Legislature(1995 - 1996)

05/01/1995 01:25 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 HB 244 - PATERNITY; CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT                               
                                                                               
 MS. STRAUBE discussed HB 244.  This is about the administrative               
 establishment of paternity.  New federal guidelines require that 75           
 percent of all child support orders be established within six                 
 months of us getting the information.  Before we can establish an             
 order, we must establish paternity.  What that really means is that           
 we have to establish paternity and establish the order within six             
 months.  Because of court backlogs, it often takes them six months            
 just to get to the paper work and to rubber stamp what we have                
 done.  Obviously we can shave off six months of the process if we             
 were able to administratively establish paternity.  We would use              
 the same standards as the court does now, and the same standards we           
 use to even send the cases to the court.  We would provide full due           
 process to those affected by the informal conference, and judicial            
 review if they so desire.  Basically, again, we are just faced with           
 a really horrible dilemma of trying to live within federal time               
 lines and the process is taking way too long.  We believe for                 
 yearly general fund investment of approximately $73,000 we can                
 bring in $850,000 per year in our share of AFDC reimbursements to             
 the state.  As far as the fiscal note goes, as usual, most of the             
 costs of our programs are paid for by the federal government.  They           
 have also been asking for states to take a look at finding any                
 administrative process that will speed up everything, as opposed to           
 having the courts do it.                                                      
                                                                               
 MS. STRAUBE explained that right now, if a child is born in                   
 wedlock, and you have the husband and wife both say that the child            
 is not the husband's, and you have a third party who says the child           
 is theirs, and they all three agree, they have to go to court right           
 now, they cannot do affidavits to change paternity.  This would               
 allow us to accept the affidavits of all three parties involved as            
 to who the real father is.  This happens often enough to be a big             
 deal.                                                                         
                                                                               
 MS. MAY added that Alaska is one of the states which has an                   
 administrative process for some portions of the child support                 
 enforcement system.  It is working quite well.  When this has been            
 discussed with obligor groups, they are in favor of having                    
 administrative establishment of paternity so that they do not have            
 to go through the court system.                                               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS made amotion to move HB 244 out of committee           
 with individual recommendations and zero fiscal notes.  Hearing no            
 objection, it was so ordered.                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects