senate Bill S6784A

Signed by Governor

Relates to the income amounts to be utilized in issuing orders of child support in supreme and family court

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed by Governor
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actions

  • 10 / Mar / 2014
    • REFERRED TO SOCIAL SERVICES
  • 13 / May / 2014
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO SOCIAL SERVICES
  • 13 / May / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 6784A
  • 29 / May / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.1025
  • 02 / Jun / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 03 / Jun / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 12 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • SUBSTITUTED FOR A9764
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING RULES CAL.219
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED ASSEMBLY
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 10 / Nov / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • 21 / Nov / 2014
    • SIGNED CHAP.466

Summary

Relates to the income amounts to be utilized in issuing orders of child support and temporary spousal maintenance in supreme and family court.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9764
Versions:
S6784
S6784A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §111-i, Soc Serv L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6784A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation
to income amounts to be utilized in issuing orders of child support in
supreme and family court

This is one in a series of measures being introduced at the request of
the Chief Administrative Judge upon the recommendation of her Family
Court Advisory and Rules Committee and the Matrimonial Practice
Advisory Committee.

This measure would revise the method of calculation for the State's
Child Support Standards Act.

In 2009, the Legislature enacted the Child Support Modernization Act
(L. 2009, c. 343), which, for the first time in two decades, raised
the combined parental income benchmark used to calculate child support
under the Child Support Standards Act (Family Court Act § 413).
Colloquially known as the child support "cap," the figure was raised
from $80,000 to $130,000, with a built-in mechanism for indexing and
adjusting the figure every two years depending upon changes in the
Consumer Price Index. For combined parental incomes up to the
benchmark amount, the Child Support Standards Act percentages are
presumptively applied, that is, 17% of combined parental income for
families with one child, 25% of combined income for families with two
children, 29% for three children, 31% for four children and not less
than 35% of income for five or more children. For amounts in excess of
the benchmark, which has been adjusted as of January 31, 2014 to
$141,000, the Supreme or Family Court considers the ten factors
enumerated in section 413(1)(f) of the Family Court Act and section
240(1b)(f) of the Domestic Relations Law and determine whether
application of the CSSA percentages to income in excess of that
threshold would be "unjust or inappropriate." The court may adjust its
determination based upon the ten factors or continue to apply the CSSA
percentages or may apply a combination of both approaches. See Family
Court Act § 413 (1)(c) (3); D.R.L. § 240(1-b) (c) (3).

An anomaly in the language describing the means by which the combined
parental income benchmark is calculated could lead to unforeseen
results that may be disproportionate to the actual rate of inflation.

Section 111-I of the Social Services Law provides that the combined
parental income amount in the CSSA must be adjusted every two years by
"the product of the average annual percentage changes in the consumer
price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) as published by the United
States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics for the prior
two-year period rounded to the nearest one thousand dollars." It would
be more appropriate in the CSSA to utilize the "sum," rather than the
"product" of the average annual percentage changes in the CPI-U.

Use of the term "product" was most likely intended to refer to the
product of the combined parental income "cap" multiplied by the
combined total of the changes in the CPI-U during the preceding
two-year period, that is the total level of inflation during the
applicable period. However, read literally, the current language might
be read to require the change in the first year to be multiplied by
the change in the second year. Changes in the CPI-U have been modest


for the past few years - in the 1.5 - 2.1% range - thus not causing a
major disparity in the amount of the "cap." But if the CPI-U increases
at a rate of 3.5% or higher in future years, significant disparities
would emerge. An example for each formula will suffice.

CSSA Cap: Assuming that the annual rate of change in the CPI-U over a
two-year period is 3.5%, then using the product of the changes (as
under the current statute), 3.5% times 3.5%, yields 12.25%. 12.25% of
$141,000, the 2014 "CSSA cap," is $17,272, which, rounded to the
nearest $1,000, is $17,000. The "cap" would thus be $158,000 ($141,000
plus $17,000). In contrast, using the sum of the changes, as proposed
in this measure, 3.5% plus 3.5%, yields a 7% change; 7% of $141,000 is
$9,870, or $10,000 when rounded to the nearest $1,000. The new "cap"
would thus be $151,000 - a significant $7,000 difference between the
two methods of calculation.

This measure proposes use of the sum of the average annual percentage
changes in the CPI-U for each of the two years multiplied by the
existing combined parental income "cap" and then rounded to the
nearest $1,000. This methodology will yield results reflecting the
total amount of inflation for each two-year period and will thus be
proportional to the inflation rate. Although the correct calculation
has been made for the CPI-U so far, this clarification to the statute
would help minimize any confusion or potential for miscalculation in
future years.

This measure, which would have no fiscal impact upon the State, would
take effect 90 days after it shall have become a law.

2014 Legislative History:

OCA 2014-83R Senate 6784-A (Sen. Avella) (amended and recommitted to
Social Services)

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 6784--A

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 10, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- (at request of the Office of Court Adminis-
  tration)  --  read  twice  and ordered printed, and when printed to be
  committed to the Committee on Social Services -- committee discharged,
  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended  and  recommitted  to  said
  committee

AN  ACT  to amend the social services law, in relation to income amounts
  to be utilized in issuing orders of child support in supreme and fami-
  ly court

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision 2 of section 111-i of the
social services law, as amended by chapter 343 of the laws of  2009,  is
amended to read as follows:
  (b)  The  combined  parental income amount to be reported in the child
support standards chart and utilized  in  calculating  orders  of  child
support in accordance with subparagraph two of paragraph (c) of subdivi-
sion  one  of  section four hundred thirteen of the family court act and
subparagraph two of paragraph (c) of subdivision one-b  of  section  two
hundred  forty of the domestic relations law AS OF JANUARY THIRTY-FIRST,
TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN shall be one hundred [thirty]  FORTY-ONE  thousand
dollars; provided, however, beginning January thirty-first, two thousand
[twelve]  SIXTEEN  and every two years thereafter, the combined parental
income amount shall increase by the [product] SUM of the average  annual
percentage  changes  in the consumer price index for all urban consumers
(CPI-U) as published by the United States department of labor bureau  of
labor statistics for the PRIOR two [year period] YEARS MULTIPLIED BY THE
CURRENT  COMBINED PARENTAL INCOME AMOUNT AND THEN rounded to the nearest
one thousand dollars.
  S 2.  This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after  it  shall
have become a law.


 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13712-04-4

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