Bill Summaries: S610 (2013-2014 Session)

  • Summary date: Apr 2 2013 - View summary

    Amends GS 50-13.2,(Who entitled to custody; terms of custody; visitation rights of grandparents; taking child out of State.), changes section heading to Who entitled to custody; presumed shared responsibility; terms of custody; visitation rights of grandparents; taking child out of State; visitation by electronic communication. Makes reorganizational changes. Provides the policy and the mission of the State in regards to child custody by highlighting five focus areas, including encouraging focused, good faith, best interest, and child-centered joint parenting agreement development and encouraging both parents to share equitably in the rights and responsibilities of raising their child.

    Provides the terms and definitions for the section, including joint parenting agreement and presumption of shared responsibility. Establishes that an order for the custody of a minor child entered pursuant to this section will award custody to the person, agency, organization, or institution that will best promote the interest and the welfare of the child. Provides that the court will consider all relevant factors in making the custody determination, including the six factors listed in the section, such as, that it is in the best interest of the child to presume both parents are fit, and fit parents act in their child's best interest. An order for custody must include findings of fact that support the determination of what is in the best interest of the child. Provides that only after considering the presumption of shared responsibility can an order for custody of a minor child grant joint custody to the parents.

    Establishes that regarding any action or proceeding for custody of a minor child and in accordance with GS 50-13.2, within four months from the date this act becomes law, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) will create a simple form for the purposes of capturing specified information, including the parties' case file number and the type of custody granted. This form is to be submitted to the clerk of court in the county where the action is filed, then to the AOC. The AOC must collect the data required and present it in a report to the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations. First report will be presented 14 months after the date this act becomes effective, covering the data collection for the first six-month period. After that, the AOC will issue interim reports and an annual report.

    Effective when it becomes law and applies to cases pending on or after that date.