Family & Juvenile Law

HB 52 – Insurance reimbursements. Allows an insurance policyholder to petition the court for reimbursement of insurance costs as they occur during the pendency of a dissolution of marriage or legal separation.

HB 102 – Adoption checklist. Requires a checklist form to be completed prior to finalizing an adoption which verifies that all documents and procedures have been submitted, followed, and reviewed by the judge. In scope. Support con­cept of a recommended adoption checklist; Oppose mandating the Supreme Court to adopt a checklist as a Rule.

HB 107 – Voluntary relinquishment of a child. Changes the laws regarding adoption by reducing the required time period before a person can voluntary relinquish a child and the required time period of a child’s placement before his or her adoption can be finalized.

HB 121 – Guardian ad litem. Allows the court discretion in the appointment of a guardian ad litem in specified cases regarding child abuse or neglect and ex parte orders of protection. In scope. Support.

HB 148 / SB 110 – Custody and visitation for deploying parents. Establishes the custody and visitation rights of a deploying military parent. In scope. Support concept of special procedures to protect due process for deployed parents while preserving judicial discretion to protect the best interest of the child.  
  HB 220 – Arrearages and expungement of criminal non­support. Changes the laws regarding arrearages and the expungement of certain records related to criminal nonsup­port. Specifically, this legislation redefines “arrearage” and allows for an arrearage in excess of 18 monthly payments to reach the class D felony level of criminal nonsupport (up from 12 months); allows a person to petition the court for expungement of a first felony offense of criminal nonsup­port when at least eight years have elapsed since the person requesting expungement has completed imprisonment or probation, is current on all child support obligations, has paid off all arrearages, has no other criminal charges or administrative child support actions pending, and has completed a criminal nonsupport courts program. In scope. Support concept.

HB 248 / HB 556 – Paternity and putative father registry. Increases, from no later than 15 days to no later than 60 days, the time after a child’s birth that the father has to file an action to establish paternity prior to an adoption or to file a notice with the Putative Father Registry. In scope. No position. Support adequate due process for putative fathers.

HCS HB 252 – Contact preference and medical history in adoptions. Changes the laws regarding adoptions. Among other provisions, this legislation requires the State Regis­trar to develop and provide each birth parent with a contact preference form and medical history form; requires the State Registrar to attach the forms to the birth certificate of the adopted person; authorizes the Children’s Division to terminate the rights of a parent under certain specified conditions; allows adoptive parents and birth parents to enter into a post-adoption contract to allow contact after the adoption between parents, siblings or other relatives; requires the court to develop a standardized adoption form, including a checklist, to be used in all adoption cases.

HCS HB 290 – Investigation into suitability of adoptive parents. Adds licensed professional counselors and psy­chologists to the list of people authorized to conduct an investigation into whether an individual is suitable as an adoptive parent.

HB 360 – Mental health care for victims of abuse and neglect. Prohibits the denial of mental health care and treatment for children who are alleged victims of abuse and neglect and requires guardians ad litem to have training in child abuse and neglect or in mental health.

HCS HB 371 – Judicial Omnibus Bill. Changes the laws regarding judicial procedure. Among other provisions, this legisla­tion includes:
ADOPTION. Allows a written consent to adoption to be executed in front of a judge and requires the judge to advise the consenting birth parent of the consequences of consent; specifies when a consent to adoption is final; allows a juve­nile court to permit a parent to waive the necessity of his or her consent to a future adoption of the child; specifies consent to the adoption of a child is not required of a man who has reason to believe he is the biological father of an unborn child and who attempted to coerce the mother of the child to obtain an abortion.

INTERFERENCE WITH CUSTODY. Specifies that if custody, visitation, or third-party custody is denied or interfered with by a parent or third party without good cause, the aggrieved person may file a family access motion with the court stating the specific facts that constitute a violation of a judgment of paternity.

(For a complete summary of the provisions in this omnibus bill, see Judicial Administration).

