House Bill 193 — Child support, self-employed

House Bill 193 — Child support, self-employed

by
Parrish Miller
February 21, 2021

Bill Description: House Bill 193 requires liens to be attached to business property of self-employed parents when they are delinquent in making child support payments and allows courts to audit a self-employed parent's taxes at the parent's expense.

Rating: -2

Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market?

House Bill 193 amends Section 7-1206, Idaho Code, to require liens to be attached to the business property of a "self-employed obligor" in the case of a "delinquency under a child support order."

Such liens will be attached to the "property of any business owned by such obligor"; "intellectual property owned by such obligor"; and "the obligor's share of any business or intellectual property in which the obligor has an ownership interest."

These provisions uniquely target self-employed parents and fail to recognize that seizing someone's business property is a poor response to securing the payment of an ongoing debt. Forcing businesses into insolvency is likely to lead to further delinquencies. 

(-1)

Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law? Examples include laws which discriminate or differentiate based on age, gender, or religion or which apply laws, regulations, rules, or penalties differently based on such characteristics. Conversely, does it restore or protect the principle of equal protection under the law?

House Bill 193 amends Section 32-706, Idaho Code, to allow that, "when determining the financial resources of a self-employed parent for purposes of calculating child support, whether for an initial support order or for modification of an existing support order, the court may order the self-employed parent to undergo an audit of such parent's most recent federal and state tax returns."

The bill also adds language that says, "The self-employed parent must also provide to the court a thorough accounting of the adjusted gross income of any business in which the self-employed parent has an ownership interest. The percentage of the adjusted gross income equal to the percentage of the self-employed parent's ownership interest will be considered financial resources of the self-employed parent for purposes of calculating any child support owed by the self-employed parent."

In addition to calling for intrusive and degrading audits, the new language says, "The self-employed parent is responsible for the cost of such audit." This imposition uniquely targets self-employed parents, singling them out for increased scrutiny and burdening them with additional costs. 

(-1)

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