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H.B. 27





Chief Sponsor: Lorie D. Fowlke

Senate Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill allows the court to require unmarried parents to attend a course designed to
             10      educate and sensitize parents to the needs of their child or children.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    permits the court to require unmarried parents who are involved in a custody or
             14      parent-time proceeding to attend an educational course to sensitize both parents to
             15      the needs of their child or children.
             16      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             17          None
             18      Other Special Clauses:
             19          None
             20      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             21      AMENDS:
             22          30-3-11.3, as last amended by Chapter 167, Laws of Utah 1994
             24      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             25          Section 1. Section 30-3-11.3 is amended to read:
             26           30-3-11.3. Mandatory educational course for divorcing parents -- Purpose --
             27      Curriculum -- Exceptions.

             28          (1) There is established a mandatory course for divorcing parents as a pilot program in
             29      the third and fourth judicial districts to be administered by the Administrative Office of the
             30      Courts from July 1, 1992, to June 30, 1994. On July 1, 1994, an approved course shall be
             31      implemented in all judicial districts. The mandatory course is designed to educate and
             32      sensitize divorcing parties to their children's needs both during and after the divorce process.
             33          (2) The Judicial Council shall adopt rules to implement and administer this program.
             34          (3) As a prerequisite to receiving a divorce decree, both parties are required to attend a
             35      mandatory course on their children's needs after filing a complaint for divorce and receiving a
             36      docket number, unless waived under Section 30-3-4 . If that requirement is waived, the court
             37      may permit the divorce action to proceed.
             38          (4) The court may require unmarried parents to attend this educational course when
             39      those parents are involved in a visitation or custody proceeding before the court.
             40          [(4)] (5) The mandatory course shall instruct both parties about divorce and its impacts
             41      on:
             42          (a) their child or children;
             43          (b) their family relationship; and
             44          (c) their financial responsibilities for their child or children.
             45          [(5)] (6) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall administer the course pursuant
             46      to Title 63, Chapter 56, Utah Procurement Code, through private or public contracts and
             47      organize the program in each of Utah's judicial districts. The contracts shall provide for the
             48      recoupment of administrative expenses through the costs charged to individual parties,
             49      pursuant to Subsection [(7)] (8).
             50          [(6)] (7) A certificate of completion constitutes evidence to the court of course
             51      completion by the parties.
             52          [(7)] (8) (a) Each party shall pay the costs of the course to the independent contractor
             53      providing the course at the time and place of the course. A fee of $8 shall be collected, as part
             54      of the course fee paid by each participant, and deposited in the Children's Legal Defense
             55      Account, described in Section 63-63a-8 .
             56          (b) Each party who is unable to pay the costs of the course may attend the course
             57      without payment upon a prima facie showing of impecuniosity as evidenced by an affidavit of
             58      impecuniosity filed in the district court. In those situations, the independent contractor shall be

             59      reimbursed for its costs from the appropriation to the Administrative Office of the Courts for
             60      "Mandatory Educational Course for Divorcing Parents Program." Before a decree of divorce
             61      may be entered, the court shall make a final review and determination of impecuniosity and
             62      may order the payment of the costs if so determined.
             63          [(8)] (9) Appropriations from the General Fund to the Administrative Office of the
             64      Courts for the "Mandatory Educational Course for Divorcing Parents Program" shall be used to
             65      pay the costs of an indigent parent who makes a showing as provided in Subsection [(7)] (8)(b).
             66          [(9)] (10) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall adopt a program to evaluate
             67      the effectiveness of the mandatory educational course. Progress reports shall be provided
             68      annually to the Judiciary Interim Committee.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 11-9-05 6:19 PM

Based on a limited legal review, this legislation has not been determined to have a high
probability of being held unconstitutional.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

Interim Committee Note
    as of 12-16-05 11:01 AM

The Judiciary Interim Committee recommended this bill.

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