HCS HB 541 / SCS SB 36 – Dual juvenile/adult court jurisdic­tion. Changes the requirements for cases involving juvenile offenders who have been certified as adults and found guilty in a court of general jurisdiction. Specifically, raises the age to 17 years and six months of age for allowing the court to invoke dual jurisdiction of both the criminal and juvenile codes, and requires the court to consider dual jurisdiction. In scope. Support.

HB 547 – Termination of parental rights. Changes the re­quirements for termination of parental rights. Specifically, this legislation allows the juvenile officer or the Children’s Division to file a petition to terminate the parental rights of a child’s parents when it appears the child has been abused or neglected and the parent is unfit at the time of termina­tion, or, when the child has been under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for a period of one year, and the court finds that the conditions which led to the assumption of jurisdiction still persist, and there is little likelihood that those conditions will be remedied at an early date, and the continuation of the parent-child relationship greatly diminishes the child’s prospects for early integration into a stable and permanent home.

HB 647 – Caylee’s Law. Establishes Caylee’s Law which requires any parent or guardian to report the death or disappearance of a child within a specified time period. (For a more complete summary of this legislation, see Criminal Law).

HB 717 – Age limit for foster care. Increases the age limit for when a youth may reenter foster care from 18 to 21 years of age.
HB 718 – Age limit for foster care. Extends foster care until age twenty-one for certain children.

HB 719 – Notice of relocation. Changes the laws regarding the notice of the relocation of a child by the custodial par­ent. Specifically, this legislation changes the requirement for notice so that notice must be given if the child relocates 50 miles or more from the principal residence for a period of 90 days or more.

SB 48 – Prohibiting racial consideration in adoptions. Modifies provisions relating to the prohibition of racial considerations in adoption proceedings. Specifically, this legislation provides that the race or ethnicity of the adop­tive child, the child’s biological parents or the prospec­tive adoptive parents shall not be a consideration when determining the best interests of the child, the welfare of the child, the suitability or assessment of prospective adoptive parents or the home of the prospective adoptive parents; requires the Children’s Division to comply with federal placement requirements with regard to any Native American child placed in protective custody.

SCS SB 69 – Administrative child support orders. Modifies provision relating to administrative child support orders. Specifically, this act allows administrative hearing officers from the Department of Social Services to set aside or correct administrative child support decisions or orders and proposed administrative modifications of a judicial order under certain conditions.

SB 152 – Juvenile offenders. Allows judges to suspend the imposition of an adult criminal sentence for juvenile of­fenders. In scope. Support.

SB 153 – Child support. Requires a non-custodial parent to pay child support until the child reaches 22 years of age instead of 21 years of age.

SB 184 – Termination of alimony and maintenance pay­ments. Modifies provisions regarding the termination of alimony and maintenance payments. Specifically, this legislation provides that further payment of alimony and maintenance shall be stopped upon a finding that a former spouse is cohabiting or has cohabited with another person in a relationship of a romantic nature.

SB 225 – Support for higher education. Modifies laws re­garding educational parental support for higher education. Among other provisions, this legislation allows a court to order either or both parents owing a duty of support to provide for the educational expenses of their child until the child completes his or her education, but no later than when the child reaches 23 years of age; however, the court cannot be prevented from requiring the child to be responsible for a portion of his or her educational expenses.
SB 347 – Criminal nonsupport. Makes the offense of non­support an infraction rather than a class A misdemeanor or class D felony.

SB 391 – Civil contempt for child support order failure. Codifies the common law remedy of civil contempt for failure to comply with child support orders.

SB 452 – Guardianship cases. Gives the family courts original jurisdiction to hear guardianship cases.


Index of Bills by Subject Matter

  • CCS - Conference Committee Substitute
  • HB - House Bill
  • HCS - House Committee Substitute
  • HS - House Substitute
  • HJR - House Joint Resolution
  • SB - Senate Bill
  • SCS - Senate Committee Substitute
  • SS - Senate Substitute
  • SJR - Senate Joint Resolution
  • * - Missouri Bar Committee-Drafted Legislation

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