care
coverage;
new text end

deleted text begin (3) affordable coverage. Dependent health care coverage is affordable if it is
reasonable in cost; and
deleted text end

deleted text begin (4)deleted text end new text begin(3) new text endthe joint child's special medical needs, if anydeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; andnew text end

deleted text begin (b)deleted text end new text begin(4) affordability. Dependent health care coverage is affordable if it is reasonable
in cost.
new text endIf both parents have health care coverage available for a joint childdeleted text begin, and the
court determines under paragraph (a), clauses (1) and (2),
deleted text end that deleted text beginthe available coveragedeleted text end
is comparable with regard to deleted text beginaccessibility anddeleted text end comprehensivenessnew text begin of medical benefits,
accessibility, and the joint child's special needs
new text end, the least costly health care coverage is deleted text beginthedeleted text end
presumed new text beginto be the most new text endappropriate health care coverage for the joint child.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.41, subdivision 4, is amended to read:


Subd. 4.

Ordering health care coverage.

(a) If a joint child is presently enrolled
in health care coverage, the court must order that the parent who currently has the joint
child enrolled continue that enrollment unless the deleted text beginparentsdeleted text end new text beginparties new text endagree otherwise or a
deleted text begin parentdeleted text end new text beginparty new text endrequests a change in coverage and the court determines that other health
care coverage is more appropriate.

(b) If a joint child is not presently enrolled in health care coveragenew text begin providing medical
benefits
new text end, upon motion of a parent or the public authority, the court must determine whether
one or both parents have appropriate health care coverage new text beginproviding medical benefits new text endfor
the joint child deleted text beginand order the parent with appropriate health care coverage available to carry
the coverage for the joint child
deleted text end.

(c) If only one parent has appropriate health care coverage new text beginproviding medical
benefits
new text endavailable, the court must order that parent to carry the coverage for the joint child.

(d) If both parents have appropriate health care coverage new text beginproviding medical benefits
new text endavailable, the court must order the parent with whom the joint child resides to carry the
coverage for the joint child, unless:

(1) deleted text begineither parentdeleted text end new text begina party new text endexpresses a preference for new text beginhealth care new text endcoverage new text beginproviding
medical benefits
new text endavailable through the parent with whom the joint child does not reside;

(2) the parent with whom the joint child does not reside is already carrying
dependent health care coverage new text beginproviding medical benefits new text endfor other children and the cost
of contributing to the premiums of the other parent's coverage would cause the parent with
whom the joint child does not reside extreme hardship; or

(3) the deleted text beginparentsdeleted text end new text beginparties new text endagree new text beginas new text endto deleted text beginprovidedeleted text end new text beginwhich parent will carry health care
new text endcoverage new text beginproviding medical benefits new text endand agree on the allocation of costs.

(e) If the exception in paragraph (d), clause (1) or (2), applies, the court must
determine which parent has the most appropriate coverage new text beginproviding medical benefits
new text endavailable and order that parent to carry coverage for the joint child. deleted text beginIf the court
determines under subdivision 3, paragraph (a), clauses (1) and (2), that the parents'
health care coverage for the joint child is comparable with regard to accessibility and
comprehensiveness, the court must presume that the parent with the least costly health
care coverage to carry coverage for the joint child.
deleted text end

(f) If neither parent has appropriate health care coverage available, the court must
order the parents to:

(1) contribute toward the actual health care costs of the joint children based on
a pro rata share; or

(2) if the joint child is receiving any form of deleted text beginmedical assistance under chapter 256B
or MinnesotaCare under chapter 256L
deleted text endnew text begin public coveragenew text end, the parent with whom the joint
child does not reside shall contribute a monthly amount toward the actual cost of deleted text beginmedical
assistance under chapter 256B or MinnesotaCare under chapter 256L
deleted text endnew text begin public coveragenew text end.
The amount of deleted text begincontribution ofdeleted text end the noncustodial deleted text beginparentdeleted text end new text beginparent's contribution new text endis deleted text beginthe amount
the noncustodial parent would pay for the child's premiums if the noncustodial parent's
PICS income meets the eligibility requirements for public coverage.
deleted text endnew text begin determined by
applying the noncustodial parent's PICS to the premium schedule for public coverage. If
the noncustodial parent's PICS meets the eligibility requirements for public coverage, the
contribution is the amount the noncustodial parent would pay for the child's premium. If
the noncustodial parent's PICS exceeds the eligibility requirements for public coverage,
the contribution is the amount of the premium for the highest eligible income on the
appropriate premium schedule for public coverage.
new text end For purposes of determining the
premium amount, the noncustodial parent's household size is equal to one parent plus
the child or children who are the subject of the child support order. deleted text beginIf the noncustodial
parent's PICS income exceeds the eligibility requirements for public coverage, the court
must order the noncustodial parent's contribution toward the full premium cost of the
child's or children's coverage.
deleted text end The custodial parent's obligation is determined under the
requirements for public coverage as set forth in chapter 256B or 256L. deleted text beginThe court may
order the parent with whom the child resides to apply for public coverage for the child.
deleted text end

