HB1659 (2024) Detail

Relative to interference with child custody and shared parenting.


HB 1659-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

21Mar2024... 0921h

2024 SESSION

24-2631

05/08

 

HOUSE BILL 1659-FN

 

AN ACT relative to interference with child custody and shared parenting.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Post, Hills. 42; Rep. Bernardy, Rock. 36; Rep. Terry, Belk. 7; Sen. Pearl, Dist 17

 

COMMITTEE: Children and Family Law

 

─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

 

AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill provides that unless the parenting plan specifically provides otherwise, both parents shall have access to all records and information pertaining to the child.  The bill further directs the court to award a parent additional parenting time in response to the other parent's noncompliance with the parenting schedule.  The bill also permits the court to fine the parent for noncompliance with the court-ordered parenting schedule.

 

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

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

21Mar2024... 0921h 24-2631

05/08

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Four

 

AN ACT relative to interference with child custody and shared parenting.

 

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

 

1  Parental Rights and Responsibilities; Parenting Plan Contents; Access to Records and Information.  Amend RSA 461-A:4, II(b) to read as follows:

(b)  Information sharing and access, including telephone and electronic access. Unless the court order or parenting plan specifically provides otherwise, and unless otherwise precluded by state or federal law, both parents shall have access to records and information pertaining to a minor child including, but not limited too, medical, dental, and school records.

2  Parental Rights and Responsibilities; Judicial Enforcement of Parenting Schedule.  Amend RSA 461-A:4-a to read as follows:

461-A:4-a  Judicial Enforcement of Parenting Plan.

I.  The court shall hold a hearing on any motion for contempt or enforcement of an order regarding an approved parenting plan under this chapter[,if filed by a parent, shall be reviewed by the court] filed by a parent within 30 days, and within 10 days of the conclusion of an investigation by the division for children youth and families (DCYF) or law enforcement.

II.  If the court finds that a parent has, without just cause, failed to abide by the terms of a parenting plan under RSA 461-A:4, or access was denied due to an investigation by DCYF that did not result in a finding of abuse or neglect, the court shall order additional parenting time to the other parent as compensation for time lost with the child.  The court shall order the parties to resume the parenting schedule immediately thereafter according to the original court-ordered parenting plan.

III.  In addition to reasonable attorneys fees and costs under RSA 461-A:15, the court may impose a fine of $500 for noncompliance with the parenting plan.  

3  Applicability.  This act shall apply to any proceeding in the family division of the circuit court affecting the child-parent relationship pending on or after the effective date of this act.  This act shall not apply to any proceeding in which a final order was issued prior to the effective date of this act.

4  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2025.

 

LBA

24-2631

Amended 4/3/24

 

HB 1659-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE (AMENDMENT #2024-0921h)

 

AN ACT relative to interference with child custody and shared parenting.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

Estimated State Impact - Increase / (Decrease)

 

FY 2024

FY 2025

FY 2026

FY 2027

Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

Revenue Fund(s)

None

 

Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Funding Source(s)

General Fund

 

Appropriations

$0

$0

$0

$0

Funding Source(s)

None

 

Does this bill provide sufficient funding to cover estimated expenditures? [X] N/A

Does this bill authorize new positions to implement this bill? [X] No

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill provides that unless the parenting plan specifically provides otherwise, both parents shall have access to all records and information pertaining to the child.  The bill further directs the court to award a parent additional parenting time in response to the other parent's noncompliance with the parenting schedule.  The bill also permits the court to fine the parent for noncompliance with the court-ordered parenting schedule.  The Judicial Branch estimates this bill would increase the number of contempt hearings by as many as 2,000 per year resulting in a substantial increase in judicial and staff time.  The issuance of initial parenting orders in some cases may be delayed so that the court can hold mandatory contempt hearings in others.  It is possible some litigants will file multiple contempt pleadings requiring mandatory hearings on the same or similar sets of facts.  The court does not have discretion to decline to hold a hearing on a frivolous pleading or one alleging only minor noncompliance with a parenting plan.  Any such additional costs cannot be determined.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch

 

Amendments

Date Amendment
March 8, 2024 2024-0921h

Links


Date Body Type
Feb. 13, 2024 House Hearing
Feb. 20, 2024 House Exec Session
March 5, 2024 House Exec Session
March 5, 2024 House Floor Vote
April 2, 2024 Senate Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

HB1659 Revision: 41355 Date: April 3, 2024, 10:47 a.m.
HB1659 Revision: 41165 Date: March 8, 2024, 10:43 a.m.
HB1659 Revision: 40465 Date: Dec. 15, 2023, 3:59 p.m.

Docket


March 27, 2024: Hearing: 04/02/2024, Room 100, SH, 01:00 pm; SC 13


March 26, 2024: Introduced 03/21/2024 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 8


March 21, 2024: Ought to Pass with Amendment 2024-0921h: MA RC 198-174 03/21/2024 HJ 9


March 21, 2024: Amendment # 2024-0921h: AA DV 189-176 03/21/2024 HJ 9


March 11, 2024: Minority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate


March 11, 2024: Majority Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2024-0921h 03/05/2024 (Vote 8-6; RC)


Feb. 21, 2024: ==CONTINUED== Executive Session: 03/05/2024 10:00 am LOB 206-208


Feb. 2, 2024: ==RECESSED== Executive Session: 02/20/2024 10:30 am LOB 206-208


Jan. 31, 2024: Public Hearing: 02/13/2024 01:15 pm LOB 206-208


Dec. 15, 2023: Introduced 01/03/2024 and referred to Children and Family Law HJ 1