HB236 (2018) Detail

Relative to determination of parental rights and responsibilities and establishing a presumption in favor of shared residential responsibility.


HB 236 - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

3Jan2018... 2520h

3Jan2018... 0004h

2017 SESSION

17-0407

05/09

 

HOUSE BILL 236

 

AN ACT relative to determination of parental rights and responsibilities and establishing a presumption in favor of shared residential responsibility.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Pearson, Rock. 34; Rep. Rouillard, Hills. 6; Rep. T. Le, Rock. 31

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Provides a list of factors the court may consider in determining parental rights and responsibilities.  

 

II.  Establishes a presumption in favor of shared parental rights, including residential responsibility, resulting in not less than 35 percent of the parenting time for either parent.  

 

III.  Permits the court to modify parental rights and responsibilities based on the best interest, of the child.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

3Jan2018... 2520h

3Jan2018... 0004h 17-0407

05/09

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT relative to determination of parental rights and responsibilities and establishing a presumption in favor of shared residential responsibility.

 

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

 

1  Statement of Findings.  The legislature finds that parenting time and responsibility shared equally between parents after a divorce tends to provide the best possible outcome for minor children after a divorce.

2  New Paragraph; Parental Rights and Responsibilities; Definition of Shared Parenting.  Amend RSA 461-A:1 by inserting after paragraph VII the following new paragraph:

VIII.  “Shared parenting” means an arrangement by which:

(a)  To meet the best interests of the child, a child shall have not less than 35 percent parenting time with each parent appropriate to:

(1)  The relationship of the child with each parent and the ability of each parent to provide the child with nurture, love, affection, and guidance.

(2)  The ability of each parent to assure that the child receives adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and a safe environment.

(3)  The developmental age and status of the child.

(4)  The child’s routine schedule of school and other activities.

(5)  Holidays and other child-centered special events.

(6)  The parent’s availability to fulfill parenting responsibilities.

(7)  Any other factors the court deems relevant.

(b)  The child’s material, developmental, educational, and emotional needs are provided by the parents according to the parents’ individual capability.

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

I.(a)  Neither parent receives less than 35 percent of the parenting time and responsibilities without at least one of the following:

(1)  An agreement made by the parties, including but not limited to, a parenting plan pursuant to RSA 461-A:4.

(2)  A court finding by a preponderance of evidence of:

(A)  Abuse, as defined in RSA 173-B:1, I or RSA 169-C:3, II, with consideration to the impact of abuse or domestic violence on the child.

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

(C)  Interference with custody as defined in RSA 633:4.

(D)  Incarceration of a parent, with due regard for the reason and the length of incarceration, as well as any unique issues that may arise as a result of incarceration.

(E)  The ability and disposition of each parent to make joint decisions concerning the welfare of the child and foster a positive relationship with the other parent, and frequent and continuing contact with the other parent as shown by allowing and promoting such contact, including whether such contact is likely to result in harm to the child or to a parent.

(F)  The relationship of the child with any other person who may significantly affect the child.

(G)  The parent with minority parenting time requests less than 35 percent of the parenting time and responsibilities.

(H)  Any additional factors the court deems relevant and documents in the court order.

(b)  In the absence of an agreement between the parties, or a determination of the parental rights and responsibilities for each child under subparagraph (a), the court shall issue an order that provides for continuing contact between each parent and the minor child or children and for the shared parenting 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 explicit findings that such contact is not in the best interest of the child.  There shall be a rebuttable presumption that shared parenting and shared residential rights and responsibilities, resulting in not less than 35 percent of the parenting time and responsibilities for either parent, are in the best interest of the child or children.

(c)  An objection by one parent to a proposed parenting arrangement, or an allegation that co-parenting is impossible, 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.  This provision may be waived if agreed to by both parties.

4  New Paragraph; 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 modify an order concerning parental rights and responsibilities if the moving party establishes that circumstances have changed substantially since the last parenting order was issued and 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.

5  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.

Links

HB236 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 21, 2017 House Hearing
Feb. 28, 2017 House Exec Session
Nov. 9, 2017 House Exec Session
Jan. 3, 2018 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB236 Revision: 2865 Date: Jan. 5, 2018, 11:50 a.m.
HB236 Revision: 2531 Date: Jan. 30, 2017, 11:37 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 4, 2017 Introduced 01/04/2017 and referred to Judiciary HJ 2 P. 21
Jan. 4, 2017 Vacated to Children and Family Law Without Objection 01/04/2017 HJ 2 P. 15
Feb. 21, 2017 Public Hearing: 02/21/2017 02:00 PM LOB 206
Feb. 28, 2017 Executive Session: 02/28/2017 10:00 AM LOB 206
Retained in Committee
May 9, 2017 Retained Bill Subcommittee Work Session: 05/09/2017 10:00 AM LOB 206
June 6, 2017 Retained Bill Subcommittee Work Session: 06/06/2017 10:00 AM LOB 206
Sept. 12, 2017 Retained Bill Subcommittee Work Session: 09/12/2017 10:00 AM LOB 206
Oct. 24, 2017 Retained Bill Subcommittee Work Session: 10/24/2017 10:00 AM LOB 206
Nov. 9, 2017 Executive Session: 11/09/2017 10:00 AM LOB 206
Jan. 3, 2018 Majority Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2017-2520h for 01/03/2018 (Vote 8-6; RC)
Minority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate
Jan. 3, 2018 Amendment # 2017-2520h: AA VV 01/03/2018 HJ 1 P. 47
Jan. 3, 2018 FLAM # 2018-0004h (Rep. Itse): AA VV 01/03/2018 HJ 1 P. 48
Jan. 3, 2018 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2520h and 0004h: MF RC 171-178 01/03/2018 HJ 1 P. 49
Jan. 3, 2018 Inexpedient to Legislate: MF RC 174-175 01/03/2018 HJ 1 P. 51
Jan. 3, 2018 Lay HB 236 on Table (Rep. Hinch): MA VV 01/03/2018 HJ 1 P. 53
March 7, 2018 Remove from Table (Rep. Itse): MF DV 138-191 03/07/2018 HJ 7 P. 22