Copyright © 2002, Connecticut Judicial Branch, State of Connecticut. All rights reserved.  

Post Majority Child Support

(post secondary education)

Legislative History of Public Act No. 94-61




TITLE: An Act concerning Post Majority Child Support (High School and Certain Post Secondary Education)


SUMMARY: Parents who are divorced, legally sepa­rated, or have had their marriage annulled are required to support their children, according to their ability to do so, until thc child turns 18 (the age of majority). This act requires such parents to continue, in some cases, to support their children until they turn 19 or complete high school, whichever occurs first. This obligation applies only as long as the child remains unmarried, attends high school full time, needs the support, and lives with one of the parents. And it applies only to parents whose dissolution, annulment, or separation is entered by the court after June 30,1994.




Compiler’s Note

Bill History

Testimony before Joint Committee on the Judiciary

      Oral Testimony

Sally Oldham

                  Shirley Pripstein

      Written Testimony

                  Anne Brennan Carroll

File Bill No. 399

Judiciary Committee Vote

Fiscal Impact Note (None)

Bill Analysis (None)

Schedule A (Proposed Amendment)

House Debate

House Vote

Senate Debate

Senate Vote

Summary of Public Act 94-61



Compiler’s Note


            TESTIMONY. A public hearing was held before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary on March 11, 1994 at which attorney Sally Oldham, representing the Connecticut Bar Association, and Shirley Pripstein, a family attorney from the Legal Aid Society of Hartford, spoke in favor of the bill’s passage.

In addition written testimony was offered by Anne Brennan Carroll, legislative liaison for the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (p.102).


FISCAL/BILL ANALYSIS. No fiscal note or bill analysis was prepared for this bill (p. 103).


DEBATE ON FLOOR OF THE HOUSE. Bill passed the House of Representatives on April 24th 1994 after an Amendment offered by Rep. Tulisano was withdrawn.


DEBATE ON FLOOR OF THE SENATE. The Senate passed the bill three days later. 


GOVERNOR. Public Act no. 61 was signed by the Governor on May 24 1994.


CODIFICATION. An act concerning post majority child support amended Conn. Gen. Stats. §46b-84 and was effective July 1, 1994.




COMPILER: Lawrence Cheeseman, Connecticut Judicial Branch, Law Library at Middletown, One Court Street, Middletown, CT 06457 (860) 343-6560. 

EDITOR: Donna Izbicki, Connecticut Judicial Branch, Law Library at Putnam, 155 Church Street, Putnam, CT 06260 (860) 928-3716 EMAIL



Bill History



Substitute for H.B. No. 5618 (RAISED)

Substitute Bill No. 5618

File No. 399

Roll Call Number 235

Sequence Number 284         

 House Schedule A





Introducer(s):   Judiciary





Statement of Purpose: To expand the jurisdiction of the superior court to order child support for certain high school students and support and educational expenses for certain post secondary education.




03-11 PUBLIC HEARING 03/18 (PH0318)





04-13 FAV. RPT., TAB. FOR CAL. HO.

04-13 FILE NO. 399



04-23 FAV. RPT., TAB. FOR CAL., SEN.









Public Hearings

March 18, 1994



CITE AS: Conn. Joint Standing Committee Hearings, Judiciary, Pt. 4, 1994 Sess., p. ____.



REP. TULISANO:  Thank you. Any questions? Thank you, Bill. Sally Oldham.


SALLY OLDHAM:  Good afternoon, Representative Tulisano and members of the Committee. My name is Sally Oldham and I’m here today representing the Connecticut Bar Association and to the post majority child support committee of which I’ve been chairman for the last year and a half, which is a subcommittee of the family law section of the bar association.


I’d like to thank you for giving me the time and opportunity to speak to you today on behalf of the HB5618.


The purpose of this bill, HB5618 is AN ACT CONCERNING POST MAJORITY CHILD SUPPORT. The purpose of the bill is to expand the jurisdiction of the superior court so that in appropriate circumstances it may impose an obligation on either parent to provide financial support to their children after they reach their 18th birthday.


As our written testimony details, children of divorced families received less support after age 18 than do children of intact families. Forty-eight states provide for some form of post majority support.


REP. TULISANO: Only in divorce cases?


SALLY OLDHAM: Only in divorce cases. Post majority support can be provided in ways which are constitutional and that’s been tested in other states and found to be no violation of the equal protection clause or the due process clause. And our proposal is specifically and intentionally narrow in scope.


Under current law, a parent of a child who will not graduate from high school until he or she is 19, has no legal obligation to support that child after his 18th birthday. Yet most children of intact families receive support through high school graduation.




Similarly, middle class and well to do noncustodial parents who but for the divorce, would make the necessary sacrifices to insure that their child receives further training or education beyond high school, can and often do refuse to contribute any financial support once the child turns 18.


As a result, custodial parents, most often mothers, routinely support their children after the age of 18, despite the pervasive judicial fiction that a child is emancipated and capable of providing for him or herself on his or her 18th birthday.


Many other parents sacrifice property awards at the time of the divorce to obtain a contractual commitment from the primary wage earner that he or she will pay for college or further educational training.


Although this commitment is then enforceable by the courts in Connecticut, absent such a contract, the court is powerless to obligate either parent to make a fair contribution to their child’s support after age 18.


What we have proposed is intentionally narrow in scope. It seeks to put the children of divorced families on a more equal footing with children of intact families. The proposed revisions address two separate situations.


In the first instance, they provide that the parents of a child through age 19 or graduation from high school, whichever comes first, shall provide maintenance and support for that child.


It’s increasingly common that children do not graduate from high school until well after their 18th or even 19th birthday. In addition, an individual who lacks a high school diploma in this country today, is both socially stigmatized and vocationally handicapped. We believe every child should be entitled to support until this milestone is achieved.


This provision, this part of the proposed revision, amendment to the child support statute, would be mandatory.




The second, which is discretionary, would give the superior court jurisdiction to in certain limited, but appropriate circumstances, order one or both parents to support a child over the age of 18 as long as that child is financially dependent, domiciled with a parent, and pursuing some sort of post secondary school training or education.


The goal of this type of post majority support is not to make wholesale awards of tuition, but to replicate as closely as possible the decisions anintact family would make.


I think it’s important to stress that this provision is, would purely be discretionary on the part of the judge, but right now even where both parents are making very substantial incomes, the court has no jurisdiction to make any orders withrespect to support of that child after the 18th birthday.


The family law section of the Connecticut Bar Association has met over the last year and a half and studied and researched this problem and has given very careful consideration to the specific language of the proposed amendment. We’ve reviewed the statutes of all 50 states and researched the applicable case law, much a summary of our findings is provided in the written testimony that’s been given to each of you.


The proposed amendments intentionally use general language so that the judge will have discretion to make awards that are reasonable under all the circumstances. The Committee felt that it was necessary to permit sufficient judicial discretion because there are numerous scenarios which cannot be anticipated in a statute like this.


The increased discretion provided to the court will not unduly increase the burdens already placed on the court because they are already engaged in factfinding, particularly on the issues of asset valuation, income, and ability to pay child support. Instead, the proposed amendments merely broaden the authority of the court by giving it the discretion it needs to fashion fair and equitable orders.





In determining the scope of who may be eligible for post majority support while pursuing an education or training, the Committee chose to follow language in the Massachusetts statute which was enacted several years ago and has been used without difficulty in Massachusetts. That requires that the adult child be principally dependent on a parent due to enrollment in an educational program.


