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Bill Watch, Jan. 15, 2021: Current Family Law Legislation of Note - Family Law News

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Family Law News

Posted on: Jan 20, 2021

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 Mindy Westrick at

Click here to view the full Bill Watch reports.

HB1032    NEWBORN SAFETY DEVICES (FRYE R) Provides for placement of a newborn safety device at any facility that is staffed by an emergency medical services provider on a 24 hour per day, seven day per week basis, provided the newborn safety device: (1) is located in an area that is conspicuous and visible to staff; and (2) includes a dual alarm system that is connected to the facility and is tested at least one time per month to ensure the alarm system is in working order. Provides for placement of a newborn safety device at any fire department, including a volunteer fire department, that is located within the jurisdiction of a city or town law enforcement agency, provided the newborn safety device is equipped with an alert system that: (1) when the newborn safety device is opened, automatically connects to the 911 system and transmits a request for immediate dispatch of an emergency medical services provider to the location of the newborn safety device; and (2) is tested at least one time per month to ensure the alert system is in working order. Provides that a person who in good faith voluntarily leaves a child in a newborn safety device located at such a facility or fire station is not obligated to disclose the parent's name or the person's name. Makes conforming amendments.

HB1194    CHILD CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME (JUDY C) Provides that if a court in a paternity or child custody proceeding does not award joint legal custody or joint physical custody of a child, the court shall enter findings of fact and conclusions of law citing clear and convincing evidence that awarding joint legal custody or joint physical custody is unreasonable and not in the best interest of the child. Provides for a court in a proceeding to modify custody to consider any substantial changes in the facts underlying a previous court decision not to award joint legal custody or joint physical custody. Provides that in allocating parenting time, there is a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interests of the child for parenting time to be allocated equally or nearly equally between the child's custodial parent and the child's noncustodial parent. Provides that a finding by the court that a history of child abuse or neglect exists with respect to the child is sufficient to rebut the presumption.

SB66    ADOPTION SUBSIDIES (NIEZGODSKI D) Prohibits the department of child services (department), a licensed child placing agency, or a court from considering the following when determining the suitability of a prospective adoptive parent: (1) The eligibility of the prospective adoptive parent to receive adoption assistance payments or an adoption subsidy. (2) The amount of the adoption assistance payments or adoption subsidy for which the prospective adoptive parent qualifies. Requires, with certain exceptions, that the department: (1) enter into an agreement with each adoptive parent of a child with special needs who is eligible for an adoption subsidy to provide an adoption subsidy for the child; and (2) allocate to the adoption assistance account funds necessary to make the adoption subsidy payments. Prohibits the department from terminating an adoption subsidy agreement with an adoptive parent due to a lack of sufficient funds in the adoption assistance account. Provides that the amount of adoption subsidy payments may not be less than an amount equal to 50% of the amount that would be payable by the department for the monthly cost of care of the adopted child in a foster family home at the time that: (1) the adoption subsidy agreement is made; or (2) the subsidy is payable under the terms of the agreement; whichever is greater. Makes conforming changes.

SB318    CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME (GARTEN C) Provides that there is a presumption, rebuttable by a preponderance of the evidence, that: (1) joint physical custody is in the best interests of a child; and (2) equally shared parenting time is in the best interests of a child. Provides, for purposes of each presumption, that the presumption does not apply if a parent of the child has requested or been granted a protective order against the other parent on behalf of the child. Amends the factors a court must consider when making a physical custody determination. Requires a court that finds that equally shared parenting time is not in the best interests of the child to order a parenting time schedule that maximizes the time each parent spends with the child without endangering the child's physical health and well-being or significantly impairing the child's emotional health.

SB326    CHILD SUPPORT OBLIGATION OF AN INCARCERATED PARENT (PERFECT C) Specifies that, in the absence of other changing circumstances, incarceration is not presumed to constitute a change in circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms of a child support order unreasonable. Specifies that the burden is upon the party seeking a modification of the child support order to show that a party's incarceration is a changed circumstance so substantial and continuing as to make the terms of the order unreasonable.

SB393    TAX REFUND INTERCEPTS FOR CHILD SUPPORT ARREARAGES (FREEMAN A) Provides that an obligation owed by an individual is not subject to a state tax income refund set off if: (1) the obligation arises from arrears on child support payments that initially accrued while the individual was the noncustodial parent of the child for whom the child support payments were owed; and (2) the individual is currently the custodial parent of that child. Provides that the first $50 of child support, or the amount of the child support payment if it is less than $50, collected on behalf of a child in a month for reimbursement of temporary services must be passed through to the child's family and disregarded in determining the amount of temporary assistance provided to the family


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