HB591 (2011) Detail

Relative to the determination of parental rights based on the best interest of the child; relative to grounds for modification of an order regarding parental rights and responsibilities, and relative to grandparent and stepparent visitation rights.


HB 591 – AS INTRODUCED

2011 SESSION

11-0724

05/04

HOUSE BILL 591

AN ACT relative to the determination of parental rights based on the best interest of the child; relative to grounds for modification of an order regarding parental rights and responsibilities, and relative to grandparent and stepparent visitation rights.

SPONSORS: Rep. Oligny, Rock 8; Rep. Sapareto, Rock 5; Rep. Baldasaro, Rock 3; Rep. Ulery, Hills 27

COMMITTEE: Children and Family Law

ANALYSIS

This bill revises the standard for determining parental rights and responsibilities based on the best interest of the child.

The bill also repeals the court’s authority to award visitation to a stepparent or grandparent in a proceeding to determine parental rights and responsibilities.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

11-0724

05/04

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT relative to the determination of parental rights based on the best interest of the child; relative to grounds for modification of an order regarding parental rights and responsibilities, and relative to grandparent and stepparent visitation rights.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Determination of Parental Rights and Responsibilities; Best Interest. RSA 461-A:6, I is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

I.(a) The court shall make a determination as to the parental rights and responsibilities for each child. In determining parental rights and responsibilities, the court shall be guided by the best interests of the child, and shall consider the following factors:

(1) Any arrangement agreed to by the parties.

(2) A court finding by clear and convincing evidence of:

(A) 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.

(B) Neglect, as defined in RSA 169-C:3, XIX.

(C) Parental kidnapping or interference with custody or visitation.

(D) If a parent is incarcerated, the reason for and the length of the incarceration, and any unique issues that arise as a result of incarceration.

(b) The court shall issue an order that provides for frequent and continuing contact between each parent and the minor child or children and for the sharing of responsibilities of child-rearing and encouraging the love, affection, and contact between the minor child or children and the parents regardless of marital status, unless the court makes an explicit finding that such contact is not in the best interest of the child. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that joint parental rights and responsibilities, as close to 50 percent parenting time for each parent as is possible given the parties availability and logistics, is in the best interest of the child or children.

(c) An objection by one parent to a proposed parenting arrangement shall not be the sole basis for refusing the entry of an order that the court determines is in the best interest of the minor child. The court shall place in the record the specific factors and findings which justify any parenting arrangement not agreed to by both parents, unless otherwise requested by one of the parties.

2 Modification of Parental Rights and Responsibilities. Amend RSA 461-A:11 by inserting after paragraph I the following new paragraph:

I-a. The court may issue an order modifying an order concerning parental rights and responsibilities if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that modification of the order is in the best interests of the child. Modification of a parenting order under this paragraph may be requested by either party not more than once every 3 years.

3 Repeal. The following are repealed:

I. RSA 461-A:6, I and RSA 461-A:13, relative to grandparent and stepparent visitation rights.

II. RSA 461-A:6, VII, relative to an explanation of court decisions.

4 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

Links

HB591 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB591 Revision: 19533 Date: Feb. 1, 2011, midnight

Docket