In a week, the Idaho Legislature will meet in special session to consider a new bill about the enforcement of child support orders in Idaho and throughout the world. The new bill is 37 pages long, but we’ve developed this analysis so you can quickly see what’s new or changed.
Q: IS THIS A TOTAL REWRITE OF SENATE BILL 1067?
A: No. Sections 1-64 of the proposal prepared for the May 18 special session are identical to the language in Senate Bill 1067 (S1067).
Q: WHAT’S NEW IN THIS DRAFT LEGISLATION?
A: Section 65 of the draft (found on pages 32 and 33) proposes a new section, Idaho Code § 10-1309, in a different chapter of Idaho Code, which principally serves to reinforce the idea that an Idaho court will not recognize or otherwise enforce an order that violates the right to due process as guaranteed by the U.S. and Idaho Constitutions.
Section 66 of the draft (found on page 33) proposes a new section, Idaho Code § 56-203F, which requires the Department of Health and Welfare to register a support order from a foreign country before taking any enforcement actions. This new section is an additional limitation intended to add a safeguard specific to international case enforcement.
Section 67 of the draft proposes an amendment to existing law, Idaho Code § 56-1003 (the new language is at the bottom of page 35 of the draft). This new paragraph stresses that the Health and Welfare director must ensure that adequate care is taken to protect non-public personal information in the Department’s possession.
Q: ARE THERE ANY OTHER CHANGES IN THIS NEW DRAFT?
A: Yes. Section 68 provides a statement of legislative intent dealing with two issues. First, it states that parents must meet their responsibilities to their children wherever they reside. Second, it again stresses that the Department of Health and Welfare is to protect the privacy and security of Idaho residents.
Section 69 requires the Executive Branch to monitor international child support cases handled under the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance and ask the federal government to opt out of that treaty on Idaho’s behalf “if at any time it appears that such proceedings are imperiling Idaho residents or affecting Idaho residents in an unjust manner.”
Q: Why are there two severability clauses (sections 64 & 70)?
A: Section 64 is part of Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) and is part of the uniform code. Section 64 applies only to Chapter 10, Title 7, Idaho Code.
Section 70 applies to the additional provisions of the draft (i.e., Sections 65 through 69).
Q: WILL PASSING THIS LEGISLATION YIELD IDAHO’S SOVEREIGNTY AND THE RIGHTS OF AMERICAN CITIZENS TO A FOREIGN COURT?
A: No. Passing this bill will not, in any way, yield jurisdiction of either U.S. or Idaho citizens or their property to any foreign court. This legislation provides that if an individual is subject to the jurisdiction of another country, and if that foreign court has jurisdiction to issue a child or family support order – then Idaho will enforce that foreign country support order only if: (i) that person subsequently moves to Idaho; and (ii) that person had a fair opportunity to defend themselves in the foreign jurisdiction.
Q: ARE THERE U.S. SUPREME COURT PRECEDENTS THAT WOULD BE VIOLATED BY PASSING THIS LEGISLATION?
A: No. The Idaho Attorney General’s Office has reviewed cases identified by critics as potential conflicts and found that the content and processes in this proposal do not violate United States Supreme Court precedent set by those cases. Both the original S1067 and this new version establish protections and standards for how child support orders are historically established and recognized across both state and international boundaries. Conforming to the requirements of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act enables states to adopt standardized procedures for child support order establishment, enforcement and modification that protect the due process rights of U.S. and Idaho citizens, protect Idaho kids, and keep noncustodial parents financially and personally responsible for their children.