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Bill Watch, Jan. 19, 2016: Current Family Law Legislation of Note - Family Law News

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Family Law News


Posted on: Jan 19, 2016

The IndyBar Legislative Committee is currently monitoring the following family law related legislation. The IndyBar Legislative Committee is currently monitoring the following litigation related legislation. IndyBar members can request that the Legislative Committee track specific legislation by contacting committee chair Lawren Mills at Lawren.Mills@icemiller.com.

Click here to view the full Bill Watch reports.

HB1064    TERMINATING THE PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIP. (SLAGER H) Allows a parent who is the victim of an act of rape from which a child was conceived to file a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship between the child and the alleged perpetrator of the act of rape. Requires a court to terminate the parent-child relationship if the court finds: (1) by clear and convincing evidence that the alleged perpetrator committed an act of rape against the parent who filed the petition to terminate the parent-child relationship and that the child was conceived as a result of the act of rape; and (2) that terminating the parent-child relationship would be in the best interests of the child. Prohibits a parent who is at least 18 years of age at the time the act of rape occurred from filing a petition more than 180 days after the birth of the child. Prohibits a parent who is less than 18 years of age at the time the act of rape occurred from filing a petition more than 2 years after reaching the age of 18.

HB1073    IMMUNITY FOR ACCEPTING CERTAIN ABANDONED CHILDREN. (COX C) Provides immunity to an emergency medical services provider (provider) or the provider's employer who takes custody of a child that is voluntarily left by the child's parent if the provider takes custody of the child in good faith. Limits the extension of immunity for the provider to acts or omissions that do not result from the provider's gross negligence or willful, wanton, or intentional misconduct.

HB1183    GUARDIANSHIP; DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SERVICES. (FRIZZELL D) Provides that a delegation of power by a properly executed power of attorney does not subject the parties to any laws, rules, or regulations concerning the licensing or regulation of foster family homes, child placing agencies, or child caring institutions. Prohibits a licensed foster family home from providing supervision to a child who is the subject of a power of attorney while providing overnight care to a child placed in the foster family home unless the department of child services (department) grants an exception. Allows a parent to delegate the powers for a period longer than 12 months if the parent is on active duty service, except that the term of delegation may not exceed the term of active duty service plus 30 days. Provides that the department may provide information about community service programs that provide respite care, voluntary guardianship, or other support services for families in crisis to the parent or guardian of a child who is the subject of an assessment if the department classifies the assessment as unsubstantiated. Provides that: (1) if the department provides the information to a parent or guardian, the department may not initiate an investigation or assessment or substantiate an assessment of child abuse or neglect based solely on the provision of the information; and (2) the department is not liable for any action arising out of having furnished the information.

HB1289    STUDY OF APPELLATE PROCEDURES FOR CHINS CASES. (PORTER G) Urges the legislative council to assign to the appropriate committee a study of whether there should be additional appellate procedures to review children in need of services determinations.

HB1354    DELEGATION OF PARENTAL POWERS. (NISLY C) Provides that a delegation of powers by a parent or guardian regarding the health care, support, custody, or property of the minor: (1) is not considered placing the minor in foster care; (2) does not subject any party to foster care licensing or rules; and (3) is not considered abandonment, abuse, or neglect, absent other evidence or unless the parent or guardian fails to contact the attorney-in-fact or execute a new power of attorney upon expiration of the original power of attorney. Permits a parent or guardian in active military service to delegate powers regarding the minor for a period not exceeding the parent's or guardian's term of active duty military service plus 30 days.

HB1367    CHINS AND CHILD REPRESENTATIVES. (NIEZGODSKI D) Allows a child representative to: (1) accompany the child to meetings, court hearings, school functions, extracurricular activities, and other activities agreed to between the child and the child representative; and (2) host the child for vacations, overnight visits, holidays, and other situations. Requires the department of child services (department) and the board of directors of the judicial conference of Indiana to adopt rules setting forth the: (1) reasons why an individual may be rejected or terminated as a child representative; and (2) expectations concerning a child representative. Allows certain individuals who are at least 18 years of age and receiving foster care to petition the juvenile court for emancipation. Requires the juvenile court to grant emancipation unless the court determines there is a compelling reason not to grant the petition. Requires certain notices to be sent to a child representative. Provides that child representatives are treated like foster parents in certain situations. Requires the department to consider a child representative if the child needs a foster parent or a new foster parent. Requires a juvenile court to schedule status conferences with a child who is a child in need of services (CHIN). Requires the department to create, make available, and distribute a bill of rights for youth in foster care.

