CHAPTER 288

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 124

AS AMENDED BY

SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 2

AND HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 2

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 10, 12, 13, AND 19 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CHILD SUPPORT ORDERS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend §513 (b)(4), Title 13, Delaware Code by striking it in its entirety

and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(4) a. In alt cases brought under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651, et seq.), a copy of the Court's income withholding order shall be issued to the Division of Child Support Enforcement and shall be served by the Division by first class mail upon the obligor's employer, and any successive employer, and such service shall be as effectual for all purposes as if served by the Court.

b. In all cases brought under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, the Division shall be authorized to file the verified notice on behalf of said obligee."

Section 2. Amend §513 (b)(8), Title 13, Delaware Code by striking the comma ","

after the word "Court" and before the phrase "the employer" in the first sentence thereof and inserting between said word and phrase the following: "or copy from the Division of Child Support Enforcement,"; and by striking the last sentence of said paragraph in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following: "Upon the termination of the obligor's employment, the employer shall notify the Court, or the Division of Child Support Enforcement if the order of income withholding was served by the Division, of said termination and shall provide the Court, or the Division if the order of income withholding was served by the Division, with the obligor-employee's last known address, along with the name and address of his future employer, if known."

Section 3. Amend §513 (b)(9), Title 13, Delaware Code by adding after the word

"Court" and before the word "by" the following: "or from the Division of Child Support Enforcement".

Section 4.

(g) as follows: Amend §513, Title 13, Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subsection

"(g) Upon receipt of a written request, or a request by other electronic means where available, from the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement in any case enforced by the Division pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651, et seq.), any employer, as that term is defined in paragraph (b)(6) of this Section, and any labor organization, as that term is defined in §710 of Title 19, shall cooperate with and provide relevant employment and income information in the possession of such employer or labor organization to the Director or his or her designee for the purpose of establishing, modifying, or enforcing a child support order. Relevant employment and income information includes: whether a named person has or has not been employed by an employer or whether a named person has or has not been employed to the knowledge of the labor organization; the full namt. of the employee or member; the employee's or member's last known address; the employee's or member's date of birth; the employee's or member's social security number; all income, as that term is defined in subsection (b)(5) of this section, paid to the employee or member in the prior

and current calendar year and the employee's or member's current rate of pay; and whether dependent health insurance coverage is available to the employee or member through employment or membership in the labor organization, together with information about the name of the health care insurer and the extent of the coverage available.

(1) An employer or labor organization shall be immune from any liability for providing information pursuant to this subsection.

(2) Any employer or labor organization which fails or refuses to provide the information described in this subsection within 30 days after receipt of a request from the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement or as otherwise provided in such request shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500. For a second or subsequent offense, such employer or labor organization shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000. A fine under this section may not be suspended. If the employer or labor organization is a corporation, criminal liability shall be established pursuant to Sections 281-284 of Title I 1."

Section 5. Amend Chapter 5, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding a new §519 to

read as follows:

1519. Child support liens.

(a) Where an obligor has been ordered by the Court to pay child support and owes arrears or retroactive support in a case enforced by the Division of Child Support Enforcement pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651, et seq.), the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement may:

(I) Cause a lien for the unpaid arrears or retroactive support to be placed upon the obligor's distributive share of a decedent's estate by filing notice with the Register of Wills of the county in which the decedent's estate is being administered and by sending copies of the notice by certified or registered mail to the obligor and to the personal representative of the decedent. The notice shall contain the obligor's name and address, the obligor's social security number, if known, the name of the obligee and the amount of the arrears or retroactive support. The lien shall attach to the obligor's distributive share upon the filing of the notice of the lien with the Register of Wills. Thereafter, the personal representative of the decedent shall pay to the Director the lesser of the obligor's distributive share or the amount of the arrears or retroactive support. If the personal representative fails to pay the Director in accordance with the lien, the personal representative shall be liable on his bond to the Director, as the payee of child support obligation;

