Legislative News & Updates

Legislative News & Updates

The information below includes recent legislation of interest to family law practitioners and CFLCW members. Legislation signed into law (Acts) appear in reverse order of action - newest first. Pending legislation is listed by Bill number

Requirements for "best interest" placement - Act 37

Act 37 requires that if a court grants less than 25% of physical placement to one parent in a temporary or final order, there must be a specific finding of facts as to the reasoning why a greater amount of placement with the lesser placement time parent is not in the child’s best interest. It also reorganizes the “best-interest” factors to remove “stability in placement” and “availability of child care services,” also specifying that the factors are not listed in order of importance.

Read the entire Act Here.

Parenting Plans - Act 36

Act 36, which began as Senate Bill 107 and Assembly Bill 101, requires parties ordered to participate in mediation to submit their proposed parenting plan to the assigned mediator at least 10 days prior to the mediation session (but not with the court). This submission may be emailed to the Mediator. Sharing with the other party is optional. The bill does not modify the requirement that parties must submit a plan to the court if mediation fails or is waived.

You can access the complete Act 36 here.

Child Support Formula -Act 35

2021 Act 35, (Senate Bill 105 and Assembly Bill 104) moves the DCF child support formula for shared physical placement into a new section, and specifies that the “designated percentage” (newly defined as the percentage of parents income used for child support) that applies in a non-shared physical placement arrangement ONLY applies when shared placement conditions are not met. The bill also modifies the statute relating to family support and eliminates any future family support orders after the date of the bill’s passage.

You can see the entire Act here.

Custody/Placement Modifications Bill - Act 20

Under current law, a court cannot modify an order for legal custody or physical placement of a child that would substantially alter the child’s time with each parent within two years of the final judgment, unless custodial conditions are physically or emotionally harmful to the best interests of the child.

This Act authorizes a court to approve a stipulated agreement between the parties in an action affecting the family for modifications to legal custody or physical placement of a child upon the occurrence of life events of the adult parties or child, or developmental and educational needs of the child, that are reasonably certain to occur within two years of the date of the stipulation.

The bill authorizes the court to approve such a stipulation if it is filed in an action initially determining, modifying, or revising a legal custody and physical placement order. The bill prohibits stipulated agreements between the parties that are based on anticipated behavior modifications by a party, such as completion of an anger management course, drug or alcohol therapy, or a term of imprisonment, parole, or probation.

The legislation was created by a Legislative Council Study Committee on Child Placement and Support in 2018. CFLCW Member Tiffany Highstrom, JD of Madison served on the Study Committee.

Now Act 20 – Text available here.


Pending Legislation

AB-105 (Exclusion of certain military allowances in determining gross income for CS)

  • Summary: This bill modifies the DCF code to specify that gross income includes Veteran’s Disability Compensation benefits and military allowances, including basic allowances for subsistence and housing but not variable housing
  • Assigned Committee: Veterans and Military Affairs
  • Status: Read in for the first time on February 18, 2021, and referred to Committee on Veterans and Military

SB- 104 (Companion Bill to AB 105)

  • Assigned Committee: Human Services, Children and Family
  • Status: Read in for the third time and passed on March 16, 2021, and received from Senate on March 17

AB-103 (Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act)

  • Summary: The bill would adopt the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act. This would set a standard for temporary delegation of custodial responsibilities for parents deployed in the military or other national services not by changing the law on revising legal custody and physical placement, but offering two temporary alternatives: 1) A Temporary agreement signed by both parties that details specific arrangements for custodial responsibility or visitation, a process to resolve any dispute that may arise, and arrangements for the deploying parent's contact with the child during the deployment and while on leave; or 2) a temporary Order that grants visitation to family or parties that have a parent-like relationship with the child/ren as long as it is found in the best interest of the child. The bill applies to service members deployed between 30 days and 18 months and ends 30 days after the return of the
  • Assigned Committee: Veterans and Military Affairs
  • Status: Public hearing held on April 29

SB-108 (Companion Bill to AB-103)

  • Assigned Committee: Human Services, Children and
  • Status: Read in for the third time and passed on March 16, 2021, and received from Senate on March 17

AB-323 (Mandatory Parenting Class)*

  • Summary: This bill would require parents to attend parenting classes in all actions affecting the family, other than paternity actions. The requirement could be waived for good cause or if a parent attended a course already during the course of the proceedings or within 6 months of filing the
  • Assigned Committee: Family Law
  • Status: Read in for the first time on May 13, 2021, and referred to Committee on Family

SB-333 (Companion Bill to AB-323)*

  • Assigned Committee: Judiciary and Public
  • Status: Read in for the first time on April 28, 2021, and referred to Committee on Judiciary and Public

*The Family Law section has reaffirmed its opposition to the Bill, indicating it would cause unnecessary litigation, negatively affects lower-income families, and bifurcates family law by requiring this class for all actions affecting the family, except paternity actions.

AB-313 (Change to legal custody and physical placement factors for a child of a service member)

  • Summary: This bill would prohibit the court from denying a parent who is a service member any period of physical placement based on past or future anticipated variability of their schedule, living arrangements, or location due to service in the
  • Assigned Committee: Family Law
  • Status: Read in for the first time on May 7, 2021, and referred to Committee on Family

 

SB-197 (Companion Bill to AB-313)

  • Assigned Committee: Veterans and Military Affairs and Constitution and Federalism.
  • Status: The bill was received by the Assembly from the Senate on May 11,

AB-102 (Judicial notice of certain court records relating to domestic violence or child abuse)

  • Summary: This bill allows the court to take judicial notice of records available on CCAP relating to convictions of restraining orders between the parties and of convictions of a parent for the crime of statutory abuse committed against the other party, or the conviction of a party for a crime against a child of the
  • Assigned Committee: Judiciary, referred to Rules Committee
  • Status: Recommended passage on May 14, 2021; referred to Committee on

SB-106 (Companion Bill to AB-102)

  • Status: A public hearing was held on May 6,