Introduced Version






SENATE BILL No. 254

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DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 31-14-14-4.5 ; IC 31-17.

Synopsis: Noncustodial parents' rights. Provides that a noncustodial parent may receive custody of the children if a court finds in a contempt hearing or a hearing to enforce an injunction or restraining order that a custodial parent has prevented court ordered visitation between the noncustodial parent and any child on three separate occasions.

Effective: July 1, 2003.





Young R Michael




    January 9, 2003, read first time and referred to Committee on Judiciary.







Introduced

First Regular Session 113th General Assembly (2003)


PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in this style type.
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SENATE BILL No. 254



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning family law and juvenile law.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

    SECTION 1. IC 31-14-14-4.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2003]: Sec. 4.5. (a) A noncustodial parent may file in a court of competent jurisdiction a petition seeking custody of a child if a court has entered three (3) prior unrelated contempt orders against a custodial parent for barring a noncustodial parent from exercising visitation ordered for the noncustodial parent and a child covered under the visitation order.
    (b) If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the custodial parent has three (3) prior unrelated contempt findings under subsection (a), a rebuttable presumption is created that the noncustodial parent shall be awarded custody of the child.
    (c) The presumption is rebutted upon a showing that awarding the noncustodial parent custody of the child might endanger the child's physical health or significantly impair the child's emotional development.
    (d) The noncustodial parent has the burden of proof at a

hearing under this section.
    (e) The court must appoint a guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate for the child at a hearing under this section.

     (f) The court may order the custodial parent to pay reasonable attorney's fees, costs, and expenses if the court enters an order granting custody of the child to the noncustodial parent.
    SECTION 2. IC 31-17-4-8.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2003]: Sec. 8.5. (a) A noncustodial parent may file in the court that has jurisdiction over a dissolution of marriage a petition seeking custody of a child if the court has found three (3) prior unrelated violations under section 8 of this chapter against the custodial parent.
    (b) If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the custodial parent has three (3) prior unrelated violations under section 8 of this chapter, a rebuttable presumption is created that the noncustodial parent shall be awarded custody of the child.
    (c) The presumption is rebutted upon a showing that awarding the noncustodial parent custody of the child might endanger the child's physical health or significantly impair the child's emotional development.
    (d) The noncustodial parent has the burden of proof at a hearing under this section.
    (e) The court must appoint a guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate for the child at a hearing under this section.
    (f) The court may order the custodial parent to pay reasonable attorney's fees, costs, and expenses if the court enters an order granting custody of the child to the noncustodial parent.

    SECTION 3. IC 31-17-6-1 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2003]: Sec. 1. A court in a proceeding under IC 31-17-2 , IC 31-17-4 , IC 31-17-4-8.5 , this chapter, or IC 31-17-7 may appoint a guardian ad litem, a court appointed special advocate, or both, for a child at any time.