The statute is intended to address only dependent children. It’s not intended to provide support orders where a child is married or emancipated, or where the child has abandoned the family. The Committee opted to omit any requirement that a child be a full-time student, believing that the language principally dependent on a parent due to enrollment in an educational program will cover full-time students and other circumstances where awards of support may be appropriate. Again, that would be on a case by case basis by the judge.


Likewise, we refrain from including any language about the relationship between the child and his or her parent due to concern that such definition would create more problems than it would solve on the issues of emancipation or estrangement.


REP. TULISANO: Could you repeat that please?


SALLY OLDHAM: We refrain from including any language about the nature of the relationship between the parent and the child. The child can’t be estranged, or must be in good standing or the parent has to have a reasonable relationship with the child. Other states have played with language like that and have just had all kinds of litigation about it.


REP. TULISANO: But they haven’t repealed it?




REP. TULISANO: There were 40 states that have that kind of language. How many states are like Massachusetts?




SALLY OLDHAM:  There are 5 other states like Massachusetts that have a specific statute and there are a number of other, I’m not exactly certain of the number. New York is included, which permit post majority support for education by case law.


REP. TULISANO:  Wait a minute. (inaudible) some 40 odd states have post--


SALLY OLDHAM: Have some form of post majority support.


REP. TULISANO: Are most of them through high school?


SALLY OLDHAM: The vast majority of those are through high school, or age 19.


REP. TULISANO:  The vast majority of the 40 some odd states are finishing school at high school level and are not post majority support until say, 23 years old which I think the Massachusetts law is, is that correct?


SALLY OLDHAM: That’s correct. It’s correct that the Massachusetts law –


REP. TULISANO: And isn’t it true that only 3 states allow support while the child decides to pursue higher education.


SALLY OLDHAM:  I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.


REP. TULISANO:  Three states.


SALLY OLDHAM:  Three states?


REP. TULISANO:  Yeah, pursuing higher education is a statutory rule?


SALLY OLDHAM: No, I believe that there are 5 states. They are Illinois, Colorado, no, I’m sorry. Illinois, Colorado, Oregon, Iowa, Massachusetts. Those are all by statute. And in New York it’s by case law. And states like Washington have just changed the minority, the child support statute to say, instead of a minor child, a dependent child and case law is developing.



REP. TULISANO:  Well, who determines the dependence, the child or the parent?


SALLY OLDHAM:  What we --


REP. TULISANO: What makes a child dependent? He’s decided not to go to work and go to school?


SALLY OLDHAM:  Well, what we’ve proposed here is that in the first place, only a parent can bring an action for this type of support. So the child has no right to go into court and ask for this kind of support.


And the second thing that we’ve done hereis, we’velimited the circumstances in which a parent would be required to pay support for a child after the age of 18, to circumstances where that child is pursuing some sort of either their high school education or some sort of post secondary education.


REP. TULISANO:  Let me tell you my problem. When I went to college, my father says, you’ve got to go to work, I can’t afford it. Under your rule, if he divorced my mother, my mother could then sue him to get me the education. But we stayed together as a happy family giving me, the first person who testified here, a good fatherly loving care and concern, but he couldn’t afford to send me to college, too bad. Right?


We’d like to treat the children of divorced parents better than the children of families that are united?


SALLY OLDHAM:  What we are proposing is to remedy a situation where the children of divorce are not getting what most children in most intact families are getting. That’s not to say there aren’t exceptions on both sides.


REP. TULISANO:  They will be entitled to get it then. We’re giving them a methodology by which they may receive court ordered sanctions to obtain support, or post, that other kids may not be entitled to get.




SALLY OLDHAM:  What we’ve proposed is that the court would have the jurisdiction if it found that the parents had the resources.


REP. TULISANO:  I understand that. I’m worried about parents who have the resources who are united and won’t take care of their kids. Why are we setting up a distinction between kids?


SALLY OLDHAM:  There already exists a distinction to some degree between the children in intact families and the children in divorced families.


REP. TULISANO:  What’s that. Post 18.


SALLY OLDHAM:  Well, if you take children at any age in a divorced family, for example, in a married family, the parents may decide they can’t afford health insurance and the court has no authority to order them to maintain health insurance for those children. The children are not entitled to health insurance.  –

If the parents go into the divorce –


REP. TULISANO: But the statute says they have to provide medical care, right, though? Not health insurance, but medical care.


SALLY OLDHAM:  That’s right, but if they go into the divorce court, then that same family that has no, that has made the decision not to have health insurance may be ordered by the court to provide medical insurance that would cover those children.


And what the statistics are showing now with children of divorce is that a very large percentage of them are not going on to college, are dropping out of high school, have lower expectations of themselves and for their futures than their peers who are from intact families. And in fact, they get less (inaudible)


REP. TULISANO:  You still haven’t answered my question. How about the kids from an intact family whose parents say, I’m not going to pay it.


SALLY OLDHAM:   You’re absolutely eight. That’s a very good point. There are some parents --




REP. TULISANO:  So why not raise the whole age of majority to 21?


SALLY OLDHAM:  Well, then what you’d have is a situation, I believe, where –


REP. TULISANO: Then you won’t have any prob1ems about going to jail at 18 and all these other issues they keep raising. Everybody’s 21. They’re either a kid or an adult.




REP. TULISANO:  It makes sense not to drink until 21 then.


SALLY OLDHAM:  The difference between just raising the age to 21 and what the amended HB5618 is, that under HB5618 as we’ve amended it, or proposed the amendment, you would not have, there would be no ability for the court to order a parent to support a child who is 18, graduated from high school and just goofing off, hanging out around the house and saying, I’m dependent, you have to support me.


With the proposal that we’ve put together, the court wouldn’t be able to order support under those circumstances. If you raised the age of majority to 21, you would be able to. The court would have authority to do that if they felt that it was appropriate under the circumstances.


REP. TULISANO:  At least we’d treat everybody fair. We’d treat everybody fair. Everybody gets treated to the same law.


SALLY OLDHAM:  I think you’re raising a very interesting point that’s been addressed in other states with the equal protection argument. And basically, as I understand what you’re raising is a question of whether we’ve created two separate classes of people and whether it’s fair to treat them separately.


REP. TULISANO:  I’ve got another question. If we did this, how would it affect the guidelines?




SALLY OLDHAM:  The guidelines, in the proposal it’s stated that the guidelines would not apply to the provisions for the support after –


REP. TULISANO: My assumption is that especially, Connecticut, where the guidelines do not match the 40 something other states either. They have built in there the presumption that the custodial parent may be saving part of that money for future educational purposes. We’re going to reduce the guidelines while they’re young.


SALLY OLDHAM:  No, the guidelines would apply as they exist through the age 19 or graduation from high school support and then after that the guidelines would not apply to the consideration of whether the parents could pay the support past 18.


REP. TULISANO: I guess I say, the guidelines supposedly say that it includes adequate income for saving money for college. That’s what they do now. They try to make like you’re an intact family. Now that includes money saving for college like the intact family does.


Now if you’re going to say later on you’re going to have to pay support then I guess we’ve got to reduce the guidelines. We wouldn’t want that, I understand where you’re coming from.


SALLY OLDHAM:  I understand whereyou’re coming from.


REP. TULISANO:  Logic is beyond us in this business, I know.


SALLY OLDHAM:  I think the problem is that there are people who may be saving that money for support, for the college education at some later point.


REP. TULISANO:  But isn’t that what the people with the same income are doing when they’re married?


SALLY OLDHAM:  It may be.


REP. TULISANO:  Or they’re not sending them to college. They haven’t done it, they couldn’t do it. I don’t presume that people can afford to do that. Don’t misunderstand me, intact or not intact.



