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Bill Watch, April 23, 2019: Current Family Law Legislation of Note - Family Law News

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Family Law News


Posted on: Apr 23, 2019

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 mindy.westrick@faegrebd.com.

Click here to view the full Bill Watch reports.

HB1006    DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SERVICES. (STEUERWALD G) Provides that an older youth who received foster care is eligible to receive collaborative care services until the individual becomes 21 years of age. Provides that the caseload of a family case manager may not be more than: (1) 12 active cases relating to initial assessments; (2) 12 families in active cases relating to ongoing in-home services; or (3) 13 children in active cases relating to ongoing services who are in out-of-home placements. Requires the department of child services (department) to initiate an assessment immediately, but not later than two hours (rather than one hour, under current law), after receiving a report of child abuse or neglect if the department believes the child is in immediate danger of serious bodily harm. Requires the department to provide a report concerning an assessment or investigation of a report of suspected child abuse or neglect not later than 45 days after the department initiates the assessment if the report of suspected child abuse or neglect was received from certain entities. Provides that a child is a child in need of services if the child's parent, guardian, or custodian has failed to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or supervision: (1) when the parent, guardian, or custodian is financially able to do so; or (2) due to the failure, refusal, or inability of the parent, guardian, or custodian to seek financial or other reasonable means to do so. (Current code does not consider financial ability.)

HB1014    UNAUTHORIZED ADOPTION ADVERTISING. (TORR J) Provides that the unauthorized adoption advertising statute does not apply to an Indiana resident seeking to adopt a child on the resident's own behalf. Removes a provision that requires an attorney licensed to practice in Indiana and a child placing agency licensed under the laws of Indiana to include certain information in an advertisement regarding adoption. Makes conforming amendments.

HB1075    CHILDREN'S COMMISSION REPORT AND DCS HUMAN TRAFFICKING COORDINATOR. (ENGLEMAN K) Changes, from July 1 to September 1, the date by which the commission on improving the status of children in Indiana (commission) must submit its annual report. Requires the commission to study the topic of the department of child services employing a human trafficking coordinator. Removes an expired provision.

HB1114    CRIMINAL MATTERS. (MILLER D) Provides that a person commits interfering with law enforcement, a Class B misdemeanor, if, after being denied entry by a law enforcement officer, the person enters an area that is marked off with barrier tape or other physical barriers. Provides a defense if the person enters the prohibited area out of concern for the wellbeing of certain family members. Increases the penalty if the person uses a vehicle, draws or uses a deadly weapon, or causes injury or death to another person. Provides that resisting or interfering with law enforcement is enhanced to a Level 6 felony if the person uses a vehicle to commit the offense. (Under current law, the felony enhancement to resisting law enforcement applies only if the person flees from law enforcement using a vehicle.) Permits, under certain circumstances, a juvenile court to waive to adult court a child at least 12 years of age who is charged with attempted murder.

HB1198    DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SERVICES MATTERS. (FRIZZELL D) Defines "child", for purposes of provisions regarding the filing of a petition to terminate a parent-child relationship involving a delinquent child or a child in need of services, as an individual who is: (1) less than 18 years of age; and (2) a delinquent child or a child in need of services. Provides that a criminal history check for multiple family law and juvenile provisions includes a check of local criminal records (rather than local law enforcement records under current law). Amends the list of nonwaivable offenses under juvenile law and certain convictions with five-year limitations. Requires the completion of sentencing in addition to the five-year limitation on the conviction of certain crimes. Changes the threshold on when a Title IV-D agency that collects child support payments is required to collect a fee. Requires that a criminal history check must be conducted for an employee, volunteer, or contractor of an applicant for various licenses, regardless of whether the individual has direct contact with children. Provides for denial or revocation of various licenses for employees, volunteers, or contractors, regardless of whether the individual has direct contact with children. Requires that a child in need of services or a delinquent child be provided with a foster care verification form when the child leaves foster care o r has been in foster care for at least six months. Adds department of child services employees to the list of individuals who may request that a county, municipality, or township restrict access to the individual's home address on a public property data base operated by the county, municipality, or township.

HB1432    PARENTAL INCARCERATION. (MACER K) Provides that a child in need of services (CHINS) case plan must include a description and discussion of: (1) the services and treatment available to an incarcerated parent at the facility at which the parent is incarcerated; and (2) how the parent and child may be afforded visitation opportunities, unless visitation with the parent is not in the best interests of the child. Requires a CHINS dispositional decree to provide a reasonable opportunity for a parent of the child who: (1) is incarcerated; and (2) has maintained a meaningful role in the child's life; to maintain a relationship with the child, subject to the safety of the community and best interests of the child. Provides that a petition to terminate a parent-child relationship (TPR) may be dismissed if: (1) the parent is incarcerated or the parent's prior incarceration is a significant factor in the child having been under the supervision of the department of child services (department) or a county probation department for at least 15 of the most recent 22 months; (2) the parent maintains a meaningful role in the child's life; and (3) the department has not documented a reason to conclude that it would otherwise be in the child's best interests to terminate the parent-child relationship. Provides that in determining whether to dismiss a TPR, a court may consider the length of time remaining in an incarcerated parent's sentence.

