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5 AN ACT RELATING TO HUSBAND AND WIFE; EXTENDING THE EXPEDITED
6 VISITATION ENFORCEMENT PILOT PROGRAM; CLARIFYING THE OPERATION OF
7 THE PROGRAM; AND REDUCING THE PURPOSES FOR WHICH THE CHILDREN'S
8 LEGAL DEFENSE ACCOUNT MAY BE USED.
9 This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
11 30-3-38, as enacted by Chapter 255, Laws of Utah 1996
12 63-63a-8, as last amended by Chapters 1 and 255, Laws of Utah 1996
13 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
14 Section 1. Section 30-3-38 is amended to read:
15 30-3-38. Pilot Program for Expedited Visitation Enforcement.
16 (1) There is established an Expedited Visitation Enforcement Pilot Program in the third
17 judicial district to be administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts from July 1, 1996,
18 to July 1, [
26 (2) As used in this section:
27 (a) "Mediator" means a person who:
1 (i) is qualified to mediate visitation disputes under criteria established by the
2 Administrative Office of the Courts; and
3 (ii) agrees to follow billing guidelines established by the Administrative Office of the
4 Courts and this section.
5 (b) "Services to facilitate visitation" or "services" means services designed to assist
6 families in resolving visitation problems through:
7 (i) counseling;
8 (ii) supervised visitation;
9 (iii) neutral drop-off and pick-up;
10 (iv) educational classes; and
11 (v) other related activities.
12 (3) (a) Under this pilot program, if a parent files a motion in the third district court alleging
13 that court-ordered visitation rights are being violated, the clerk of the court, after assigning the case
14 to a judge, shall refer the case to the administrator of this pilot program for assignment to a
16 (b) Upon receipt of a case, the mediator shall:
17 (i) meet with the parents to address visitation issues within 15 days of the motion being
19 (ii) assess the situation;
20 (iii) facilitate an agreement on visitation between the parents; and
21 (iv) determine whether a referral to a service provider under Subsection (3)(c) is
23 (c) While a case is in mediation, a mediator may refer the parents to a service provider
24 designated by the Department of Human Services for services to facilitate visitation if:
25 (i) the services may be of significant benefit to the parents; or
26 (ii) (A) a mediated agreement between the parents is unlikely; and
27 (B) the services may facilitate an agreement.
28 (d) At anytime during mediation, a mediator shall terminate mediation and transfer the
29 case to the administrator of the pilot program for referral to the judge to whom the case was
30 assigned under Subsection (2) if:
31 (i) a written agreement between the parents is reached; or
1 (ii) the parents are unable to reach an agreement through mediation; and
2 (A) the parents have received services to facilitate visitation;
3 (B) both parents object to receiving services to facilitate visitation; or
4 (C) the parents are unlikely to benefit from receiving services to facilitate visitation.
5 (e) Upon receiving a case from the administrator of the pilot program, a judge may:
6 (i) review the agreement of the parents and, if acceptable, sign it as an order;
7 (ii) order the parents to receive services to facilitate visitation;
8 (iii) proceed with the case; or
9 (iv) take other appropriate action.
10 (4) (a) If a parent makes a particularized allegation of physical or sexual abuse of a child
11 who is the subject of a visitation order against the other parent or a member of the other parent's
12 household to a mediator or service provider, the mediator or service provider shall immediately
13 report that information to:
14 (i) the judge assigned to the case who may immediately issue orders and take other
15 appropriate action to resolve the allegation and protect the child; and
16 (ii) the Division of Family Services within the Department of Human Services in the
17 manner required by Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 4, Child Abuse or Neglect Reporting
19 (b) If an allegation under Subsection (4)(a) is made against a parent with visitation rights
20 or a member of that parent's household, visitation by that parent shall be supervised until:
21 (i) the allegation has been resolved; or
22 (ii) a court orders otherwise.
23 (c) Notwithstanding an allegation under Subsection (4)(a), a mediator may continue to
24 mediate visitation problems and a service provider may continue to provide services to facilitate
25 visitation unless otherwise ordered by a court.
26 (5) (a) The Department of Human Services may contract with one more entities in
27 accordance with Title 63, Chapter 56, Utah Procurement Code, to provide:
28 (i) services to facilitate visitation;
29 (ii) case management services; and
30 (iii) administrative services.