SALLY OLDHAM:  Absolutely. But that wouldn’t change with this proposal because the court would still have to make that determination if the court felt that the family had no ability to pay for it then there wouldn’t be no orders. It wouldn’t be appropriate, it wouldn’t be an appropriate circumstance.


REP. TULISANO:  Representative Radcliffe.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  I think I have basically the same line of question. You said earlier that a child wouldn’t have, or an 18 year old or a 19 year old wouldn’t be able to go into court and seek this type of money. The money would have to be sought on behalf of the 18 or 19 year old student by the parent, is that right?


SALLY OLDHAM:  That’s correct. The parent, if you’ll look to paragraph f of the proposed revision, it says the application for post majority support and education expenses may be made only by a parent and may be made before or after a child has attained the age of majority.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  Alright. Then let’s say that one parent is a noncustodial parent, we’ll call it a he for the sake of argument, is a noncustodial parent. The custodial parent, she, doesn’t want to provide for the college education of an offspring, for whatever reason. Would he, the noncustodial parenthave standing to raise that issue?




REP. RADCLIFFE:  Okay. But the child himself or herself wouldn’t be able to do that. It would have to be done through a parent.




REP. RADCLIFFE:  Presently, and we have testimony here all of the time on this subject. Presently, there’s no provision to account for the use of child support. I take it this would be paid in the nature of child support. It would not be deductible by the party paying it. It would be




includable, might be includable for income purposes. I don’t think it would be by the party receiving it.


Are we going to have a provision where this money, if it’s for post secondary education, is going to be accounted for?


SALLY OLDHAM:  That’s an interesting concept that the Committee had not looked at. The way it’s--


REP. RADCLIFFE: Is it unrealistic?


SALLY OLDHAM:  No, I think it’s a very good point.


 REP. RADCLIFFE: Oh, okay.


SALLY OLDHAM:  They say it’s worked in Massachusetts, I know is that the orders have been in some cases, for support that’s, continuation of the child support, $100 a week or whatever it was to the custodial parent and possibly payment directly to a college or a vocational school on behalf of the child.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  Under our existing laws, if it were child support and were paid to the custodial parent for a minute, we’ll call the custodial parent he. And she paid this money so that their offspring would receive an education and he decided to useit and go to Europe. That wouldn’t be illegal, would it?


SALLY OLDHAM:  There’s nothing in our proposed--There’s nothing in our proposed amendment that would address that. I don’t think people would have any difficulty with any kind of revision that would incorporate that. I think in terms of the taxability, it would still be child support, which would not be taxable to the recipient.




SALLY OLDHAM:  Does that answer your question?d


REP. RADCLIFFE:  It does. How about some year if this Legislature, or other Legislature passed a law for deduction of tuition. Would it be deductible as payment of tuition?




SALLY OLDHAM:  Those are questions of federal tax law. It would depend on how the federal tax code, you know, wanted to --


(Gap in cassette switching 3a to 3b)


REP. RADCLIFFE: --  the money going for the purpose intended. It’s sort of curious in these bills, I don’t know how you’d write it otherwise, but in looking at this, the, I’ll say the child, the youngadult, the 18 year old adult who has attained the age of majority and is seeking post secondary education has no standing to raise this issue on his or her own. To go into court, to file an appearance, to have counsel, argue that perhaps under these circumstances that since both mommy and daddy can well afford to send me to college, that they ought to have to do that, and neither one of them wants to. Under those circumstances, thatparticular offspring would have no standing to raise that issue and the court couldn’t order post majority child support. Is that right?


SALLY OLDHAM:  That’s correct.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  All right, but where one of the two parents says, gee, you know, I think this would be a good idea, then it would be okay. What’s the basis for the --  is there a rational basis for that distinction?


SALLY OLDHAM:  The thinking of the committee that looked into this was that we’re trying to avoid making a child a party to what is essentially a dissolution of marriage action or a paternity support action. That would be a major substantive change in the way the law is currently handled and we did not want to step into that.


There are obviously some disadvantages to it both ways, but we felt that on balance, the better course was to not make a child a party to the parents’ action and to leave it up to the parents and the judge and the judge would have discretion to fashion the orders in such a way, possibly incorporating accountability, incorporating direct payments so that it doesn’t go into hands of the child.




REP. RADCLIFFE:  Under our existing law, could a judge order that money be paid directly to aninstitution of higher learning and not to the custodial parent?


SALLY OLDHAM:  I don’t think so. Not for the benefit of any child over the age of 18.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  Well, how about if, for example, the age of majority were raised to 21? Would a judge’s part of an order have the authority to order under those circumstances payments be made directly to an institution if those payments were for child support?


SALLY OLDHAM:  Judges do make orders, for example, that payments be made directly to prep schools on behalf of a child in certain cases. I assume that that could continue.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  All right. You’ve got two provisions of this bill, really. The first paragraph, dealing with someone through high school who may have his or her 18th birthday in March and you want to make certain that there’s a right to receive --  continue to receive food and clothing and shelter through at least graduation from high school.




REP. RADCLIFFE:  That, you know, that seems to have some sort of reasonable basis.


SALLY OLDHAM: I think, if I may, one of the other things that’s happened is that children are being held out of kindergarten for a year more often at the early end, which has the result that they sometimes turn 18 in their junior year of high school.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  All right.


SALLY OLDHAM:  So there are more and more children in that category who are 18, but have not graduated from high school.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  And you have a 19 year old, 19 is the age for the cutoff in this situation too.




SALLY OLDHAM: Nineteen or graduation from high school, whichever should come first.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  All right. But the second section with post secondary education, there’s no -- right at this particular point to order that support. How are attorneys who deal in the domestic relations area, and I admit I don’t have a great deal of experience there, how are they dealing with that now? Are they dealing with it through lump sum allocation or child support? Are they dealing with it through lump sum --? How are they dealing with that now in terms of agreements?


SALLY OLDHAM:  I think the reason we appointed a committee to do this, to study this was because it’s being handled in a number of different ways and it’s an area of great frustration to the family law practitioners and many times it’s negotiated and if the parties agree and have a separation agreement, then it can become an order of the court.


If it’s --  you know, that’s just a contractual agreement that the court then can enforce. If they don’t agree, it often becomes a major bargaining chip and sometimes people will trade the non-wage earning spouse will trade some sort of, you know, security for him or herself to get an agreement if they can.


REP. TULISANO:  Why should we be taking their chip away? What you’re really asking is (inaudible) sides on the fight between the two parents, aren’t you?


SALLY OLDHAM:  I’m not sure I see it the same way. I think it’s an effort to level the playing field a bit for the parties.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  Now the other thing I see here in Section B, maybe it wasn’t intentional. It talks about an undergraduate educational or vocational training program. Now for a lot of my constituents in Trumbull, that would have great appeal because most would be looking to an undergraduate institutional or a vocational training program, but how about the 19 year old who says I’d like to be set up in business. I’d like to go into business.




I’d like to open up a grocery store. I’d like to work in a gas station and get a dealers and repairers license.


That’s not in here. Is there something intrinsically more worthy of an -- foran individual to go to anundergraduate educational vocational-technical school, that an individual to go into business?


SALLY OLDHAM:  I don’t think anyone could argue that there’s nothing intrinsically one way or the other more valuable about that. I think the --.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  But doesn’t this have a certain snob appeal? It’s okay to use it for education, but not to go to work?


SALLY OLDHAM:  I think the question is, is the child financially dependent and there’s a question between -- there’s a distinction between physical maturation and financial independence and a child at 18, you know, may not be financially independent, but a child at 18 who is ready to go into business may be able to support him or herself.


