Florida Senate - 2017                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 702
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs
       (Campbell) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 47 - 112
    4  and insert:
    5         3.An order requiring a parent to make child support
    6  payments must be suspended in accordance with s. 61.31 while the
    7  obligor is involuntarily unemployed as a result of his or her
    8  incarceration for more than 1 year. The suspension must continue
    9  for at least 30 days after such parent is released from
   10  incarceration.
   11         Section 2. Paragraph (a) of subsection (1) and paragraph
   12  (a) of subsection (5) of section 61.14, Florida Statutes, are
   13  amended to read:
   14         61.14 Enforcement and modification of support, maintenance,
   15  or alimony agreements or orders.—
   16         (1)(a) When the parties enter into an agreement for
   17  payments for, or instead of, support, maintenance, or alimony,
   18  whether in connection with a proceeding for dissolution or
   19  separate maintenance or with any voluntary property settlement,
   20  or when a party is required by court order to make any payments,
   21  and the circumstances or the financial ability of either party
   22  changes or the child who is a beneficiary of an agreement or
   23  court order as described herein reaches majority after the
   24  execution of the agreement or the rendition of the order, either
   25  party may apply to the circuit court of the circuit in which the
   26  parties, or either of them, resided at the date of the execution
   27  of the agreement or reside at the date of the application, or in
   28  which the agreement was executed or in which the order was
   29  rendered, for an order decreasing or increasing the amount of
   30  support, maintenance, or alimony, and the court has jurisdiction
   31  to make orders as equity requires, with due regard to the
   32  changed circumstances or the financial ability of the parties or
   33  the child, decreasing, increasing, or confirming the amount of
   34  separate support, maintenance, or alimony provided for in the
   35  agreement or order. A finding that medical insurance is
   36  reasonably available or the child support guidelines schedule in
   37  s. 61.30 may constitute changed circumstances. The court shall
   38  suspend an order requiring a parent to make child support
   39  payments while that parent is involuntarily unemployed as a
   40  result of his or her incarceration for more than 1 year. The
   41  suspension must continue for at least 30 days after the parent
   42  is released from incarceration. Except as otherwise provided in
   43  s. 61.30(11)(c), the court may modify an order of support,
   44  maintenance, or alimony by increasing or decreasing the support,
   45  maintenance, or alimony retroactively to the date of the filing
   46  of the action or supplemental action for modification as equity
   47  requires, giving due regard to the changed circumstances or the
   48  financial ability of the parties or the child.
   49         (5)(a) When a court of competent jurisdiction enters an
   50  order for the payment of alimony or child support or both, the
   51  court shall make a finding of the obligor’s imputed or actual
   52  present ability to comply with the order. If the obligor
   53  subsequently fails to pay alimony or support and a contempt
   54  hearing is held, the original order of the court creates a
   55  presumption that the obligor has the present ability to pay the
   56  alimony or support and to purge himself or herself from the
   57  contempt. At the contempt hearing, the obligor shall have the
   58  burden of proof to show that he or she lacks the ability to
   59  purge himself or herself from the contempt. This presumption is
   60  adopted as a presumption under s. 90.302(2) to implement the
   61  public policy of this state that children shall be maintained
   62  from the resources of their parents and as provided for in s.
   63  409.2551, and that spouses be maintained as provided for in s.
   64  61.08. The court shall state in its order the reasons for
   65  granting or denying the contempt. The court shall deny the
   66  contempt if the obligor failed to make child support payments
   67  while he or she was involuntarily unemployed as a result of his
   68  or her incarceration lasting longer than 1 year or during the 30
   69  days after the obligor was released from incarceration.
   70         Section 3. Section 61.31, Florida Statutes, is created to
   71  read:
   72         61.31Suspension of order of child support during
   73  incarceration.—
   74         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   75         (a) “Incarcerated” includes, but is not limited to,
   76  involuntary confinement in a state prison.
   77         (b) “Suspend” means to set to $0, by operation of law
   78  pursuant to this section, the payment due on the current child
   79  support order, an arrears payment on a preexisting arrears
   80  balance, or interest on arrears created during a qualifying
   81  period of incarceration for the period during which the obligor
   82  is incarcerated.
   83         (2) An order for support of a child shall be suspended for
   84  any period exceeding 1 calendar year during which the person
   85  ordered to pay support is incarcerated, unless one of the
   86  following conditions exists:
   87         (a) The obligor has the means to make child support
   88  payments during his or her incarceration.
   89         (b) The obligor is incarcerated for an offense constituting
   90  domestic violence against the obligee parent or supported child,
   91  or for an offense that could be enjoined by a protective order,
   92  or as a result of his or her failure to comply with a court
   93  order to pay child support.
   94         (3) The Department of Corrections shall provide monthly to
   95  the state courts a file that contains information on individuals
   96  who are identified as having a child support obligation during
   97  the intake process of the state prison system. A court, or the
   98  department in a Title IV-D case, must suspend the child support
   99  obligation during the period of incarceration.
  100         (4) A child support payment that has been suspended under
  101  this section will resume on the first day of the first full
  102  month after the release of the obligor in the amount previously
  103  ordered.
  104         (5) The court or the department, as appropriate, shall
  105  notify the obligee of the suspension of child support payments
  106  during the period of incarceration.
  107         (6) If a child support order has not been entered before a
  108  parent’s incarceration, a court or the department may establish
  109  paternity of a child with an incarcerated parent but may not
  110  enter an order of child support until the obligor is released
  111  from the state prison system.
  112         (7) This section does not preclude a parent from seeking a
  113  modification of the child support order.
  114         (8) The department may adopt rules to implement and
  115  administer this section.
  116         Section 4. Present subsection (13) of section 409.2564,
  117  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (14), and new
  118  subsection (13) is added to that section, to read:
  119         409.2564 Actions for support.—
  120         (13) In cases in which the obligor is involuntarily
  121  unemployed as a result of his or her incarceration for more than
  122  1 year, the department must act in accordance with s. 61.31. The
  123  department may, upon written notice of the proposed adjustment
  124  to the obligor and obligee, administratively adjust account
  125  balances for a child support order suspended pursuant to this
  126  section if all of the following occur:
  127         (a) The agency verifies that arrears and interest have
  128  accrued in violation of this section.
  129         (b) The agency verifies that the conditions set forth in s.
  130  61.31(2) do not exist.
  131         (c) The obligor and obligee do not object within 30 days of
  132  receipt of the notice of the proposed adjustment to the
  133  administrative adjustment by the department.
  134         Section 5. This act shall take effect January 1, 2018.
  136  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  137  And the title is amended as follows:
  138         Delete line 8
  139  and insert:
  140         certain circumstances; creating s. 61.31, F.S.;
  141         defining terms; providing that an order for support of
  142         a child must be suspended under certain circumstances;
  143         providing exceptions; requiring the Department of
  144         Corrections to submit a monthly file to the state
  145         courts that identifies individuals that have child
  146         support obligations; requiring a court or the
  147         Department of Revenue to suspend the child support
  148         obligation for a specified period; requiring the
  149         notify the Department of Revenue to notify the obligee
  150         of the suspension of support payments due to the
  151         incarceration of the obligor; providing that a court
  152         or the department may establish paternity for a child
  153         with an incarcerated parent; providing that a court or
  154         the department may not establish a child support
  155         payment obligation for an incarcerated parent;
  156         amending s. 409.2564, F.S.; providing that s. 61.31,
  157         F.S. applies in Title IV-D cases; authorizing the
  158         department to administratively adjust account balances
  159         for a child support order under certain circumstances;
  160         providing an effective date.