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Legislature sets hearing on child support reforms

PIERRE -- Legislators will begin work Wednesday on some potentially significant changes in South Dakota's child-support laws.

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on HB 1021. The 21-section measure covers a range of amendments and new sections of law.

The legislation was requested by the state Department of Social Services in response to actual situations in South Dakota including the roles of genetic testing in determining paternity.

One proposal would provide legal standing for action to be brought by a potential biological father who isn't the husband, in instances when a child is born in wedlock or within 10 months of the end of a marriage.

The legislation would add a requirement to support orders, so that each parent must notify the department of their current addresses and the names and addresses of current employers, with any changes reported within seven business days.

Another new requirement would call for parties in a support hearing to file all financial and legal documents with the referee at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing by the referee.

The parties could, in turn, obtain all of the information from the referee.