(g)new text begin If neither parent has appropriate health care coverage available, the court may
order the parent with whom the child resides to apply for public coverage for the child.
new text end

new text begin (h)new text end The commissioner of human services must publish a table with the premium
schedule for public coverage and update the chart for changes to the schedule by July
1 of each year.

new text begin (i) If a joint child is not presently enrolled in health care coverage providing dental
benefits, upon motion of a parent or the public authority, the court must determine whether
one or both parents have appropriate dental health care coverage for the joint child, and the
court may order a parent with appropriate dental health care coverage available to carry
the coverage for the joint child.
new text end

new text begin (j) If a joint child is not presently enrolled in available health care coverage
providing benefits other than medical benefits or dental benefits, upon motion of a parent
or the public authority, the court may determine whether that other health care coverage
for the joint child is appropriate, and the court may order a parent with that appropriate
health care coverage available to carry the coverage for the joint child.
new text end

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.41, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Medical support costs; unreimbursed and uninsured medical expenses.

(a) Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties and approved by the court, the court must
order that the cost of health care coverage and all unreimbursed and uninsured medical
expenses under the health plan be divided between the obligor and obligee based on
their proportionate share of the parties' combined monthly PICS.new text begin The amount allocated
for medical support is considered child support but is not subject to a cost-of-living
adjustment under section 518A.75.
new text end

(b) If a party owes a joint child support obligation for a child and is ordered to carry
health care coverage for the joint child, and the other party is ordered to contribute to the
carrying party's cost for coverage, the carrying party's child support payment must be
reduced by the amount of the contributing party's contribution.

(c) If a party owes a joint child support obligation for a child and is ordered to
contribute to the other party's cost for carrying health care coverage for the joint child,
the contributing party's child support payment must be increased by the amount of the
contribution.

(d) If the party ordered to carry health care coverage for the joint child already
carries dependent health care coverage for other dependents and would incur no additional
premium costs to add the joint child to the existing coverage, the court must not order the
other party to contribute to the premium costs for coverage of the joint child.

(e) If a party ordered to carry health care coverage for the joint child does not already
carry dependent health care coverage but has other dependents who may be added to the
ordered coverage, the full premium costs of the dependent health care coverage must be
allocated between the parties in proportion to the party's share of the parties' combined
PICS, unless the parties agree otherwise.

(f) If a party ordered to carry health care coverage for the joint child is required to
enroll in a health plan so that the joint child can be enrolled in dependent health care
coverage under the plan, the court must allocate the costs of the dependent health care
coverage between the parties. The costs of the health care coverage for the party ordered
to carry the coverage for the joint child must not be allocated between the parties.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.41, subdivision 12, is amended to read:


Subd. 12.

Spousal or former spousal coverage.

The court must require the parent
with whom the joint child does not reside to provide dependent health care coverage for the
benefit of the parent with whom the joint child resides if the parent new text beginwith whom the child
does not reside
new text endis ordered to provide dependent health care coverage for the parties' joint
child and adding the other parent to the coverage results in no additional premium cost.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.41, subdivision 15, is amended to read:


Subd. 15.

Enforcement.

(a) Remedies available for collecting and enforcing child
support apply to medical support.

(b) For the purpose of enforcement, the following are additional support:

(1) the costs of individual or group health or hospitalization coverage;

(2) dental coverage;

(3) medical costs ordered by the court to be paid by either party, including deleted text beginhealth
and dental insurance
deleted text end new text beginhealth care coverage new text endpremiums paid by the obligee because of the
obligor's failure to obtain coverage as ordered; and

(4) liabilities established under this subdivision.

