SB 129
Modifies provisions relating to child custody and child support enforcement
LR Number:
Last Action:
5/12/2023 - S Bills with H Amendments
Journal Page:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2023
House Handler:

Current Bill Summary

HCS/SS/SCS/SB 129 - Under this act, the Children's Division and child placing agencies shall, whenever practicable, select either a person or agency or institution governed by persons of the same religious faith as that of the child's parents or that of the child, as described in the act, when placing a child.

This provision is identical to a provision in HCS/SS/SB 198 (2023), HCS/SS/SB 213 (2023), HB 1034 (2023), and SB 621 (2023).

This act adds a rebuttable presumption when determining child custody arrangements that an award of equal or approximately equal parenting time to each parent is in the best interests of the child. Such presumption may be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence as specified in the act, including an agreement by the parents on all issues related to custody or a finding by the court that a pattern of domestic violence has occurred. The General Assembly urges the court to enter a temporary parenting plan as soon as practicable in a manner that will best assure both parents participate in custody decisions and have frequent, continuing, and meaningful contact with their children.

This act also modifies the factors a court shall consider when awarding custody to parents, including the willingness and ability of parents to cooperate in the rearing of their child; the child's physical, emotional, educational, and other needs; the mental health or substance use history experienced by either parent; the history of domestic and child abuse of any individuals involved; the distance between the residences of the parents; and the reasonable input of the child as to the child's custodian.

These provisions are substantially similar to provisions in the truly agreed to and finally passed SS/SB 35 (2023), SB 839 (2022), SCS/SB 459 (2021) and SB 199 (2021), SB 531 (2020), SCS/HCS/HB 229 (2019), SB 14 (2019), SCS/HCS/HB 1667 (2018), SB 645 (2018), and HCS/HB 724 (2017).

This act provides that the hearings to determine whether the suspension of a business, occupational, professional, recreational, or other license is appropriate when an obligor is not in compliance with a child support order shall comply with due process and shall consider all relevant factors, including the obligor's current and past ability to pay the support, his or her need for transportation, and his or her need for the license for continued employment.

The court or the Director of the Family Support Division shall consider and issue written findings of fact and conclusions of law within 30 days of the hearing. If the court or the Director, after the hearing, determines that the obligor has not made the required payments for good cause, then the court or Director shall not issue an order suspending the license or, if an order is in place, shall stay such order.

These provisions are identical to the provisions in the truly agreed to and finally passed SS/SB 35 (2023), SB 685 (2022), SS/SB 317 (2021), SB 606 (2020), and SCS/SB 458 (2019).