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
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
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