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Bill Watch, Jan. 10, 2017: Current Family Law Legislation of Note - Family Law News

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Family Law News


Posted on: Jan 10, 2017

The IndyBar Legislative Committee is currently monitoring the following family law 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.

HB1048    ADOPTION CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECK. (AYLESWORTH M) Removes a requirement that a criminal history check in an adoption or guardianship proceeding must include a request for information from a national registry of substantiated child abuse and neglect reports.

HB1163    MARRIAGE. (LUCAS J) Eliminates the requirements that: (1) individuals obtain a marriage license before being married; (2) a marriage be solemnized by an individual specified by state law; and (3) a marriage license be filed with a circuit court clerk and the state department of health. Provides for marriage by marriage contract by any two individuals who are competent to contract in Indiana or otherwise permitted to marry in Indiana.

HB1216    CHILD CUSTODY PETITIONS. (YOUNG J) Prohibits the department of child services, an agency or person authorized to act on behalf of the department of child services, or a similar agency or county office with similar responsibilities in another state from filing a petition seeking a determination of custody of a child.

SB27    GRANDPARENT AND GREAT-GRANDPARENT VISITATION. (RANDOLPH L) Allows great-grandparents to seek visitation rights with their great-grandchildren in certain circumstances. Allows a grandparent or great-grandparent to seek visitation if the grandparent or great-grandparent has had meaningful contact with the child but, as a result of an estrangement between the parent of the child and the grandparent or great-grandparent, the parent of the child terminated the child's visits with the grandparent or great-grandparent. Establishes factors for the court to consider in determining whether granting a grandparent or great-grandparent visitation rights is in the best interests of the child. Provides that a court may order a party to an action for grandparent or great-grandparent visitation to pay a reasonable amount for the cost to the other party of maintaining or defending the action, including costs for attorney's fees and mediation. Specifies that certain agencies are not required to pay costs. Makes conforming changes.

SB36    PHYSICAL CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME. (FORD J) Adds a rebuttable presumption in child custody proceedings that: (1) joint physical custody is in the best interests of the child; and (2) equal parenting time is in the best interests of the child. Provides that the default joint physical custody or parenting time schedule is to alternate weekly physical custody of the child, unless the parents submit an alternative schedule that is approved by the court.

SB49    PLAN FOR THE PERMANENT PLACEMENT OF A CHILD. (GLICK S) Requires that a post-termination permanency plan is filed simultaneously with a petition for termination of a parent-child relationship.

SB99    PARENTAL PRIVILEGE. (KRUSE D) Provides that a parent is not required to testify concerning a communication between the parent and the parent's child, and that an adult child or emancipated child is not required to testify concerning a communication between the child and the child's parent.

SB235    GUARDIANSHIPS. (CRIDER M) Requires a guardian of a protected adult to permit all appropriate contact, communication, and social interaction between the protected adult and individuals with whom the protected adult had significant past family or social relationships, subject to a determination by the guardian, after consideration of all relevant facts and circumstances, that contact, communication, or social interaction with the protected adult should be limited, supervised, or prohibited in order to prevent harm to the protected adult's health, person, or property. Provides that any act or omission by the guardian in permitting contact, communication, and social interaction with the protected adult is subject to review and modification or other action by the court.

SB241    CHANGE OF CHILD PLACEMENT. (HEAD R) Requires that before changing the out-of-home placement of a child who has been in the same out-of-home placement for a period of at least one year, the department of child services must file a motion requesting a change in placement and the juvenile court shall hold a hearing on the question.

SB246    CHILD NEGLECT DEFENSE. (HOLDMAN T) Specifies under the safe haven law that it is only a defense to a claim of neglect of a dependent if the individual left the child with a person who is an emergency medical services provider.

SB332    ADOPTION MATTERS. (ZAKAS J) Amends provisions regarding adoption notices. Requires, with exceptions, the attorney or licensed child placing agency obtaining a consent to adoption to provide to the person consenting to adoption the name and address of the court in which the adoption is filed. Provides that a consent to an adoption is not required from the biological father of a child born out of wedlock who was conceived as a result of a crime in any jurisdiction in which the elements of the crime are substantially similar to certain crimes under Indiana law. Amends provisions regarding: (1) when a putative father is not entitled to establish paternity; (2) application of notice provisions to the contesting of an adoption; (3) contesting an adoption; (4) withdrawing consent to an adoption; and (5) postadoption contact privileges. Prohibits: (1) any person from challenging an adoption decree after the expiration period; and (2) with exceptions, a court from granting an adoption unless the attorney or licensed child placing agency provided to the person who signed a consent to adoption the name and address of the court in which the adoption was filed. Makes the following changes to the crime of profiting from an adoption: (1) Provides that the crime does not apply if the birth mother is not a resident of Indiana and the adoption takes place outside of Indiana. (2) Increases, from $3,000 to $4,000, the allowable payments for certain costs and expenses. Prohibits the state department of health from processing a record for adoption unless certain fees have been paid and the report summarizing the available medical, psychological, and educational records concerning the birth parents has been submitted to the state department of health.

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