2005 Connecticut Code - Sec. 46b-84. (Formerly Sec. 46-57). Parents\' obligation for maintenance of minor child. Order for health insurance coverage.

      Sec. 46b-84. (Formerly Sec. 46-57). Parents' obligation for maintenance of minor child. Order for health insurance coverage. (a) Upon or subsequent to the annulment or dissolution of any marriage or the entry of a decree of legal separation or divorce, the parents of a minor child of the marriage, shall maintain the child according to their respective abilities, if the child is in need of maintenance. Any postjudgment procedure afforded by chapter 906 shall be available to secure the present and future financial interests of a party in connection with a final order for the periodic payment of child support.

      (b) If there is an unmarried child of the marriage who has attained the age of eighteen, is a full-time high school student and resides with a parent, the parents shall maintain the child according to their respective abilities if the child is in need of maintenance until such time as such child completes the twelfth grade or attains the age of nineteen, whichever first occurs. The provisions of this subsection shall apply only in cases where the decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment is entered on or after July 1, 1994.

      (c) The court may make appropriate orders of support of any child with mental retardation, as defined in section 1-1g, or a mental disability or physical disability, as defined in subdivision (15) of section 46a-51, who resides with a parent and is principally dependent upon such parent for maintenance until such child attains the age of twenty-one. The child support guidelines established pursuant to section 46b-215a shall not apply to orders entered under this subsection. The provisions of this subsection shall apply only in cases where the decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment is entered on or after October 1, 1997, or where the initial support orders in actions not claiming any such decree are entered on or after October 1, 1997.

      (d) In determining whether a child is in need of maintenance and, if in need, the respective abilities of the parents to provide such maintenance and the amount thereof, the court shall consider the age, health, station, occupation, earning capacity, amount and sources of income, estate, vocational skills and employability of each of the parents, and the age, health, station, occupation, educational status and expectation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate and needs of the child.

      (e) At any time at which orders are entered in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, annulment, legal separation, custody, or support, whether before, at the time of, or after entry of a decree or judgment, if health insurance coverage for a child is ordered by the court to be maintained, the court shall provide in the order that (1) the signature of the custodial parent or custodian of the insured dependent shall constitute a valid authorization to the insurer for purposes of processing an insurance reimbursement payment to the provider of the medical services, to the custodial parent or to the custodian, (2) neither parent shall prevent or interfere with the timely processing of any insurance reimbursement claim and (3) if the parent receiving an insurance reimbursement payment is not the parent or custodian who is paying the bill for the services of the medical provider, the parent receiving such insurance reimbursement payment shall promptly pay to the parent or custodian paying such bill any insurance reimbursement for such services. For purposes of subdivision (1), the custodial parent or custodian is responsible for providing the insurer with a certified copy of the order of dissolution or other order requiring maintenance of insurance for a child provided if such custodial parent or custodian fails to provide the insurer with a copy of such order, the Commissioner of Social Services may provide the insurer with a copy of such order. Such insurer may thereafter rely on such order and is not responsible for inquiring as to the legal sufficiency of the order. The custodial parent or custodian shall be responsible for providing the insurer with a certified copy of any order which materially alters the provision of the original order with respect to the maintenance of insurance for a child. If presented with an insurance reimbursement claim signed by the custodial parent or custodian, such insurer shall reimburse the provider of the medical services, if payment is to be made to such provider under the policy, or shall otherwise reimburse the custodial parent or custodian.

      (f) After the granting of a decree annulling or dissolving the marriage or ordering a legal separation, and upon complaint or motion with order and summons made to the Superior Court by either parent or by the Commissioner of Administrative Services in any case arising under subsection (a) or (b) of this section, the court shall inquire into the child's need of maintenance and the respective abilities of the parents to supply maintenance. The court shall make and enforce the decree for the maintenance of the child as it considers just, and may direct security to be given therefor, including an order to either party to contract with a third party for periodic payments or payments contingent on a life to the other party. The court may order that a party obtain life insurance as such security unless such party proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, that such insurance is not available to such party, such party is unable to pay the cost of such insurance or such party is uninsurable. The court shall include in each support order a provision for the health care coverage of the child which provision may include an order for either parent to name any child who is subject to the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section as a beneficiary of any medical or dental insurance or benefit plan carried by such parent or available to such parent on a group basis through an employer or a union. Any such employment-based order in a IV-D support case shall be enforced using a National Medical Support Notice as provided in section 46b-88. If such insurance coverage is unavailable at reasonable cost, the provision for health care coverage may include an order for either parent to apply for and maintain coverage on behalf of the child under the HUSKY Plan, Part B. The noncustodial parent shall be ordered to apply for the HUSKY Plan, Part B only if such parent is found to have sufficient ability to pay the appropriate premium. In any IV-D support case in which the noncustodial parent is found to have insufficient ability to provide medical insurance coverage and the custodial party is the HUSKY Plan, Part A or Part B applicant, the provision for health care coverage may include an order for the noncustodial parent to pay such amount as is specified by the court or family support magistrate to the state or the custodial party, as their interests may appear, to offset the cost of any insurance payable under the HUSKY Plan, Part A or Part B. In no event may such order include payment to offset the cost of any such premium if such payment would reduce the amount of current support required under the child support guidelines.