(c) A party who fails to carry court-ordered dependent health care coverage is liable
for the joint child's uninsured medical expenses unless a court order provides otherwise.
A party's failure to carry court-ordered coverage, or to provide other medical support as
ordered, is a basis for modification of a support order under section 518A.39, subdivision 2.

(d) Payments by the health carrier or employer for services rendered to the
dependents that are directed to a party not owed reimbursement must be endorsed over
to and forwarded to the vendor or appropriate party or the public authority. A party
retaining insurance reimbursement not owed to the party is liable for the amount of the
reimbursement.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.41, subdivision 16, is amended to read:


Subd. 16.

Offset.

(a) If a party is the parent with primary physical custody as
defined in section 518A.26, subdivision 17, and is an obligor ordered to contribute to the
other party's cost for carrying health care coverage for the joint child, the other party's
child support deleted text beginobligation isdeleted text endnew text begin and spousal maintenance obligations arenew text end subject to an offset
under subdivision 5.

(b) The public authority, if the public authority provides new text beginchild support enforcement
new text endservices, may remove the offset to a party's child support obligation when:

(1) the party's court-ordered health care coverage for the joint child terminates;

(2) the party does not enroll the joint child in other health care coverage; and

(3) a modification motion is not pending.

The public authority must provide notice to the parties of the action.new text begin If neither party
requests a hearing, the public authority must remove the offset effective the first day of the
month following termination of the joint child's health care coverage.
new text end

new text begin (c) The public authority, if the public authority provides child support enforcement
services, may resume the offset when the party ordered to provide health care coverage
for the joint child has resumed the court-ordered health care coverage or enrolled the
joint child in other health care coverage. The public authority must provide notice to
the parties of the action. If neither party requests a hearing, the public authority must
resume the offset effective the first day of the month following certification that health
care coverage is in place for the joint child.
new text end

deleted text begin (c)deleted text endnew text begin (d)new text end A party may contest the public authority's action to removenew text begin or resumenew text end the
offset to the child support obligation if the party makes a written request for a hearing
within 30 days after receiving written notice. If a party makes a timely request for a
hearing, the public authority must schedule a hearing and send written notice of the
hearing to the parties by mail to the parties' last known addresses at least 14 days before
the hearing. The hearing must be conducted in district court or in the expedited child
support process if section 484.702 applies. The district court or child support magistrate
must determine whether removingnew text begin or resumingnew text end the offset is appropriate and, if appropriate,
the effective date for the removalnew text begin or resumptionnew text end.

deleted text begin (d) If the party does not request a hearing, the public authority will remove the
offset effective the first day of the month following termination of the joint child's health
care coverage.
deleted text end

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.43, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

General factors.

Among other reasons, deviation from the
presumptive child support obligation computed under section 518A.34 is intended to
encourage prompt and regular payments of child support and to prevent either parent
or the joint children from living in poverty. In addition to the child support guidelines
and other factors used to calculate the child support obligation under section 518A.34,
the court must take into consideration the following factors in setting or modifying child
support or in determining whether to deviate upward or downward from the presumptive
child support obligation:

(1) all earnings, income, circumstances, and resources of each parent, including real
and personal property, but excluding income from excess employment of the obligor or
obligee that meets the criteria of section 518A.29, paragraph (b);

(2) the extraordinary financial needs and resources, physical and emotional
condition, and educational needs of the child to be supported;

(3) the standard of living the child would enjoy if the parents were currently living
together, but recognizing that the parents now have separate households;

(4)new text begin whether the child resides in a foreign country for more than one year that has a
substantially higher or lower cost of living than this country;
new text end

new text begin (5) new text endwhich parent receives the income taxation dependency exemption and the
financial benefit the parent receives from it;

deleted text begin (5)deleted text end new text begin(6) new text endthe parents' debts as provided in subdivision 2; and

deleted text begin (6)deleted text end new text begin(7) new text endthe obligor's total payments for court-ordered child support exceed the
limitations set forth in section 571.922.

Sec. 19.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 518A.75, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Result of hearing.

If, at a hearing pursuant to this section, the obligor
establishes an insufficient cost of living or other increase in income that prevents
fulfillment of the adjusted maintenance or deleted text beginchilddeleted text end new text beginbasic new text endsupport obligation, the court or
child support magistrate may direct that all or part of the adjustment not take effect. If,
at the hearing, the obligor does not establish this insufficient increase in income, the
adjustment shall take effect as of the date it would have become effective had no hearing
been requested.