SB26    CHILDREN IN NEED OF SERVICES. (STEELE B) Provides that a child is a child in need of services if the child lives in the same household as an adult who: (1) committed certain offenses; or (2) has been charged with certain offenses and is awaiting trial. Makes conforming amendments.

SB82    RAPE AND TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS. (CHARBONNEAU E) Allows a parent who is the victim of an act of rape from which a child was conceived to file a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship between the child and the alleged perpetrator of the act of rape. Requires a court to terminate the parent-child relationship if the court finds: (1) by clear and convincing evidence that the alleged perpetrator committed an act of rape against the parent who filed the petition to terminate the parent-child relationship and that the child was conceived as a result of the act of rape; and (2) that terminating the parent-child relationship would be in the best interests of the child. Prohibits a parent who is at least 18 years of age at the time the act of rape occurred from filing a petition more than 180 days after the birth of the child. Prohibits a parent who is less than 18 years of age at the time the act of rape occurred from filing a petition more than 2 years after becoming 18 years of age. (The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the study committee on corrections and the criminal code.)

SB84     GUARDIAN POWER TO REQUEST HEALTH RECORDS. (BREAUX J) Amends the health records law to authorize the guardian of a patient who was incompetent to request health records of the patient after the patient's death. Amends the guardianship law to provide that: (1) the guardianship of an incapacitated person is not terminated upon the incapacitated person's death; and (2) the court may not terminate the guardianship of an incapacitated person: (A) until at least 60 days after the incapacitated person's death; or (B) if the guardian, less than 60 days after the incapacitated person's death, requests access to records relating to the incapacitated person's death, until the guardian is granted access to the records or until the guardian's request for access to the records is denied and the guardian states that the guardian will not appeal the denial of access, exhausts all administrative and judicial appeals of the denial of access, or is barred due to the passage of time from appealing the denial of access.

SB91     RELEASE OF IDENTIFYING ADOPTION INFORMATION. (STEELE B) Repeals, effective July 1, 2018, provisions applicable to adoptions finalized before January 1, 1994, that prohibit the release of identifying adoption information unless a consent to release the information is on file. Provides that, beginning July 1, 2018, identifying adoption information may be released unless a nonrelease form is on file, regardless of when the adoption was filed. (Under current law, this provision applies only to adoptions filed after December 31, 1993.) Replaces a nonrelease form with a contact preference form. Provides that a nonrelease form submitted before July 1, 2018, remains in effect unless the form lapses. (The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the interim study committee on courts and the judiciary.)

SB119    CHILD IN NEED OF SERVICES (CHINS). (RANDOLPH L) Establishes a rebuttable presumption that a child is a child in need of services (CHINS) if the child: (1) is a victim of human or sexual trafficking; or (2) lives in the same household as another child who is a victim of human or sexual trafficking, or in the same household as an adult who is charged with or convicted of a human or sexual trafficking offense.

SB196    ACCOUNTINGS BY GUARDIANS AND ATTORNEYS IN FACT. (CRIDER M) Requires a guardian to file with the court a written verified account of the guardian's administration annually. (Under current law, a guardian is required to file an account biennially.) Provides that, unless the power of attorney states that an annual accounting is not required, an attorney in fact is required to file with the court having probate jurisdiction in the county in which the principal (if an individual) resides a written verified accounting at least annually, not more than 30 days after the anniversary of the date on which the power of attorney became effective. (Under current law, an attorney in fact is not required to render an accounting unless specifically ordered or requested to do so.) Provides that if an accounting is ordered or requested less than 11 months before the anniversary of the date on which a power of attorney became effective, the attorney in fact is excused from filing an annual accounting with the court for the year ending on the anniversary of the date on which the power of attorney became effective.

SB236    CHILD IN NEED OF SERVICES MATTERS. (LANANE T) Provides that if a child is a victim of human or sexual trafficking, vicarious sexual gratification, child solicitation, patronizing a prostitute, or promoting prostitution, the child may be a child in need of services. Provides that certain children may be children in need of services if they live in the same household as: (1) a child who is a victim of certain sex crimes; or (2) an adult who has been convicted of or charged with certain sex crimes.

SB250    PARENTING COORDINATORS. (BUCK J) Allows for the appointment of parenting coordinators to assist in disputes regarding custody and parenting matters. Provides qualification requirements of a parenting coordinator, terms of appointment of a parenting coordinator, and termination of parenting coordinator services. Requires a parenting coordinator to remain impartial and meet confidentiality requirements.

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