HB1520    CHILD SUPPORT. (GIAQUINTA P) Provides that the duty to support a child ceases when the child becomes 19 years of age unless the child is a full-time student in a secondary school.

SB1    DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SERVICES. (HOUCHIN E) Provides that an older youth who received foster care is eligible to receive collaborative care services until the individual becomes 21 years of age. Requires the department of child services (department) to initiate an assessment immediately, but not later than two hours (rather than one hour, under current law), after receiving a report of child abuse or neglect if the department believes the child is in immediate danger of serious bodily harm. Provides that a dispositional decree must require the department to continue exercising due diligence to identify all adult relatives of the child and adult siblings who may be considered as out-of-home placements for the child. Requires the department to include information: (1) concerning the department's continued effort to identify all adult relatives of the child and adult siblings who may be considered as out-of-home placements for the child; and (2) from a foster parent in a progress report prepared for a case review hearing or permanency hearing. Allows a foster parent, relative, or de facto custodian with whom a child has been placed for at least six months to file a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship (TPR) involving a delinquent child or a child in need of services if: (1) the child has been removed from a parent and has been under the supervision of the department for at least 15 months of the most recent 22 months; and (2) a petition for TPR has not been filed by the department, the child's court appointed special advocate, or the child's guardian ad litem. Provides that the best interests of the child must be considered in determining placement of an alleged child in need of services who has been taken into custody. Requires a court to consider certain factors when considering a petition to intervene filed in a child in need of services proceeding by a foster parent, long term foster parent, or a person who has been a foster parent of the child. Provides that before a child who was: (1) placed in an out-of-home placement; and (2) moved from the out-of-home placement to an in-home placement; may be returned to an out-of-home placement, the court and the department shall make a reasonable attempt to place the child in the previous out-of-home placement. Provides that a foster parent, relative of the child, or de facto custodian with whom the child has been placed for at least six months may file a notice with the court if a petition for TPR has not been filed concerning a child who has been removed from a parent and has been under the supervision of the department for 15 months of the most recent 22 months. Provides that if a notice is filed with the court, the court shall order the department to file a petition for TPR within 15 days of the order. Provides that the failure to obey the court order is punishable as contempt of court.

SB197    COPIES OF IDENTIFYING ADOPTION INFORMATION. (HEAD R) Provides that a person releasing identifying adoption information must, upon request by the individual requesting the identifying information, provide copies of the identifying information to the individual. Makes a correction regarding exceptions to the release of identifying information.

SB206    CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION. (YOUNG M) Defines, for purposes of child support modification, an order with respect to child support.

SB208    ELECTRONIC FILING AND NOTICE. (YOUNG M) Allows a person to use electronic filing or service instead of mailing in certain cases if electronic filing or service is authorized by rules adopted by the supreme court.

SB323    DRUG TESTING AND VISITATION. (CRIDER M) Authorizes a court to require a parent to submit to drug testing as a condition of exercising parenting time rights if the court finds that: (1) the parent has a history of unlawful drug use within the previous five years; or (2) there is a reasonable likelihood that the parent is currently using unlawful drugs. Specifies that the parent shall pay the costs of the drug testing.

SB464    HOMELESS CHILDREN AND YOUTHS. (MERRITT J) Allows certain representatives of a homeless youth to: (1) access, on behalf of the youth, the youth's birth certificate, photo identification, and driver's license without charge or consent of a parent, guardian, or custodian; and (2) enroll the youth in adult basic education services and register the youth for the Indiana high school equivalency examination, after the youth completes an exit interview with the youth's school corporation; if the youth meets certain guidelines and the representative possesses a fee and consent waiver affidavit. Updates the law regarding the education of homeless children and youth to align with federal law.

SB596    VOLUNTARY PREVENTATIVE PROGRAMS FOR JUVENILES. (SPARTZ V) Provides that the Indiana supreme court may establish a two-year pilot program to assist juvenile court judges in five Indiana counties in providing voluntary preventative programs for at-risk children. Requires nonjudicial state agencies to assist the Indiana supreme court in the implementation of the pilot program. Requires the supreme court office of judicial administration to report to the legislative council specified information regarding the pilot program.

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