Sec. 20.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 548.091, subdivision 1a, is amended to read:


Subd. 1a.

Child support judgment by operation of law.

(a) Any payment or
installment of support required by a judgment or decree of dissolution or legal separation,
determination of parentage, an order under chapter 518C, an order under section 256.87,
or an order under section 260B.331 or 260C.331, that is not paid or withheld from the
obligor's income as required under section 518A.53, or which is ordered as child support
by judgment, decree, or order by a court in any other state, is a judgment by operation
of law on and after the date it is due, is entitled to full faith and credit in this state and
any other state, and shall be entered and docketed by the court administrator on the filing
of affidavits as provided in subdivision 2a. Except as otherwise provided by deleted text beginparagraphdeleted text endnew text begin
paragraphs
new text end (b)new text begin and (e)new text end, interest accrues from the date the unpaid amount due is greater
than the current support due at the annual rate provided in section 549.09, subdivision 1,
deleted text begin plus two percent,deleted text end not to exceed an annual rate of 18 percent. A payment or installment of
support that becomes a judgment by operation of law between the date on which a party
served notice of a motion for modification under section 518A.39, subdivision 2, and the
date of the court's order on modification may be modified under that subdivision.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 549.09, upon motion to the court and
upon proof by the obligor of 12 consecutive months of complete and timely payments
of both current support and court-ordered paybacks of a child support debt or arrearage,
the court may order interest on the remaining debt or arrearage to stop accruing. Timely
payments are those made in the month in which they are due. If, after that time, the obligor
fails to make complete and timely payments of both current support and court-ordered
paybacks of child support debt or arrearage, the public authority or the obligee may move
the court for the reinstatement of interest as of the month in which the obligor ceased
making complete and timely payments.

The court shall provide copies of all orders issued under this section to the public
authority. The state court administrator shall prepare and make available to the court and
the parties forms to be submitted by the parties in support of a motion under this paragraph.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 549.09, upon motion to the court,
the court may order interest on a child support debt or arrearage to stop accruing where
the court finds that the obligor is:

(1) unable to pay support because of a significant physical or mental disability;

(2) a recipient of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Title II Older Americans
Survivor's Disability Insurance (OASDI), other disability benefits, or public assistance
based upon need; or

(3) institutionalized or incarcerated for at least 30 days for an offense other than
nonsupport of the child or children involved, and is otherwise financially unable to pay
support.

(d) If the conditions in paragraph (c) no longer exist, upon motion to the court, the
court may order interest accrual to resume retroactively from the date of service of the
motion to resume the accrual of interest.

new text begin (e) Notwithstanding section 549.09, the public authority must suspend the charging
of interest when:
new text end

new text begin (1) the obligor makes a request to the public authority that the public authority
suspend the charging of interest;
new text end

new text begin (2) the public authority provides full IV-D child support services; and
new text end

new text begin (3) the obligor has made, through the public authority, 12 consecutive months of
complete and timely payments of both current support and court-ordered paybacks of a
child support debt or arrearage.
new text end

new text begin Timely payments are those made in the month in which they are due.
new text end

new text begin Interest charging must be suspended on the first of the month following the date of
the written notice of the public authority's action to suspend the charging of interest. If,
after interest charging has been suspended, the obligor fails to make complete and timely
payments of both current support and court-ordered paybacks of child support debt or
arrearage, the public authority may resume the charging of interest as of the first day of the
month in which the obligor ceased making complete and timely payments.
new text end

new text begin The public authority must provide written notice to the parties of the public
authority's action to suspend or resume the charging of interest. The notice must inform
the parties of the right to request a hearing to contest the public authority's action. The
notice must be sent by first class mail to the parties' last known addresses.
new text end

new text begin A party may contest the public authority's action to suspend or resume the charging
of interest if the party makes a written request for a hearing within 30 days of the date
of written notice. If a party makes a timely request for a hearing, the public authority
must schedule a hearing and send written notice of the hearing to the parties by mail to
the parties' last known addresses at least 14 days before the hearing. The hearing must be
conducted in district court or in the expedited child support process if section 484.702
applies. The district court or child support magistrate must determine whether suspending
or resuming the interest charging is appropriate and, if appropriate, the effective date.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2008.
new text end