CHAPTER 7

FORMERLY

HOUSE SUBSTITUTE NO. 1

FOR

HOUSE BILL NO. 61

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend §513(b)(10), Chapter 5, Title 13, Delaware Code, by inserting after the first sentence, the following:

Any employer who refuses to hire an obligor as a result of an attachment under this Section shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $200 for the first offense and each subsequent offense."

Section 2. Amend Section 513, Chapter 5, Title 13, Delaware Code, by adding new

subsections (c), (d), (e), and (f) of said Section as follows:

(c)(1) Where an order for child support, including orders issued prior to the effective date of this Act has been entered under this Chapter, Chapter 6 or Chapter 15 of this Title, the right of each and every child support installment or payment becomes absolute and vested upon coming due with the full force, effect and attributes of a judgment of the Family Court of the State of Delaware.

(2) Remedies available under this subsection are cumulative with any and all other remedies available to enforce a child support obligation.

(3) After receipt by the Division of Child Support Enforcement of a copy of an order of child support as set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection made payable through the Division, the Division shall promptly record all payments received and apply said payments to installment or payment amounts due and owing by the obligor in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services. Said regulations shall specifically include administrative procedures
to make technical corrections in the Division's accounting records. With regard to any order of child support made payable through the Division, the Division's records shall be presumptive of the payment or nonpayment of each installment payment.

(d)(1) The Court shall have continuing jurisdiction to modify prospectively an order of child support entered by the Court including orders issued prior to the effective date of this Act so long as the obligated parent has a duty of support under this Chapter, Chapter 6 or Chapter 15 of this Title and at least one of the parents or the child whose support is at issue resides in the State.

(2) An order of child support entered by this Court or a court of competent jurisdiction in this or any other state, including orders entered prior to the effective date of this Act, shall not be retroactively modified except with respect to any period during which there is a pending petition for prospective modification but only from the date that notice of such petition has been given to the respondent directly or through the respondent's agent.

(e) The Court shall have continuing jurisdiction to enforce an order of child support entered by the Court, including orders issued prior to the effective date of this Act, so long as the obligated parent has a duty to support the child or children under this Chapter, Chapter 6 or Chapter 15 of this Title or there are arrearages or past due amounts due and owing on such an order. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as limiting the Court's authority under Chapter 4 of this Title.

(f) "Notice" for purposes of enforcing or modifying an order of child support shall mean mailed notice mailed by certified mail return receipt requested to the last known address provided to the Court by the parties; provided, however, that where the respondent is a IV-D client as defined by regulation of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services, the Division of Child Support Enforcement shall be the appropriate agent for the receipt of any such notice."

Section 3. Amend Chapter 5, Title 13, Delaware Code by adding a new Section 517 as follows:

§517. Termination of child support.

(a) An order of current child support entered by this Court or a court of competent jurisdiction in this State shall terminate by operation of law when all minor children subject to said order have reached 18 years; provided, however, that if a child over 18 is still enrolled in high school current support shall terminate by operation of law when the child receives a high school diploma or attains the age of 19, whichever event first occurs.

(b) An order of current child support entered by this Court or a court of competent jurisdiction in this State shall terminate if custody of all children who are the subject of said order is transferred to the obligated parent pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction or the written voluntary agreement of the parents.

(c) Notwithstanding the above, the obligation for payment of arrears or past due support shall terminate by operation of law when all arrears or past due support have been paid."

Section 4. This Act shall become effective on March 31, 1987.

Approved April 10, 1987.