HB 1156 – FINAL VERSION
HOUSE BILL 1156
This bill clarifies the factors considered by the court in determining the best interests of the child in parenting cases. The bill also addresses the affect allegations and findings of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse, have in determining parental rights and responsibilities.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten
AN ACT relative to the determination of parental rights and responsibilities.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
273:1 Determination of Parental Rights and Responsibilities; Best Interest of the Child. Amend RSA 461-A:6, I(e)-(j) to read as follows:
(e) The ability and disposition of each parent to foster a positive relationship and frequent and continuing physical, written, and telephonic contact with the other parent, [
except where contact will] including whether contact is likely to result in harm to the child or to a parent.
(f) The support of each parent for the child’s contact with the other parent as shown by allowing and promoting such contact, including whether contact is likely to result in harm to the child or to a parent.
(g) The support of each parent for the child’s relationship with the other parent, including whether contact is likely to result in harm to the child or to a parent.
(h) The relationship of the child with any other person who may significantly affect the child.
(i) The ability of the parents to communicate, cooperate with each other, and make joint decisions concerning the children, including whether contact is likely to result in harm to the child or to a parent.
(j) Any evidence of abuse, as defined in RSA 173-B:1, I or RSA 169-C:3, II, and the impact of the abuse on the child and on the relationship between the child and the abusing parent.
273:2 Determination of Parental Rights and Responsibilities; Allegations of Abuse or Neglect. Amend RSA 461-A:6, IV to read as follows:
IV. If the court finds that a parent has been convicted of [
sexual abuse or] sexual assault or there has been a finding by a court of competent jurisdiction of sexual abuse against such parent’s minor child or minor stepchild, the court may prohibit contact between such parent and the victim of the abuse and any sibling or step-sibling of the victim. The court shall make orders that best protect the victim of the abuse and the siblings and step-siblings of such victim.
(a) If a parent makes a good faith allegation based on a reasonable belief supported by facts that the parent’s child is a victim of physical abuse or neglect or sexual abuse perpetrated by the other parent and if the parent making the allegation acts lawfully and in good faith in accordance with such belief to protect the child or seek treatment for the child, the parent making the allegation shall not be deprived of parenting time, or contact with the child based on reasonable actions taken in accordance with that belief.
(b) In this paragraph, “sexual abuse” shall mean sexual abuse as defined in RSA 169-C:3, XXVII-a, and “sexual assault” shall mean sexual assault as provided in RSA 632-A:2, RSA 632-A:3, and RSA 632-A:4.
273:3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
Approved: July 8, 2010
Effective Date: September 6, 2010