      (g) Whenever an obligor is before the court in proceedings to establish, modify or enforce a support order, and such order is not secured by an income withholding order, the court may require the obligor to execute a bond or post other security sufficient to perform such order for support, provided the court finds that such a bond is available for purchase within the financial means of the obligor. Upon failure of such obligor to comply with such support order, the court may order the bond or the security forfeited and the proceeds thereof paid to the state in TANF cases or to the obligee in non-TANF cases. In any IV-D case in which the obligor is found by the court to owe past-due support, the court may issue an order for the periodic payment of such support or, if such obligor is not incapacitated, order such obligor to participate in work activities which may include, but shall not be limited to, job search, training, work experience and participation in the job training and retraining program established by the Labor Commissioner pursuant to section 31-3t.

      (h) In IV-D support cases, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, a copy of any support order established or modified pursuant to this section or, in the case of a motion for modification of an existing support order, a notice of determination that there should be no change in the amount of the support order, shall be provided to each party and the state case registry within fourteen days after issuance of such order or determination.

      (P.A. 73-373, S. 26; P.A. 74-169, S. 14, 18; P.A. 77-614, S. 70, 610; P.A. 78-230, S. 42, 54; P.A. 83-527, S. 2; P.A. 84-205, S. 1; 84-230; P.A. 87-207, S. 2; P.A. 89-195, S. 2; P.A. 91-4, S. 1, 2; P.A. 94-61, S. 1, 2; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-5, S. 9, 30; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1, S. 63, 130; P.A. 97-321, S. 1; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2, S. 104, 165; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7, S. 17, 38; P.A. 99-279, S. 29, 45; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7, S. 42; P.A. 03-130, S. 4; 03-202, S. 24.)

      History: P.A. 74-169 required parents to maintain child "subsequent to" as well as "upon" annulment or dissolution of marriage or separation decree and added reference to divorce; P.A. 77-614 replaced commissioner of finance and control with commissioner of administrative services; P.A. 78-230 divided section into Subsecs. and restated provisions in Subsecs. (a) and (c); Sec. 46-57 transferred to Sec. 46b-84 in 1979; P.A. 83-527 amended Subsec. (c) to provide that the court may order either party to contract with a third party for periodic payments or payments contingent on a life to the other party; P.A. 84-205 added the language concerning orders for medical or dental insurance in Subsec. (c); P.A. 84-230 inserted new Subsec. (c) re order for health insurance coverage for an insured dependent of the marriage, relettering former Subsec. (c) as (d); P.A. 87-207 amended Subsec. (c) to clarify that if the parent receiving an insurance reimbursement payment is not the parent who paid the bill, the former shall promptly pay the latter the amount of the reimbursement, and to require parents to notify insurers of any order altering responsibility for maintenance of insurance for the child; P.A. 89-195 added Subsec. (e) re authority of court to order bond or security for performance of support order and forfeiture of such bond or security and payment of proceeds; P.A. 91-4 amended Subsec. (c) by adding "or custodian" after "custodial parent"; P.A. 94-61 inserted new Subsec. (b) re support of unmarried child who has attained age of eighteen, is a full-time high school student and resides with a parent until such child completes the twelfth grade or attains age of nineteen, whichever first occurs, effective July 1, 1994; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-5 allowed the commissioner of social services to provide an insurer with a copy of the order of dissolution or other order requiring maintenance of insurance for a minor child if the custodial parent or custodian fails to provide the insurer with a copy, effective July 1, 1994; May 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-1 made technical changes in Subsecs. (d) and (e), effective July 1, 1994; P.A. 97-321 added new provisions as Subsec. (c) re order of support of child with mental retardation or mental disability residing with parent until child is twenty-one, redesignating remaining Subsecs. accordingly; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-2 amended Subsec. (g) to replace references to "AFDC" with reference to "TANF", effective July 1, 1997; June 18 Sp. Sess. P.A. 97-7 amended Subsec. (f) by requiring court to include provision for health care coverage of child in each support order, amended Subsec. (g) by changing "wage garnishment" to "income withholding order" and adding provision re IV-D cases in which obligor found to owe past-due support and added Subsec. (h) re copy of support order notification or other determination to be supplied to each party and state case registry, effective July 1, 1997; P.A. 99-279 amended Subsec. (f) by adding provisions re health care coverage under HUSKY Plan where coverage is unavailable at reasonable cost through a parent, effective July 1, 1999; May 9 Sp. Sess. P.A. 02-7 amended Subsec. (f) by adding provision re enforcement of employment-based order in a IV-D support case using a National Medical Support Notice; P.A. 03-130 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision re availability of postjudgment procedure; P.A. 03-202 amended Subsec. (f) by adding provision re order to obtain life insurance as security.