REP.RADCLIFFE:  Don’t send me to Yale. Set me up in a business because I’m going to do dog grooming. Now the way this bill is written, the parent could havean obligation to send the offspring to Yale, but not to set him up in a business to do dog grooming. Doesn’t that have a certain snob appeal. You’re saying the education at Yale, we’re making a value judgment, is worthy of special consideration in this bill, but the person who wants to set up a shop and do dog grooming, that isn’t entitled to the same special consideration. Why?


SALLY OLDHAM:  I see what you’re trying to say. I think that what we were trying to say is that children from divorced families are not getting a fair shake when it comes to support after age 18. They’re not getting the same level of support that children in intact families are.




REP. RADCLIFFE:  They’re both the subject of the divorced family, both the person who wants to go to Yale and the person who wants to open up a dog grooming establishment down the street. They both have that same disadvantage. You’re going to take care of one and not the other. Why?


SALLY OLDHAM:  I think the people who would put someone, start someone in business, it’sa whole different category. Parents don’t generally do that.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  Why because upper middle class people don’t go into business, they go to college?


SALLY OLDHAM:  No, but I think that it’s not something that is part of their educational training. It’spart of what we, as a society, say is a necessary step in getting on with your educational training, to be set up in business at age 19, whereas, to get a college degree, to get a vocational degree, to get some sort of specific on—the—job training at the beauty school for a year, which will put you into a position where you can start earning money, that is something that we, as a society say, we usually do for our children.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  We are saying that we put a greater value on a post—secondary education than we do on an individual who may want to open up a landscaping business and cut lawns.


SALLY OLDHAM:  I think we’re just saying that to put someone up in business is not a question of child support. You know, that’s a businessdecision or an investment decision that a family might make.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  All right, and he can go out and get a loan and do that, too, right? Without necessarily the parents. Right?




REP. RADCLIFFE:  Well, why can’t the child who wants to go to college do the same thing?


SALLY OLDHAM:  Well, one of the problems --.




REP. RADCLIFFE:  Once again, they’re similarly situated.


SALLY OLDHAM:  Well, one of the problems for children of divorced parents is in terms of getting loans is that the financial aid offices want information and get information from both parents and may disqualify a child for financial aid on the basis of a parent’s income even though that parent is unwilling to support or contribute to the education or training and the court has no authority to order that parent to pay.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  Incidentally, I think the members of this committee also see this problem that you’re bringing up, but any statute in this area ought to be very carefully drafted so that a lot of these abuses, which I think we see can occur, particularly a custodial parent obtaining money and then not forwarding it to the required institution or calling it child support in that area, this could be a serious problem for any attempt.


Now do you know how that’s been dealt with in other states? How, for example, does the Family Court in Massachusetts, if in fact they have a separate Family Court and I don’t know.


SALLY OLDHAM:  It’s through the Probate Court in Massachusetts, but --.


REP. RADCLIFFE:  How does the Probate Court handle that type of administrative problem?


SALLY OLDHAM:  That I don’t know. I just --.


REP. TULISANO: Do you know where welfare cuts off in Connecticut?






SALLY OLDHAM:  Or as long as they’re still in school.


REP. TULISANO:  High school or post-graduate?


SALLY OLDHAM:  High school.




REP. TULISANO: Now we’re going to have that problem, right? So the is dragged into going to school and he comes from a poor family, he doesn’t get the help of the state even.


:  Or she.


REP. TULISANO:  He --  that’s like that “guys,” remember, “guys” is a generic word now. Someone told me that.


SALLY OLDHAM: We have talked to the --  we specifically did not address children with disabilities and we have specifically added --  have language --.


REP. TULISANO:  I’m talking about poverty. I mean I have this instinct, just like Mr. Radcliffe does. This is a upper white middle class bill, again, and real people ain’t getting the good shake and we don’t really care. That’s my gut reaction to that. Now tell me something, how does it deal with participation of the parents in school choice, maintenance of good grades? I mean if I were -- I’m going to tell my kid, listen, you’re doing pretty good, you’re not screwing around. I’m paying. You aren’t. You’re on your own.


SALLY OLDHAM:  The way other courts and other states have dealt with that is just on a case-by-case basis and if the child is screwing around or not doing his --.


REP. TULISANO:  They can go to court and fight about it.


SALLY OLDHAM: They can go to court and fight about it.


REP. TULISANO: We’re really not treating the children of divorced parents the same as we treat --  parents have much more say --.


SALLY OLDHAM:  In an intact family?




SALLY OLDHAM: I think that’s correct. I think what happens when they get divorced is --.




REP.TULISANO:  Now we’re equalizing it and going a little beyond it. Right?


SALLY OLDHAM:  No, I think what happens is that when parents get divorced, the local parentis transfers to the court. The parents lose certain ability to make decisions on their own. The court steps in and is interfering and has an interest and if that cuts off at 18, then we can’t replicate what  --.


REP. TULISANO: (inaudible) the dollars, I think. Not as to discipline, not as to leverage.


SALLY OLDHAM:  We’re only talking about dollars here with child support is what we’re trying to do.


REP. TULISANO:  We’re talking about getting an education, how I leverage themto do it right. I’ll pay for this. I’ll give you this if you do that. That’s the real world. How do you do that in this situation?




REP. TULISANO:  Maybe I’m not real world as a parent. I understand that.


SALLY OLDHAM:  No, I wouldn’t suggest that.


REP. TULISANO:  He usually does. He keeps telling me it’s 1990.


SALLY OLDHAM:  I think that it has to be done on a case-by-case basis and I think it is being done when the children are under age 18, should the child go to this school or that school. If the parents disagree, the court steps in. The court is involved in those decisions.


REP. TULISANO:  Okay, thank you.


SALLY OLDHAM:  Thank you.


REP. TULISANO:   You’ve done great. We’ll admit you to this bar. David Kahl.


Testimony of Shirley Pripstein



SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Good evening, Representative Lawlor. My name is Shirley Pripstein, I am the Family Law Attorney from the Legal Aid Society of Hartford. I have been a family law attorney for 14 years. I sit as the Special Master in Hartford and have since the inception of the program in 1986 and I am on the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association and I am speaking to you on several bills.


First, HB5618, the bill on majority support, Legal Aid Society supports that bill. I did sit on the executive committee which passed it and did vote in favor of it. It does, at least in section 1, I know that it has been referred to as a wealthy person’s bill, but certainly in Section 1 in terms of post—support through age 19 for high school students, I don’t think it is a wealthy person’s bill at all, I think it is a poor person’s bill and I would urge the Committee to enact at least that portion of the bill even though I know there are significant opposition to the second part. I would urge at least passage of that first part.


* * * *



[testimony on other bills]



REP. WOLLENBERG:  I hear you. Because you do a lot of this work, let me ask you, did you testify on the bill about payment for support after l8?


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  We support it.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  You would support it?


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  We support it. I was here previously and I heard some of the criticism, I think, by Representative Radcliffe, that it was the




wealthy person’s bill. Legal Aid Society doesn’t think of it as a wealthy person’s bill. I think there are a lot of situations . . . .


REP. WOLLENBERG:  I wouldn’t say that, but I would ask you, if I stay married I don’t have to do those things for my child. But if I get divorced I have to do them and that doesn’t make any sense to me.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  In either case do you have to? In the case.. .in neither case do you have to if you stay married the likelihood is that you will.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  Why do you say that?


