Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

On March 16, 2021, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed House Bill 113 into law. [1] This short legislation greatly expands Utah’s existing prenatal child support requirements by pulling and combining aspects found in other states.

Fig 1. House Bill 113 (Utah, 2021)


Previously, the Utah Code only contained vague sections under Title 78B relating to non-resident jurisdiction [2] and admissibility of the mother’s prenatal costs to court for reimbursement [3][4] to meet Federal minimum requirements [5].

Fig 2. US Code §666(a)(5)(K) (US, 1996)


With the passage of House Bill 113 — effective May 5, 2021 — a father will be expected to equally split prenatal costs with a mother before birth or reimburse an equal split of costs after establishment of paternity. These equally-divided costs include health insurance premiums and direct medical costs during pregnancy from conception until after the hospital stay for childbirth. If the mother has an elective, induced abortion for which the father did not consent (aside from one after rape or incest), he is exempt from any prenatal child support payments.

Every US state and territory has some baseline level of prenatal child support requirements [6], but requiring the father to explicitly pay at least fifty percent of health insurance premiums or prenatal expenses is not too common.

Hawaii is the only other state to mention a health insurance premium requirement, coming under Hawaii Revised Statutes §584-15(c) [7].

Existing child support statutes that explicitly require a father to pay at least fifty percent of prenatal expenses include:

Additional historical examples include:

  • Minnesota General Statutes §17.3219: “all expenses necessarily incurred” [13]
  • Oregon General Laws Title XXI §2554: “all expenses incurred” [14]
  • Wisconsin Territorial Statutes (uncodified): “all costs and expenses incurred” [15]

(Many other laws use terms like “reasonable expenses,” “all or part of,” or “liable for,” that can be open to interpretation.)

With Utah’s passage of House Bill 113, the state’s prenatal child support requirements moved from being among the least in the nation to becoming a new benchmark worthy of emulation.

Citations

  1. House Bill 113, “Shared Medical Costs” (Utah, 2021) https://le.utah.gov/~2021/bills/static/HB0113.html
  2. Utah Code, §78B-14-201 (Utah, 1996) https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title78B/Chapter14/78B-14-S201.html?v=C78B-14-S201_2015051220150701
  3. Utah Code, §78B-14-316(4) (Utah, 1997) https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title78B/Chapter14/78B-14-S316.html
  4. Utah Code, §78B-15-613(5) (Utah, 2005) https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title78B/Chapter15/78B-15-S613.html
  5. United States Code, §666(a)(5)(K) (US, 1996) https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title42-section666&num=0&edition=prelim
  6. Gump, Daniel (2020). Human Defense Initiative, “The History of Prenatal Child Support in the United States.” https://humandefense.com/the-history-of-prenatal-child-support-in-the-united-states/
  7. Hawaii Revised Statutes, §584-15(c) (Hawaii, 1975?) https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol12_Ch0501-0588/HRS0584/HRS_0584-0015.htm
  8. Official Code of Georgia Annotated, §19-6-15(a.1)(2) (Ga., 2019) https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/55445
  9. Indiana Code, §31-14-17-1 (Ind, 1979)  http://iga.in.gov/legislative/laws/2019/ic/titles/031#31-14-17-1
  10. Iowa Code, §600B.1 (Iowa, 1925) https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/code/2020/600B.1.pdf
  11. Texas Family Code, §160.636(g) (Texas, 2001) https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.160.htm
  12. American Samoa Code Annotated, §45.1505(c)(4) https://new.asbar.org/code-annotated/45-1505-orders/
  13. Minnesota General Statutes, §17.3219 (Minn. 1921)
  14. Oregon General Laws, Title XXI, §2554 (Ore., 1917)
  15. Acts of the Wisconsin Territory, p.30, §2 (Wis. Terr., 1845) https://hdl.handle.net/2027/wu.89096557822?urlappend=%3Bseq=43
Website | Posts

Daniel uses his background in technical writing to interpret and summarize source materials in ways he hopes will allow others to concisely see the truth.‬

The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.