      See Sec. 17b-743 re direction that payments under support order be made to Commissioner of Administrative Services or local welfare department.

      See Sec. 17b-744 re discontinuance of such support payments to Commissioner of Administrative Services.

      See Sec. 46b-88 re National Medical Support Notice.

      See Sec. 46b-215e re institutionalized or incarcerated child support obligor.

      Annotations to former section 46-26:

      Transfer of guardianship does not release from liability of support. 3 D. 56. A wife who was granted a divorce and who was awarded custody of children cannot recover entire support of such children from husband. 22 C. 421; But see 43 C. 350, decided since change in statute. Not necessary for town to exhaust remedy provided by this section before proceeding to treat parent as pauper. 35 C. 542. When child is in custody of mother under order of court pending divorce, father's liability for support remains. 68 C. 262. Refers to children of the marriage. 134 C. 316. Court, with no basis for a finding as to ability of defendant to furnish support, could not determine the "respective abilities" of the parties. 136 C. 462. Cited. 138 C. 5. If parties have been divorced obligation of father to support child is only for such portion thereof as his ability bears to the combined ability of himself and child's mother. Id., 11. After divorce the obligation of support of a minor child or minor children of the marriage rests upon both parents according to their respective abilities. 144 C. 483. Order directing payment of support is in personam proceeding but if made against specific property of defendant within court's jurisdiction it is quasi in rem. 147 C. 238. Better practice to provide separate awards for alimony and for support of minor children. Id., 435. Cited. 153 C. 297. Court is to inquire into pecuniary abilities of parents and make such decree for maintenance of a child as it considers just. Obligation of defendant for support of minor child not terminated by Arkansas divorce of parties. 155 C. 544. It was error to permit divorced father under support order for his six children to reduce payments by one-sixth as each child reached age where decree nowhere provided for this. 156 C. 1. An order for support of minor children is not based solely on needs of children but takes into account what parent can afford to pay. Hence social security disability payments to divorcee for support of children did not excuse father from payments under court order of support. Id., 569.

      Cited. 3 CS 352; 14 CS 391; 16 CS 70. Quaere whether court in a divorce action has jurisdiction to require defendant to support adopted child. 6 CS 439. Power to amend orders for support; maintenance and education of children is complementary to that of awarding custody. 11 CS 398. Motion for support of child out of the territorial jurisdiction of the court is not an independent action but one incidental to the divorce action. 13 CS 4. "Then" means upon hearing of the complaint pending. "Thereafter made to the superior court" refers to a complaint brought as ancillary to an already decided matter and not brought to a "rule to show cause". Id., 123. In action for reimbursement for support of minor child, burden on plaintiff to show "respective abilities". 16 CS 120. Court may not award temporary maintenance pendente lite under this section. Id., 514. There is no statute of limitations on domestic judgments. The mother of a minor child is entitled to recover for support of the child from the estate of the divorced husband even though the child has died in the meantime. 17 CS 134. Cited. 26 CS 46. Additional award of $2,500 counsel fees made against defendant where payment of such fee out of award to minor child pursuant to this section would reduce award below amount necessary for maintenance of the child. 27 CS 295. Motion for temporary support and counsel fees denied as there is no statutory provision therefor. This section is in derogation of common law and must be strictly construed. 28 CS 128. Security request for wife's child support payments, denied. 29 CS 462. Support age to be twenty-one. 30 CS 49.

      Circuit court has no jurisdiction of action to recover payments made for support of minor son to former wife in compliance with superior court decree of divorce since such support matters are within continuing exclusive jurisdiction of superior court. 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 318. Cited. 6 Conn. Cir. Ct. 697.

