Bill Summaries: S711 (2015-2016 Session)

  • Summary date: Apr 1 2015 - View summary

    Amends GS 50-13.2, concerning orders for custody of minor children, deleting all of the provisions of subsection (a) and including provisions that set out six policies of the state in regards to custody of minor children and parenting, that the State will encourage both parents to share equally in the rights and responsibilities of raising their child and encourage child-centered joint parenting agreements to reduce litigation over child custody matters. Sets out two terms for application in this section, joint parenting agreement and presumption of shared parenting.

    Adds language establishing 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 best interest of the child will always be the primary consideration of the court in determining issues of custody of and access to a minor child. Provides that the court will consider all relevant factors in making the custody determination, including the presumption that shared parenting is in the best interest of the child. Provides for a rebuttal of that presumption. 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. Makes clarifying changes.  

    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 numbers and the rationales for the court's decision in the custody order. 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. The 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 the act becomes law and applies to cases pending on or after that date.