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  I think in most cases, an intact family, I think the parents will want to do for their children.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  There are a lot of families that aren’t divorced that aren’t necessarily on all fours with paying for Johnny to go to college.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  I know but the majority of cases they do.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  I am talking about...maybe it becomes a rich man’s bill because if there is plenty of dough we send him to college and we even pay after he is 18 if we are divorced, there is a support matter we pay.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Unfortunately, the reason for the bill is what happens is in so many of the cases we see that if the divorce occurs when the children are at a younger age in many cases usually the father, but not necessarily, but usually, will not pay for the college education and the court can’t order him to do that and what you end up with is abargaining chip situation where the wife wants to secure the college education and winds up bargaining away what she would get otherwise in terms of current child support and alimony or anorder related to . . . .


REP. WOLLENBERG:  . . . Sure, that’s what the whole thing is, a give and take. You know, two years later you find . . . .




SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  If the court had the authority to order post-support for college education there wouldn’t be, it would be ordered in those caseswhere the financial circumstances were there. The common order that the divorce attorneys get in the wealthy cases, and I know this not because I do those cases, but because I sit as a special Master, so I know how those cases come in. The parents will pay for the college education in proportion to their income. That’s the common order that goes in the agreements and I would expect...


REP. WOLLENBERG:  But that’s the magic word, agreement.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  But the court should have the authority to make the order that the parents would pay in proportion to the income, it would be an equal burden on each parent.


REP.WOLLENBERG:  But if I stay married no court, no one can tell me that I have to pay for that kid’s college education.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEN:  That’s correct.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  So, I’ll work it out, I’ll live in California for a few months, I’ll play around for three years until he gets out and this is an invasion, to me, of rights. If we want to make it 21 then he has to pay, I have no problem with that.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEN: Representative Wollenberg, the bill has two parts, one has to do with the college education, the other has to do with support to age19 as long as the child is in high school.


REP. WOLLENBERG: They do that anyway, you know that for years.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEN:   Well, we don’t in family court.


REP. WOLLENBERG: I haven’t been to family court in six or seven years, but when we did I always had the judge, the judge would always order, whether he had the right or not that the payments should continue until the child finished high school.




SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Unfortunately it is not happening now because the court doesn’t have the authority...past the age of 18, so it’s not happening.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  That’s an easy one to negotiate.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  It’s not so easy when the court doesn’t . . . .


REP. WOLLENBERG:  None of them are really easy to negotiate, so let’s not...but that’s an easier one than some of the others.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Easier one than some of the others to negotiate but then again you get to the point where you have in difficult cases where the attorney says I am not going to agree to that, what incentive do I have to agree to that because if I don’t agree to it the court can order it. There is no incentive.


REP. WOLLENBERG: What if the kid isn’t college material and at 18 he decides I am going to hang around some college I can get into just to hang around. I don’t understand.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Again, it is the authority of the court. If you have a bum kid the court is not going to order.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  What do you mean, how do they know when he is 13?


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN: You don’t, But this statute doesn’t say necessarily that if the court doesn’t order it you can’t come back whenthe child is 18 years old.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  Oh, now we have to go back to court and I said we do anyway, sure we do.


SHIPLEY PRIPSTEIN: We can’t get post education disso1ution order, unless it is in an agreement.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  You can’t do what?


SHIPLEY PRIPSTEIN: You cannot order support beyond the age of 18 for college education.



REP. WOLLENBERG:  Can you order can he have a car?




REP. WOLLENBERG; Can you order that you support  his wife for something if he is 19 and he marries, can you order that you support ...


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Not under this statute.


REP. WOLLENBERG: Not under any statute, because it’snot right. If the kid is 18 he ought to do what he wants, he has the right to do everything he wants.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Representative Wollenberg, I understand the emotionality of it and it was an emotional issue in the Executive Committee of the Family Law also and I know people said that it should be a very well thought out bill. This bill has been through sub—committees in the Family Law section for two years.


REP. WOLLENBERG: For ten years?


REP. TULISANO:  Out before the whole Committee.




SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Two years. This is the first yearit has come up as a bill sponsored by the Family Law Section.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  Well, why is that? It takes you all this time to get on board?


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  It took the Family Law Section of the Bar all that time to draft a bill which …


REP. WOLLENBERG: What has changed in ten years?


SHIPLEY PRIPSTEIN: What has changed? I don’t think anything has really changed.


REP. WOLLENBERG: This bill has been a bill something like this so you could have picked this up eight years ago and did something.




SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  I think the drafters of the bi1l took into consideration, the subcommittee took into consideration a lot of the objections to try to make it very, very narrow and the majority of the Committee thought it was now or nothing.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  The old story if we keep it around long enough we will sooner or later get enough people to vote for it.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  I don’t think that’s true. I think that they got it narrow enough.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  Why didn’t they narrow it, that’s ten years to narrow it. Are you saying it as because...


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Different people on the Committee.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  Absolutely.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Different people on the Committee.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  When you can say somebody who is 18 now you are going to tie up somebody else to make them pay something for that kid just for an education, why? Why do we pick that?


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  I don’t understand?


REP. WOLLENBERG:  Why should we pick education. Why shouldn’t we say we have to buy him a car? Every other kid in the neighborhood has a car by 18.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Well, I think most people value a college education more than a car.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  I don’t know that. I don’t think the kid at 18 does, in a lot of cases.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  I think as family’s attorneys in terms of thinking what’s good for the citizenry of this state we think that it would be good.


REP. WOLLENBERG: A car to travel back and forth to work for somebody who has not interest in college would be a hell of a lot better than a college education.





SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Perhaps. But the Family Section of the Bar didn’t necessarily see it that way.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  I think they ought to spend more time on other things than this. I think this is a real weird one to be backing at this time. After ten years we have talked about it, all of a sudden you have worked the language out.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  I would like to say something else, Representative Wollenberg. The way the Bar Association works that the, we had our last full Section meeting Tuesday night. These bills get to us after the meeting. There is not a way that wecan have a full executive meeting and take a position on the bills. So all the other years in which (Inaudible) majority support bills have been before this Committee the Family Law Section could not take a position because we can’t react...


REP. WOLLENBERG:Ten years ago what was wrong with the Family Law Section in bringing the bill to us?


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  We didn’t have one passed …


REP. WOLLENBERG: Seven years, six years, five years...


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN: You don’t get input from the Family LawSection of the Bar for Family Law bills because we can’t react fast enough and the CBA laws don’t permit us to take a position on legislation unless it goes through the entire CBA. So we can’t react …


REP. WOLLENBERG:  Wait a minute weget 1ost at the rive from the Bar Association.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN: Those that derive from the BarAssociation as this one did you can get, but the Family Law Section of the Bar can’t be here and take a position on other bills because we can’t react that fast.


REP. WOLLENBERG: I don’t know seven or eight years ought to be really time to react.




SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  We can brinq something to you, as abill that wesupport, but the Family Law Sectioncan’t react fast enough to take a position that you have.


REP. WOLLENBERG:  Well, it seems to me that this hasbeen kicking around for a long time. If we are going to do it, let them wait until they are 18 for everything, 21 for everything and then they are taken care of. Not piecemeal it like this, it doesn’t make sense at all.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Any questions from any other members? You always have meetings I have theater tickets.


REP. TULISANO:  Okay, what time does the show begin. Sit down, sit down, I have questions. You asked. What time does the show begin.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  Eight, in New Haven.


REP. TULISANO:  If I give up (inaudible) worth of questions. Alright. You rest your case? Without inquiry.


SHIRLEY PRIPSTEIN:  I am not going to convince you.


REP. TULISANO: Right. Enjoy the show. Who’s next? Gloria Varrone Breny to be followed by Robert Boone. Robert Boone.






Written Testimony


submitted by

Permanent Commission on the Status of Women


Judicial Committee

March 18, 1994 Room 2B  12:30 P.M.