      Annotations to former section 46-57:

      Court's conclusion that wife's departure with children was unlawful without first procuring the permission of the court is incorrect. 165 C. 735. Cited. 168 C. 264, 265. Cited. 170 C. 258, 270. Cited. 171 C. 23, 29. Cited. 176 C. 222, 224.

      Annotations to present section:

      Cited. 177 C. 47, 50. Defendant was under no statutory obligation to provide support because he was not the child's biological or adoptive father and had not been adjudged the father in a paternity proceeding or filed a formal acknowledgment of paternity. 180 C. 114, 117. Court did not exceed its authority by setting aside certain personal property for the use of the minor children. Id., 528, 532. Cited. 181 C. 145, 147; id., 463-466. Cited. 183 C. 230, 233, 234. Trial court abused its discretion in requiring the noncustodial parent to pay for private secondary schooling to which he, in good faith, objected, as being unnecessary and undesirable. Id., 253, 259-261. Cited. Id., 512, 513. Cited. 184 C. 406, 407. Subject matter jurisdiction discussed. Id., 558, 563. Cited. 187 C. 380, 383, 384. Cited. 188 C. 354, 361. Support award may not be used to disguise alimony awards to custodial parent. 190 C. 345, 347, 349. Cited. 196 C. 260, 266. Cited. 197 C. 1, 3, 5. Cited. 199 C. 287, 293. Cited. 228 C. 85, 87. Cited. 235 C. 82, 88, 89. Cited. 236 C. 582, 593, 594. Cited. 240 C. 35. Court need not make explicit reference to statutory criteria it considered in its decision resolving property and alimony disputes in dissolution of marriage action; judgment of appellate court in Coffe v. Coffe, 40 CA 178 et seq. reversed. Id., 79.

      Cited. 1 CA 686, 688. Cited. 2 CA 348, 350. Cited. 3 CA 322, 327. Cited. 5 CA 85, 88. Cited. Id., 249, 251. Cited. 10 CA 466, 471. Cited. 15 CA 292, 295. Cited. 18 CA 336, 337, 341, 344. Cited. 19 CA 146, 157. Cited. 22 CA 392, 396. Cited. 25 CA 555, 556, 558, 562. Cited. Id., 595, 597. Cited. 26 CA 174, 177. Cited. Id., 737, 739, 744-747. Cited. 27 CA 364, 365, 367. Cited. 39 CA 162, 170. Cited. 41 CA 716, 718. Cited. Id., 861, 864. Cited. 43 CA 541. Cited. Id., 575. Cited. 44 CA 605.

      Cited. 41 CS 429, 433. Cited. 42 CS 562, 566.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 196 C. 260, 263. Cited. 197 C. 1, 2, 7. Cited. 236 C. 250, 265.

      Cited. 2 CA 270, 273. Cited. 26 CA 737, 745. Cited. 33 CA 633, 645.

      Subsec. (b):

      Award of child support based on defendant's demonstrated earning capacity is appropriate especially where defendant has wilfully depleted his earnings. 180 C. 184, 189. Cited. 183 C. 230, 233. Cited. 186 C. 191, 196; Id., 311, 326, 327. Cited. 197 C. 1, 2, 5, 7. Cited. 206 C. 150, 155. Cited. 207 C. 217, 229, 232. Cited. 218 C. 467, 471.

      Cited. 2 CA 270, 273. Cited. 5 CA 85, 89. Cited. 17 CA 670, 676. Cited. 26 CA 737, 745. Cited. 43 CA 575.

      Section has a legitimate governmental purpose and any classification created by section is rationally related to such purpose and, therefore, does not violate equal protection clause of U. S. Constitution. 46 CS 553.

      Subsec. (c):

      Cited. 219 C. 703, 707.

      Cited. 20 CA 609, 610, 617, 618. Cited. 44 CA 605.

      Subsec. (d):

      "Amount and sources of income" has been consistently construed as limited to parties' available net income rather than gross income. Since trial court improperly relied on gross income in determining defendant's support obligation, all other financial orders appurtenant to the modification proceeding must fail because the child support order is entirely interwoven with such other financial orders, and trial court, on remand, must reconsider all financial orders associated with the modification. 262 C. 299.

      Cited. 31 CA 214, 220. In considering "amount and sources of income", court cannot ignore fact that defendant receives a substantial year-end bonus simply because it is not received until the following year. This provision does not require court to structure payment of alimony and child support to accommodate payor's compensation schedule. 71 CA 614.

      Subsec. (f):

      Cited. 240 C. 35.


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