31 (b) An entity who contracts with the Department of Human Services under Subsection
1 (5)(a) shall:
2 (i) be qualified to provide one or more of the services listed in Subsection (5)(a); and
3 (ii) agree to follow billing guidelines established by the Department of Human Services
4 and this section.
5 (6) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (6)(b), the cost of mediation and the cost of
6 services to facilitate visitation shall be:
7 (i) reduced to a sum certain;
8 (ii) divided equally between the parents; and
9 (iii) charged against each parent taking into account the ability of that parent to pay under
10 billing guidelines adopted in accordance with this section.
11 (b) (i) A judge may order a parent to pay an amount in excess of that provided for in
12 Subsection (6)(a) if the parent:
13 (A) failed to participate in good faith in mediation or services to facilitate visitation; or
14 (B) made an unfounded assertion or claim of physical or sexual abuse of a child.
15 (c) (i) The cost of mediation and services to facilitate visitation may be charged to parents
16 at periodic intervals.
17 (ii) Mediation and services to facilitate visitation may only be terminated on the ground
18 of nonpayment if both parents are delinquent.
20 provisions of this pilot program related to mediation.
29 (b) The Department of Human Services may make rules to implement and administer the
30 provisions of this pilot program related to services to facilitate visitation.
1 measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the mediation component of this pilot program. Progress
2 reports shall be provided to the Judiciary Interim Committee [
3 requested thereafter by the committee. At least once during this pilot program, the Administrative
4 Office of the Courts shall present to the committee the results of a survey that measures the
5 effectiveness of the program in terms of increased compliance with visitation orders and the
6 responses of interested persons.
7 (b) The Department of Human Services shall adopt outcome measures to evaluate the
8 effectiveness of the services component of this pilot program. Progress reports shall be provided
9 to the Judiciary Interim Committee by August 1998 and as requested thereafter by the committee.
10 (c) The Administrative Office of the Courts and the Department of Human Services may
11 adopt joint outcome measures and file joint reports to satisfy the requirements of Subsections 8(a)
12 and (b).
14 for visitation, if such funds are available. [
17 (b) This pilot program shall be funded through funds received under Subsection (a), the
18 Children's Legal Defense Account as established in Section 63-63a-8, or other available funding.
19 Without funding, the pilot program may not proceed.
20 Section 2. Section 63-63a-8 is amended to read:
21 63-63a-8. Children's Legal Defense Account.
22 (1) There is created a restricted account within the General Fund known as the Children's
23 Legal Defense Account.
24 (2) The purpose of the Children's Legal Defense Account is to provide for programs that
25 protect and defend the rights, safety, and quality of life of children.
26 (3) The Legislature shall appropriate money from the account for the administrative and
27 related costs of the following programs:
28 (a) implementing the Mandatory Educational Course on Children's Needs for Divorcing
29 Parents relating to the effects of divorce on children as provided in Sections 30-3-4, 30-3-7,
30 30-3-10.3, 30-3-11.3, 30-3-15.3, and 30-3-18, and the Mediation Pilot Program - Child Custody
31 or Visitation as provided in Sections 30-3-15.3, 30-3-18, and 30-3-19 through 30-3-31;
1 (b) implementing the use of guardians ad litem as provided in Sections 30-3-5.2,
2 78-3a-912, 78-3a-318, 78-11-6, and 78-7-9; the training of guardian ad litems and volunteers as
3 provided in Section 78-3a-912; and termination of parental rights as provided in Sections
4 78-3a-516, 78-3a-518, 78-3a-903, and Title 78, Chapter 3f. This account may not be used to
5 supplant funding for the guardian ad litem program in the juvenile court as provided in Section
6 78-3a-912; and
13 in Section 30-3-38.
14 (4) The following withheld fees shall be allocated only to the Children's Legal Defense
15 Account and used only for the purposes provided in Subsections (3)(a) through (c):
16 (a) the additional $10 fee withheld on every marriage license issued in the state of Utah
17 as provided in Section 17-5-214; and
18 (b) a fee of $2 shall be withheld from the existing civil filing fee collected on any
19 complaint, affidavit, or petition in a civil, probate, or adoption matter in every court of record.
20 (5) The Division of Finance shall allocate the monies described in Subsection (4) from the
21 General Fund to the Children's Legal Defense Account.
22 (6) Any funds in excess of $200,000 remaining in the restricted account as of June 30 of
23 any fiscal year shall lapse into the General Fund.
Legislative Review Note
as of 12-31-96 11:57 AM
A limited legal review of this bill raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
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