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HB24-1350

Parental Responsibilities Proceedings Child Safety

Concerning standards related to court proceedings for allocation of parental responsibilities to keep children safe.
Session:
2024 Regular Session
Subject:
Children & Domestic Matters
Bill Summary

Under current law, a court may appoint a child and family investigator (investigator) to investigate and report to the court relevant factors for determining the best interest of a child or youth in a proceeding involving parental responsibilities allocation. Similarly, under current law, a court may appoint a parental responsibilities evaluator (evaluator) to evaluate and report to the court concerning disputed issues relating to the parental responsibilities allocation. The bill:

  • Prohibits investigators and evaluators from including information based on theories that are not evidence-based or peer-reviewed in a report to the court, but requires investigators and evaluators to provide options for the court to consider;
  • Requires investigators and evaluators to adhere to certain interviewing and forensic reporting standards;
  • Requires investigators and evaluators to provide certain written disclosures to each party before performing duties;
  • Allows the court to implement caps on charges for duties performed by evaluators;
  • Requires investigators and evaluators to include all information obtained concerning domestic violence and child abuse; and
  • Amends training requirements for investigators and evaluators.

In all proceedings, a child or youth must have the opportunity to be heard without a parent present and have their opinion considered and entered into the record, either through an investigator's or evaluator's report or to the court through parental responsibilities allocation proceedings by letter or in the judge's chambers if the child or youth is of sufficient age and maturity and able to express an opinion.

The court is prohibited from considering information based on theories that are not evidence-based or peer-reviewed in determining the best interests of the child or youth when determining parenting time.

The bill defines "coercive control".

The bill requires that if allegations of domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, or child sexual abuse have been made, a child or youth must not be forced into an allocation of parental responsibilities arrangement, and the court is required to give strong consideration to the child's or youth's preference, if the preference is consistent with protecting the child's or youth's safety.

The bill clarifies that, pursuant to a chief justice directive, the office of the state court administrator is authorized to accept complaints regarding investigators and evaluators, and administer appropriate sanctions.

The office of the state court administrator shall publish information on its website regarding judges and magistrates who complete domestic violence and child abuse training.


(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

Status

Introduced
Under Consideration

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Bill Text

Sponsors

Sponsor Type Legislators
Prime Sponsor

Rep. M. Froelich, Rep. T. Story
Sen. F. Winter

Sponsor

Co-sponsor

Colorado legislature email addresses ending in @state.co.us are no longer active. Please replace @state.co.us with @coleg.gov for Colorado legislature email addresses. Details

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details