Second Substitute H.B. 348

Representative Keven J. Stratton proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: Keven J. Stratton

Senate Sponsor: ____________

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill amends provisions related to the Utah Child Support Act.
             10      Highlighted Provisions:
             11          This bill:
             12          .    provides for the court to consider whether a parent was a stay-at-home parent when
             13      determining imputed income.
             14      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             15          None
             16      Other Special Clauses:
             17          None
             18      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             19      AMENDS:
             20           78B-12-203 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 41
             22      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             23          Section 1. Section 78B-12-203 is amended to read:
             24           78B-12-203. Determination of gross income -- Imputed income.
             25          (1) As used in the guidelines, "gross income" includes prospective income from any

             26      source, including earned and nonearned income sources which may include salaries, wages,
             27      commissions, royalties, bonuses, rents, gifts from anyone, prizes, dividends, severance pay,
             28      pensions, interest, trust income, alimony from previous marriages, annuities, capital gains,
             29      Social Security benefits, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment compensation,
             30      income replacement disability insurance benefits, and payments from "nonmeans-tested"
             31      government programs.
             32          (2) Income from earned income sources is limited to the equivalent of one full-time
             33      40-hour job. If and only if during the time prior to the original support order, the parent
             34      normally and consistently worked more than 40 hours at the parent's job, the court may
             35      consider this extra time as a pattern in calculating the parent's ability to provide child support.
             36          (3) Notwithstanding Subsection (1), specifically excluded from gross income are:
             37          (a) cash assistance provided under Title 35A, Chapter 3, Part 3, Family Employment
             38      Program;
             39          (b) benefits received under a housing subsidy program, the Job Training Partnership
             40      Act, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicaid, SNAP
             41      benefits, or General Assistance; and
             42          (c) other similar means-tested welfare benefits received by a parent.
             43          (4) (a) Gross income from self-employment or operation of a business shall be
             44      calculated by subtracting necessary expenses required for self-employment or business
             45      operation from gross receipts. The income and expenses from self-employment or operation of
             46      a business shall be reviewed to determine an appropriate level of gross income available to the
             47      parent to satisfy a child support award. Only those expenses necessary to allow the business to
             48      operate at a reasonable level may be deducted from gross receipts.
             49          (b) Gross income determined under this subsection may differ from the amount of
             50      business income determined for tax purposes.
             51          (5) (a) When possible, gross income should first be computed on an annual basis and
             52      then recalculated to determine the average gross monthly income.
             53          (b) Each parent shall provide verification of current income. Each parent shall provide
             54      year-to-date pay stubs or employer statements and complete copies of tax returns from at least
             55      the most recent year unless the court finds the verification is not reasonably available.
             56      Verification of income from records maintained by the Department of Workforce Services may

             57      be substituted for pay stubs, employer statements, and income tax returns.
             58          (c) Historical and current earnings shall be used to determine whether an
             59      underemployment or overemployment situation exists.
             60          (6) Gross income includes income imputed to the parent under Subsection (7).
             61          (7) (a) Income may not be imputed to a parent unless the parent stipulates to the
             62      amount imputed, the parent defaults, or, in contested cases, a hearing is held and the judge in a
             63      judicial proceeding or the presiding officer in an administrative proceeding enters findings of
             64      fact as to the evidentiary basis for the imputation.
             65          (b) If income is imputed to a parent, the income shall be based upon employment
             66      potential and probable earnings as derived from employment opportunities, work history,
             67      occupation qualifications, and prevailing earnings for persons of similar backgrounds in the
             68      community, or the median earning for persons in the same occupation in the same geographical
             69      area as found in the statistics maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
             70          (c) If a parent has no recent work history or a parent's occupation is unknown, income
             71      shall be imputed at least at the federal minimum wage for a 40-hour work week. To impute a
             72      greater income, the judge in a judicial proceeding or the presiding officer in an administrative
             73      proceeding shall enter specific findings of fact as to the evidentiary basis for the imputation.
             74          (d) Income may not be imputed if any of the following conditions exist and the
             75      condition is not of a temporary nature:
             76          (i) the reasonable costs of child care for the parents' minor children approach or equal
             77      the amount of income the custodial parent can earn;
             78          (ii) a parent is physically or mentally unable to earn minimum wage;
             79          (iii) a parent is engaged in career or occupational training to establish basic job skills;
             80      or
             81          (iv) unusual emotional or physical needs of a child require the custodial parent's
             82      presence in the home.
             83          (e) In determining whether to impute income, the court may consider whether a parent
             84      has been a stay-at-home parent for the purpose of providing care for a child during the course
             85      of the marriage.
             86          (8) (a) Gross income may not include the earnings of a minor child who is the subject
             87      of a child support award nor benefits to a minor child in the child's own right such as

             88      Supplemental Security Income.
             89          (b) Social Security benefits received by a child due to the earnings of a parent shall be
             90      credited as child support to the parent upon whose earning record it is based, by crediting the
             91      amount against the potential obligation of that parent. Other unearned income of a child may
             92      be considered as income to a parent depending upon the circumstances of each case.

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