We are supportive of Raised Committee Bill 5618, An Act Concerning Post Majority Child Support. This bill does not change the legal status of children at age 18, and does not treat children of divorce differently than others. It requires both parents to continue to support any children until they complete 12th grade or turn 19. It also allows judges, at their discretion, to issue support orders for children between age of 18 and 221 who are still in school.


Thirty-four states currently permit post-18 child support in divorce and separation matters. Their reasons for this are clear. Many children are still in high school after they turn 18. The student’s situation has not changed, but support payments can stop. Medical problems do not disappear at 18, but insurance provided by non-custodial parent may. Post majority support recognizes these realities. Bill 5618 does not require a parent to pay for a college education or for other support, but it does give the court the power to enter such an order where it is appropriate.


Please continue Connecticut’s reputation for enlightened treatment of family matters, and support Raised Bill 5618.




File 399


File No. 399


Substitute House Bill No. 5618



    House of Representatives,  April 13, 1994. The Committee  on  Judiciary   reported  through  REP.

TULISANO, 29th DIST., Chairman of the Committee on the part of  the  House,  that the substitute bill

ought to pass.






    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:


 Section  1.  Section  46b-84  of  the  general statutes  is  repealed  and   the   following   is substituted in lieu thereof:

    (a)  Upon  or  subsequent  to the annulment or dissolution of any marriage  or  the  entry  of  a decree of legal separation or divorce, the parents of a minor child of the marriage,  shall  maintain the child according to their respective abilities, if the child is in need of maintenance.


    [(b)]  (c)  In  determining whether a child is in need  of  maintenance  and,  if  in  need,  the respective  abilities  of  the  parents to provide such maintenance and the amount thereof, the court shall   consider   the   age,   health,   station, occupation, earning capacity, amount  and  sources of   income,   estate,   vocational   skills   and employability of each of the parents, and the age,  health,  station,  occupation,  educational status and expectation, amount  and  sources  of  income, vocational skills, employability, estate and needs of the child.

    [(c)]  (d)  At  any  time  at which orders are entered  in  a  proceeding  for   dissolution   of marriage, annulment, legal separation, custody, or support, whether before, at the time of, or  after entry of a decree or judgment, if health insurance coverage for a minor child is ordered by the court to  be  maintained, the court shall provide in the order that (1)  the  signature  of  the  custodial parent or custodian of the insured dependent shall constitute a valid authorization  to  the  insurer for    purposes   of   processing   an   insurance reimbursement  payment  to  the  provider  of  the medical  services,  to  the custodial parent or to the custodian, (2) neither parent shall prevent or interfere   with  the  timely  processing  of  any insurance  reimbursement  claim  and  (3)  if  the parent   receiving   an   insurance  reimbursement payment is not the  parent  or  custodian  who  is paying  the  bill  for the services of the medical provider,  the  parent  receiving  such  insurance reimbursement  payment  shall  promptly pay to the parent or custodian paying such bill any insurance reimbursement  for  such services. For purposes of subdivision (1), the custodial parent or custodian is  responsible  for  providing the insurer with a certified copy of  the  order  of  dissolution or other order requiring maintenance of insurance for a minor child. Such insurer may thereafter rely on such order and is not responsible for inquiring as to  the  legal  sufficiency  of  the  order.   The custodial parent or custodian shall be responsible for providing the insurer with a certified copy of any order which materially alters the provision of the original order with respect to the maintenance of  insurance for a minor child. If presented with an insurance reimbursement  claim  signed  by  the custodial  parent or custodian, such insurer shall reimburse the provider of the medical services, if payment  is  to be made to such provider under the policy, or shall otherwise reimburse the custodial parent or custodian.

   [(d)]  (e)  After  the  granting  of  a decree annulling or dissolving the marriage or ordering a legal  separation,  and  upon  complaint or motion with order and summons made to the superior  court by   either  parent  or  by  the  commissioner  of administrative services in any case arising  under subsection  (a)  OR (b) of this section, the court shall inquire into the child's need of maintenance and  the  respective  abilities  of the parents to supply  maintenance.  The  court  shall  make  and enforce  the  decree  for  the  maintenance of the child  as  it  considers  just,  and  may   direct security  to be given therefor, including an order to either party to contract with a third party for periodic payments or payments contingent on a life to the other party. The  court  may  order  either parent  to  name  any  child  under  eighteen as a beneficiary of any medical or dental insurance  or benefit  plan  carried by such parent or available to  such  parent  on  a  group  basis  through  an employer or a union.

    [(e)]  (f)  Whenever  an obligor is before the court  in  proceedings  to  establish,  modify  or enforce  a  support  order,  and such order is not secured by  a  wage  garnishment,  the  court  may require  the  obligor  to  execute  a bond or post other security sufficient to  perform  such  order for  support, provided the court finds that such a bond  is  available  for   purchase   within   the financial  means  of  the obligor. Upon failure of such obligor to comply with  such  support  order, the  court  may  order  the  bond  or the security forfeited and the proceeds  thereof  paid  to  the state  in AFDC cases or to the obligee in non-AFDC cases.


    Sec.  2.  This  act  shall take effect July 1, 1994.



                        * * * * *





                        * * * * *

No Fiscal Note.

                        * * * * *                                   

No Bill Analysis.


Schedule A



LCO No. 4943


General Assembly

February Session, A.D. 1994



Offered by REP. Tulisano, 29th District.

To Subst. House Bill No. 5618                                            File No. 399                                          Cal. No. 370




                In line 39, 61 and 68, insert brackets before and after “minor”



House Proceedings


House Proceedings

Thursday, April 21,1994


Cite as: 37 H.R. Proc., Pt.9, 1994 Sess., p. ____




CLERK: Page seven, Calendar 370, substitute for House Bill 5618, AN ACT CONCERNING POST MAJORITY CHILD SUPPORT.

Favorable report of the Committee on Judiciary.



ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE(25th): Representative Tulisano.


REP. TULISANO (29th): Mr. Speaker, I move acceptance of the Joint Committee’s favorable report and passage of the bill.


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE (25th) : The motion is on acceptance and passage. Will you remark?


REP. TULISANO (29th): Yes, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, the bill before us represents a major change in some of the ways we deal with child support in this state and says that the court has the power to order child support until a child reaches the age of —— right now, it is only until the age of 18. This would include completing 12th grade or attains the age of 19, whichever first occurs.


Mr. Speaker, the Clerk has an amendment, LC0370. I am sorry. 4943.


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE (25th): Clerk has amendment LC04943, designated House “A”.


CLERK: LC04943, House  “A”  offered by Representative Tulisano.


REP. TULISANO (29th): Mr. Speaker, this amendment takes –



ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE(25th): Do you want to summarize, sir?


REP. TULISANO (29th): Permission to summarize.


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE (25Th):  Is there objection to summarization? Hearing none, please proceed, Representative Tulisano.


REP. TULISANO (29th): Mr. Speaker, this amendment goes through the rest of the statute where it had minor and you could apply for this post -- a minor is someone under 18. Of course, the file copy deals with post majority support and attempts to find those places where minor is in the statutes and omits them and I believe is technical in nature. I move its adoption.


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE (25th): The motion is on adoption of the amendment. Will you remark, sir? Representative Radcliffe.


REP. RADCLIFFE (123rd): Thank you, Mr. Speaker and it certainly is a pleasure to see you there, sir.

If I may. Just one question, through youfor the purpose of legislative intent, Mr. Speaker.


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE (25th): Yes, sir.




REP. RADCLIFFE (123rd): Through you to the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. By eliminating the word “minor” because it is going over 18, are we, by implications, saying that an individual perhapsunder 21 years of age who is not residing in the home of a parent might not qualify for child support? Through you, Mr. Speaker.