(2) Cause a lien for the unpaid arrears or retroactive support to be placed upon any claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, action or suit, at law or in equity, of the obligor by filing notice with the Prothonotary or clerk of the court in which the claim, counterclaim, cross-claim or other action or suit is pending and by sending a copy of the notice by certified or registered mail to the obligor. The notice shall contain the obligor's name and address, the obligor's social security number, if known, the name of the obligee, and the amount of arrears or retroactive support. Upon the filing of the notice, the Prothonotary or clerk of the court shall mail a copy of the notice to the obligor and to all attorneys and insurance carriers of record, if known, each of whom shall be deemed to have received the notice 5 days after the date of mailing by the Prothonotary or clerk. The lien described in this paragraph shall attach to any payment or settlement, after deducting expenses of recovery and attorneys fees, made more than 5 days after the Prothonotary or clerk mailed the notice. Any person, firm or corporation, including an insurance carrier, making any payment or settlement in full or partial satisfaction of any claim, counterclaim, cross-claim or other action or suit after the receipt of the notice of lien shall be liable to the Director, as payee of the child support order, in an amount equal to the lesser of the payment or settlement or the child support arrears or retroactive support; and the Director may enforce the child support lien in an action in the Family Court against any person, firm or corporation, including an insurance carrier, making the payment or settlement;

Cause a lien for the unpaid arrears or retroactive support to be placed upon any demand or cause of action for negligence or personal injury of the obligor by sending notice by certified or registered mail to the obligor, to the party or parties alleged to be liable to the obligor, if known, and to their attorneys of record, if known. The notice shall contain the obligor's name and address, the obligor's social security number. if known, the name of the obligee, and the amount of arrears or retroactive support. The notice shall also instruct the party to whom it is directed to deliver a copy of the notice to his insurance carrier, if any. The lien described in this paragraph shall attach to any payment or settlement, after deducting expenses of recovery and attorneys' fees, made more than five (5) days after the notice is mailed. Any person, firm or corporation, including an insurance carrier, making any payment or settlement in full or partial satisfaction of any demand or cause of action after receipt of the notice of lien shall be liable to the Director, as payee of the child support order, in an amount equal to the lesser of the payment or settlement or the child support arrears or retroactive support; and the Director may enforce the child support lien in an action in the Family Court against any person, firm or corporation, including an insurance carrier, making the payment or settlement; and

(4) Cause a lien for the unpaid arrears or retroactive support to be placed upon any workmen's compensation benefits payable to the obligor by filing notice with the Secretary of the Industrial Accident Board and by sending a copy of the notice by certified or registered mail to the obligor. The notice shall contain the obligor's name and address, the obligor's social security number, if known, the name of the obligee, and the amount of arrears or retroactive support. Upon the filing of the notice, the Secretary of the Industrial Accident Board shall mail a copy of the notice to the obligor and to all attorneys and insurance carriers of record, each of whom shall be deemed to have received the notice 5 days after the date of mailing by the Secretary. The lien described in this paragraph shall attach to any Industrial Accident Board award or any payment or settlement, after deducting expenses of recovery and attorneys fees, made more than 5 days after the Secretary of the Industrial Accident Board mailed the notice. The lien described in this paragraph shall not take priority over liens created by 19 Del C §2363. Any person, firm or corporation, including an insurance carrier, making any payment or settlement in full or partial satisfaction of any workmen's compensation claim after receipt of the notice shall be liable to the Director, as payee of the child support order, in an amount equal to the lesser of the award, payment or settlement or the child support arrears or retroactive support; and the Director may enforce the child support lien in an action in the Family Court against any person, firm or corporation, including an insurance carrier, making the payment or settlement. This paragraph shall not apply to periodic workmen's compensation payments from which child support is paid by income attachment under §513(b) of this Title;

(b) The records of the Division of Child Support Enforcement shall be presumptive evidence of the amount of any lien for unpaid arrears or retroactive support. Any person, firm or corporation, including an insurance carrier, who has received notice of any child support lien shall determine from the Division of Child Support Enforcement the amount of unpaid arrears or retroactive support owed by the obligor as of the date such party makes any payment to which a lien under this Section attaches."

Section 6. Amend §2105(a), Title 12. Delaware Code by adding a new paragraph (3)

as Ibllows and renumbering the remaining paragraphs accordingly:

"(3) Child support arrears or retroactive support due as of the date of the decedent's death;".

Section 7. Amend §2355, Title 19, Delaware Code by striking the present §2355 in

its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

§2355. Assignment of compensation prohibited; exemption from creditors' claims; child support exception.

Except for attachments pursuant to child support orders entered under Chapters 4, 5 or 6 of Title 13, claims or payment for compensation due or to become due under this chapter shall not be assignable and all compensation and claims therefor shall be exempt from all claims of creditors."

Section 8. Amend §921, Title 10, Delaware Code by adding a new paragraph (15) as

Ibllows:

"(15) Actions concerning child support liens pursuant to §519 of Title 13."

Section 9. Sections 4, 6, and 7 of this Act shall become effective upon the Act's enactment into law. All other provisions of this Act shall become effective on January 1, 1996.

Section 10. If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

Approved July 28, 1995