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 in a written report ; 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. Upon a motion, the court may interview the child in the judge's chambers regarding the child's wishes for parental responsibilities allocation. The court is required to make findings why it granted or denied the request, and give paramount consideration in cases involving an allegation by a child regarding domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, or child sexual abuse. 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 responsible for accepting complaints regarding investigators and evaluators, and is authorized to 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: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Statutes affected:
Preamended PA1 (03/28/2024): 14-10-116.5, 14-10-124, 14-10-127, 14-10-127.5, 14-10-128.1, 13-80-103.6
Preamended PA2 (04/19/2024): 14-10-116.5, 14-10-124, 14-10-127, 14-10-127.5, 14-10-128.1, 13-80-103.6
Preamended PA3 (05/01/2024): 14-10-116.5, 14-10-124, 14-10-127, 14-10-127.5, 14-10-128.1, 13-80-103.6
Introduced (02/28/2024): 14-10-116.5, 14-10-124, 14-10-127, 14-10-127.5, 14-10-128.1, 13-80-103.6
Engrossed (04/20/2024): 14-10-116.5, 14-10-124, 14-10-127, 14-10-127.5, 14-10-128.1, 13-80-103.6
Reengrossed (04/22/2024): 14-10-116.5, 14-10-124, 14-10-127, 14-10-127.5, 14-10-128.1, 13-80-103.6
Revised (05/01/2024): 14-10-116.5, 14-10-124, 14-10-127, 14-10-127.5, 14-10-128.1, 13-80-103.6
Rerevised (05/02/2024): 14-10-116.5, 14-10-124, 14-10-127, 14-10-127.5, 14-10-128.1, 13-80-103.6
Final Act (05/23/2024): 14-10-116.5, 14-10-124, 14-10-127, 14-10-127.5, 14-10-128.1, 13-80-103.6
Signed Act (06/03/2024): 14-10-116.5, 14-10-124, 14-10-127, 14-10-127.5, 14-10-128.1, 13-80-103.6