REP. TULISANO (29th): Through you, Mr. Speaker, what we are talking about now —— the intent clearly is that this language of taking out “minor” is to allow all of those sections to apply to exactly the status that is in  the file copy, that is that child between 18 and 19 or still in school whichever is attained first. So this is in limitation to that post—majority period which is now the exception to the general rule which is in the file copy.


REP. RADCLIFFE (123rd): Through you, Mr. Speaker. Then I take it it is not the intention of this amendment to allow for child support to be ordered by a judge of the Superior Court in any instance where a child is 18, 19, 20 years old that is not covered by this particular bill? Through you, Mr. Speaker.


REP. TULISANO (29th): Through you, Mr. Speaker, that is an absolute




correct understanding that is limited and now in nature.


REP. RADCLIFFE (123rd): Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE (25th): Will you remark further? Representative Wollenberg.


REP. WOLLENBERG (21st): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, to follow up on that and I understand what Representative Tulisano is trying to do here, but I am looking forward to a judge looking at this and reading “minor” out of here and it seems to me if you read “minor” out of here, it has exactly the affectthat Representative Radcliffe was talking about. Is that it was anyone who has not reached majority and therefore, we are doing more, I think. Through you, Mr. Speaker.


REP. TULISANO (29th): Mr. Speaker, permission to respond.




REP. TULISANO (29th): That was a question, I believe.


REP. WOLLENBERG (21st): Yes. Through you, Mr. Speaker. Yes.



ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE (25th): Proceed, sir.


REP. TULISANO (29th): Mr. Speaker, when I first read it quickly again, I thought that we might have done what Mr. Wollenberg says and for legislative intent, I think I will clarify that. But at this point, Mr. Speaker, we could do a better clarification it seems to me and we might better do that on the technical amendments bill which clarifies this. And at this point, I would withdraw this amendment, with the anticipation of clarifying it and clearing it up in the other bill because it would be appropriate there.


REP. WOLLENBERG (21st): Thank you, Representative Tulisano and Mr. Speaker. I think we should clear it up. It is not what we intend. It is what we say and I think we said something we didn’t intend to.


Mr. Speaker, just on the bill, so that I have long been an adversary of doing anything about the age of majority in these instances. In a domestic matter where there is an agreement, I think most lawyers who represent someone with a child in this capacity should not go away from the bargaining table unless that child were taken care of within the agreement.



Evidently, I am hearing that that does not happen these days. That they are not working it into the agreement and therefore, the need is felt and we must do this by statute.


I want to say that this bill started out with something like you have to pay after the divorce, you have to pay for a child through college. So, that I object to. This is has been brought down to just this 19 year old finishing his senior year, which reluctantly, I buy because I guess lawyers haven’t been doing their job and doing the agreements as they should have done them. But I think, for the future, this is as far as we should go on this. This is enough. If we want to change the age of majority to 21, let’s do it. But let’s not tinker with this like we are doing now.


An individual who is married does not have to pay for the –


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE (25th): Representative Wollenberg, would you excuse me a minute, please? I believe Representative Tulisano wanted to withdraw the amendment. Is there objection to withdrawal of the amendment? Is there objection? Hearing none, the amendment is withdrawn. You may continue, please.



REP. WOLLENBERG (21st): On the bill, if you please, Mr. Speaker. Thank you for getting me on the right track.


In any event, if someone were married, they would not have to pay for this individual we are talking about today. They would not have to pay for a college education for an individual who had reached 18 years of age. If there is a divorce, we change the rules. I think it is wrong. But I just look forward to the future because I am afraid, like so many things, this is the head of the camel in the tent. We get 19 this year and 21 the next. Not if I have anything to say about it, ladies and gentlemen.


This bill is something we probably do need. I have been convinced and reluctantly, I will vote forit. Thank you.


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE (25th): Will you remark further on the bill? On the bill? If not, will staff and guests please come to the well of the House? I am sorry. Representative Graziani.


REP. GARCIA  (138th): Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE (25th): I am sorry. Representative Garcia.




REP. GARCIA (138th): A question to the proponent of the bill?




REP. GARCIA (138th): Through you, Mr. speaker, Representative Tulisano, if I had a child who was mentally retarded and therefore he became of age according to your bill, but he requires life long 1earning or life long schooling, does that mean that through this bill I would be able to receive child support because I have a mentally retarded son who requires schoo1ing for the rest of his life?


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE! (25th): Representative Tulisano.


REP. TULISANO(29th): Through you, Mr. Speaker. The answer to that would be no.


REP. GARCIA (138th): Thank you, Mr. Speaker.


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE (25th): Thank you, Representative Garcia. Thank you, Representative Tu1isano. Will you remark further? Will you remark further? Will staff and guests please come to the well of the House? The machine will be





CLERK: The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members please report to the Chamber. The House of Representatives is voting by roll call. Members to the chamber, please.


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE (25th): The Clerk will please take the tally. Clerk, please announce the tally.


CLERK: House Bill 5618


Total Number Voting.................................................................... 146


Necessary for Passage................................................................... 74


Those voting Yea......................................................................... 146


Those voting Nay                                                                              ........................................................................ 0


Those absent and not voting......................................................... 5


ACTING SPEAKER JOYCE(25th): The bill passes.


House Vote

Vote for HB-5618 Roll Call Number 235

The Speaker ordered the vote be taken by roll call at  1:46 p.m.


    The following is the result of the vote:

    Total Number Voting................................ 146

    Necessary for Passage............................... 74

     Those voting Yea.................................... 146

     Those voting Nay........................................ 0

     Those absent and not voting.................... 5


The following is the roll call vote:


Y   AMANN                          Y   JARMOC                 Y   VILLANO                Y   MAZZOCCOLI

Y   BACKER                          Y   JOYCE                      Y   WYMAN                 X METSOPOULOS

Y   BEALS                             Y   KEELEY                   Y   METZ

 X BEAMON                         Y   KIRKLEY-BEY        Y   MILLER

Y   BETKOSKI                      Y   KNOPP                     Y   ANDREWS             Y   MUNNS

Y   BYSIEWICZ                    Y   LAWLOR                Y   BARTH                    Y   NIELSEN

Y   CARTER                          Y   LEBEAU                  Y   BELDEN                   Y   NORTON

Y   CARUSO                         Y   LESCOE                   Y   BOUGHTON           Y   NYSTROM

Y   CASTRO                          Y   LUBY                        Y   BOWDEN                Y   O'NEILL

Y   COCCO                            Y   MCCAVANAGH    Y   BUONOCORE         Y   PISCOPO

Y   CONCANNON                Y   MCDONALD       Y   CAFERO                     Y   POWERS

Y   CONWAY                       Y   MCGRATTAN       Y   CARON                    Y   PRELLI

Y   COURTNEY                    Y   MERRILL                 Y   CARUSO                 Y   RADCLIFFE

Y   CURREY                          Y   MIKUTEL                Y   CHASE                     Y   RELL

Y   DARGAN                        Y   MILLERICK            Y   CLEARY                  Y   RENNIE

Y   DAVINO                          Y   MORDASKY          Y   COLLINS                 Y   SAN ANGELO

Y   DAVIS                              Y   MULREADY           Y   CUTLER                   Y   SAWYER

Y   DEMARINIS                   Y   MUSHINSKY          Y   DANDROW            Y   SIMMONS

Y   DIAMANTIS                  Y   NEWTON                Y   DEPINO                   Y   STRIPP

Y   DILLON                           Y   O'ROURKE              Y   DIMEO                     Y   TAVEGIA

Y   DONOVAN                     Y   O'SULLIVAN          Y   FAHRBACH           Y   TERCYAK

X DYSON                              Y   OREFICE                  Y   FARR                       Y   THORP

Y   EBERLE                            Y   POSS                        Y   FEDELE                    Y   VARESE

Y   ESPOSITO                       Y   RAPOPORT            Y   FERRARI                 Y   WARD

Y   FLAHERTY                     Y   ROY                          Y   FLAHERTY             Y   WASSERMAN

Y   FONFARA                      Y   RYAN                       Y   FUCHS                     Y   WHITE

Y   FOX                                  Y   SAMOWITZ           Y   FUSCO                     X WINKLER

Y   FRITZ                               Y   SANTIAGO             Y   GARVEY                  Y   WOLLENBERG

Y   GARCIA, E.E.                  Y   SCALETTAR          Y   GAVIN                     Y   YOUNG

Y   GARCIA, E.I.                   Y   SCHIESSL                Y   GYLE

Y   GELSI                               Y   SCIPIO                     Y   HESS

Y   GERRATANA                Y   SELLERS                  Y   HOLBROOK

Y   GILLIGAN                       Y   SERRA                     X JONES

Y   GODFREY                        Y   STAPLES                 Y   KNIERIM                 Y   RITTER (SPKR)

Y   GRAZIANI                      Y   STILLMAN             Y   KOLAR

Y   HARTLEY                       Y   STRATTON            Y   KRAWIECKI

Y   HYSLOP          Y   THOMPSON        Y   KYLE                       Y   COLEMAN (DEP)

Y   IRELAND                        Y   TONUCCI                Y   LOCKTON               Y   LYONS (DEP)

Y   JACKSON-BRKS           Y   TRUGLIA                Y   MADDOX               Y   PUDLIN (DEP)

Y   JARJURA                        Y   TULISANO             Y   MATTIELLO



Senate Debate

April 27, 1994


Cite as: 37 S. Proc., Pt. 6, 1994 Sess., p. ___





THE CLERK:  Calendar No. 398, File No. 399, Substitute for House Bill 5618, AN ACT CONCERNING POST MAJ0RITY CHILD SUPPORT.


Favorable Report of the Committee on Judiciary.


THE CHAIR: Thank you very much, Mr. Clerk. The Chair would recognize Senator Jepsen.


SENATOR JEPSEN:  Thank you, Madam President. I move acceptance of the Joint Committee’s Favorable Report and adoption of the bill in concurrence with the House.


THE CHAIR: Thank you very much, Senator. Do you wish to remark further?




SENATOR JEPSEN: Yes, I would. This is a common sense bill and I think it’s a good bill to encourage kids to finish school. What it says that while under normal circumstances, the obligation to continue child support terminates when the child reaches the age of 18, that if a child is under the age of 19 and is a full-time high school student and is living at the home of one of the two parents that up until that child eithergraduates from high school or quits school or turns 19, that the obligations for child support continue until that date.


THE CHAIR: Thank you very much, Senator. Would anybody elsewish to remark? Senator Upson.


SENATOR UPSON: Yes, just further, the child has to be unmarried. I don’t believe you said that. And the reason we hadsome nay votes in Judiciary, because they felt that lawyers should actually-- thank you for listening--actually negotiate this in advance, and quite frankly, that’s not the case when a divorce, certain a pro se  divorce.


I do think-- I agree with Senator Jepsen, it is a positive thing so that children can remain at home and




have their parents responsible even if they’re divorced and even if they’re 19 when they complete high school. So it is very specific and there is no question as to the intent and it shall not take effectuntil July 1, 1994, and for those divorces and disso1utions which go into effect after that date. It’s not a question.


Thank you.


THE CHAIR: Thank you very much. Senator Cook.


SENATOR COOK: Through you, a question to the proponent. Senator Jepsen, as I understand it, the purpose of this is to provide child support for children until they finish school. What about special needs children that finish school at age 21? Is there a provision for child support for those children?




SENATOR COOK: Perhaps we can work on that another time?


SENATOR JEPSEN: I’d be happy to, on that issue.


THE CHAIR: Thank you very much. Would anybody else wish to remark on Senate Calendar 398? Are there any  further




remarks? If not, Senator Jepsen, would you like to make a motion to place this on the Consent Calendar?


SENATOR JEPSEN: I would so move.


THE CHAIR: Thank you very much. Is there any objection to placing Senate Calendar 398, Substitute for House Bill No. 5618, on the Consent Calendar? Is there any objection? Any objection?  Hearing none, so ordered.


Senate Vote


Vote for HB-5618 Sequence Number 284

    The following is the result of the vote at 11:29 p.m.:


    Total Number Voting.................................. 36

    Necessary for Adoption............................ 19

     Those voting Yea...................................... 36

     Those voting Nay........................................ 0

     Those absent and not voting.................... 0


The following is the roll call vote:


 Y    1  WILLIAM A. DIBELLA                        Y   19  KENNETH L. PRZYBYSZ

 Y    2  THIRMAN L. MILNER                     Y   20  MELODIE PETERS

 Y    3  JOHN B. LARSON                           Y   21  GEORGE L. GUNTHER

 Y    4  MICHAEL P. MEOTTI                            Y   22  ANGELINA LEE SCARPETTI

 Y    5  KEVIN B. SULLIVAN                              Y   23  ALVIN W. PENN

 Y    6  JOSEPH H. HARPER, JR.                        Y   24  JAMES H. MALONEY

 Y    7  JOHN A. KISSEL                                      Y   25  ROBERT L. GENUARIO

 Y    8  JAMES T. FLEMING                               Y   26  JUDITH G. FREEDMAN

 Y    9  RICHARD J. BALDUCCI                        Y   27  GEORGE C. JEPSEN

 Y   10  TONI N. HARP                                        Y   28  FRED H. LOVEGROVE, JR.

 Y   11  MARTIN M. LOONEY                           Y   29  DONALD E. WILLIAMS, JR.


 Y   13  AMELIA P. MUSTONE                         Y   31  THOMAS A. COLAPIETRO

 Y   14  WINTHROP SMITH, JR.                       Y   32  LOUIS C. DELUCA

 Y   15  THOMAS F. UPSON                              Y   33  EILEEN M. DAILY

 Y   16  STEPHEN R. SOMMA                           Y   34  PHILIP S. ROBERTSON

 Y   17  JOSEPH J. CRISCO, JR.                          Y   35  ANTHONY GUGLIELMO

 Y   18  CATHERINE W. COOK                         Y   36  WILLIAM H. NICKERSON


PA 94.61—sHB

5618 Judiciary Committee





SUMMARY: Parents who are divorced, legally sepa­rated, or have had their marriage annulled are required to support their children, according to their ability to do so, until thc child turns 18 (the age of majority). This act requires such parents to continue, in some cases, to support their children until they turn 19 or complete high school, whichever occurs first. This obligation applies only as long as the child remains unmarried, attends high school full time, needs the support, and lives with one of the parents. And it applies only to parents whose dissolution, annulment, or separation is entered by the court after June 30,1994.


EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 1994




Related Act


PA 94-1, May 25 Special Session, makes several technical changes to the child support law to reflect the new requirement in this act.





Compiler’s Note, Bill History, Testimony before Joint Committee on the Judiciary

Oral Testimony:  Sally Oldham, Shirley Pripstein

Written Testimony: Anne Brennan Carroll

File Bill No. 399, Judiciary Committee Vote, Fiscal Impact Note (None), Bill Analysis (None), Schedule A (Proposed Amendment), House Debate, House Vote, Senate Debate, Senate Vote, Summary of Public Act 94-61