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6 AN ACT RELATING TO HUSBAND AND WIFE; EXTENDING THE PILOT PROGRAM FOR
7 EXPEDITED VISITATION ENFORCEMENT TO 2003; LIMITING THE DIVISION OF COSTS
8 FOR MEDIATION TO THE INITIAL MEDIATION; AND PROVIDING FOR REPORTS TO
9 THE JUDICIARY INTERIM COMMITTEE UPON REQUEST.
10 This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
12 30-3-38, as last amended by Chapters 235 and 329, Laws of Utah 1997
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, [
19 (2) As used in this section:
20 (a) "Mediator" means a person who:
21 (i) is qualified to mediate visitation disputes under criteria established by the
22 Administrative Office of the Courts; and
23 (ii) agrees to follow billing guidelines established by the Administrative Office of the
24 Courts and this section.
25 (b) "Services to facilitate visitation" or "services" means services designed to assist
26 families in resolving visitation problems through:
27 (i) counseling;
28 (ii) supervised visitation;
29 (iii) neutral drop-off and pick-up;
30 (iv) educational classes; and
31 (v) other related activities.
32 (3) (a) Under this pilot program, if a parent files a motion in the third district court alleging
33 that court-ordered visitation rights are being violated, the clerk of the court, after assigning the case
34 to a judge, shall refer the case to the administrator of this pilot program for assignment to a
36 (b) Upon receipt of a case, the mediator shall:
37 (i) meet with the parents to address visitation issues within 15 days of the motion being
39 (ii) assess the situation;
40 (iii) facilitate an agreement on visitation between the parents; and
41 (iv) determine whether a referral to a service provider under Subsection (3)(c) is
43 (c) While a case is in mediation, a mediator may refer the parents to a service provider
44 designated by the Department of Human Services for services to facilitate visitation if:
45 (i) the services may be of significant benefit to the parents; or
46 (ii) (A) a mediated agreement between the parents is unlikely; and
47 (B) the services may facilitate an agreement.
48 (d) At anytime during mediation, a mediator shall terminate mediation and transfer the
49 case to the administrator of the pilot program for referral to the judge to whom the case was
50 assigned under Subsection (2) if:
51 (i) a written agreement between the parents is reached; or
52 (ii) the parents are unable to reach an agreement through mediation; and
53 (A) the parents have received services to facilitate visitation;
54 (B) both parents object to receiving services to facilitate visitation; or
55 (C) the parents are unlikely to benefit from receiving services to facilitate visitation.
56 (e) Upon receiving a case from the administrator of the pilot program, a judge may:
57 (i) review the agreement of the parents and, if acceptable, sign it as an order;
58 (ii) order the parents to receive services to facilitate visitation;
59 (iii) proceed with the case; or
60 (iv) take other appropriate action.
61 (4) (a) If a parent makes a particularized allegation of physical or sexual abuse of a child
62 who is the subject of a visitation order against the other parent or a member of the other parent's
63 household to a mediator or service provider, the mediator or service provider shall immediately
64 report that information to:
65 (i) the judge assigned to the case who may immediately issue orders and take other
66 appropriate action to resolve the allegation and protect the child; and
67 (ii) the Division of Family Services within the Department of Human Services in the
68 manner required by Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 4, Child Abuse or Neglect Reporting
70 (b) If an allegation under Subsection (4)(a) is made against a parent with visitation rights
71 or a member of that parent's household, visitation by that parent shall be supervised until:
72 (i) the allegation has been resolved; or
73 (ii) a court orders otherwise.
74 (c) Notwithstanding an allegation under Subsection (4)(a), a mediator may continue to
75 mediate visitation problems and a service provider may continue to provide services to facilitate
76 visitation unless otherwise ordered by a court.
77 (5) (a) The Department of Human Services may contract with one or more entities in
78 accordance with Title 63, Chapter 56, Utah Procurement Code, to provide:
79 (i) services to facilitate visitation;
80 (ii) case management services; and
81 (iii) administrative services.
82 (b) An entity who contracts with the Department of Human Services under Subsection
83 (5)(a) shall:
84 (i) be qualified to provide one or more of the services listed in Subsection (5)(a); and
85 (ii) agree to follow billing guidelines established by the Department of Human Services
86 and this section.
87 (6) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (6)(b), the cost of the initial mediation [
89 (i) reduced to a sum certain;
90 (ii) divided equally between the parents; and
91 (iii) charged against each parent taking into account the ability of that parent to pay under
92 billing guidelines adopted in accordance with this section.
93 (b) (i) A judge may order a parent to pay an amount in excess of that provided for in
94 Subsection (6)(a) if the parent:
95 (A) failed to participate in good faith in mediation or services to facilitate visitation; or
96 (B) made an unfounded assertion or claim of physical or sexual abuse of a child.
97 (c) (i) The cost of mediation and services to facilitate visitation may be charged to parents
98 at periodic intervals.
99 (ii) Mediation and services to facilitate visitation may only be terminated on the ground
100 of nonpayment if both parents are delinquent.
101 (7) If a parent fails to cooperate in good faith in mediation or services to facilitate
102 visitation, a court may order, in subsequent proceedings, a temporary change in custody or
104 (8) (a) The Judicial Council may make rules to implement and administer the provisions
105 of this pilot program related to mediation.
106 (b) The Department of Human Services may make rules to implement and administer the
107 provisions of this pilot program related to services to facilitate visitation.
108 (9) (a) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall adopt outcome measures to evaluate
109 the effectiveness of the mediation component of this pilot program. Progress reports shall be
110 provided to the Judiciary Interim Committee [
111 committee. At least once during this pilot program, the Administrative Office of the Courts shall
112 present to the committee the results of a survey that measures the effectiveness of the program in
113 terms of increased compliance with visitation orders and the responses of interested persons.
114 (b) The Department of Human Services shall adopt outcome measures to evaluate the
115 effectiveness of the services component of this pilot program. Progress reports shall be provided
116 to the Judiciary Interim Committee [
118 (c) The Administrative Office of the Courts and the Department of Human Services may
119 adopt joint outcome measures and file joint reports to satisfy the requirements of Subsections 8(a)
120 and (b).
121 (10) [
Legislative Review Note
as of 12-28-99 8:26 AM
A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.