Bell: House Bill 1511 Gives Children More Support, Protection in Custody Cases

Thursday, April 30, 2009 7:00 pm

Start Date:  4/30/2009  All Day  
End Date:  4/30/2009    
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House Bill 1511 Gives Children More Support,
Protection in Custody Cases

STATEHOUSE - Children involved in paternity cases would have more support and protection under House Bill 1511, co-authored by Rep. Matt Bell (R-Avilla).  The House concurred with Senate changes this week and sent the bill to Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Under the bill, a court may award joint custody after a paternity determination, but time does not have to be equally divided between the parents. The bill also includes safety factors for the court to consider in awarding custody.

"This bill helps us make sure children have the most natural, most supportive, most loving environment during a difficult transition," said Rep. Bell. "Children in these circumstances need this security and support."

Among the bill's provisions:

n After a paternity determination, a court may award joint legal custody of the child. However, the joint custody does not mean the child spends equal time with each parent.

n The court must consider several factors in its determination of custody.

n The court may order supervision if custody time is awarded to a parent who has been convicted of child molesting or child exploitation.

If Gov. Daniels signs the bill or allows it to become law without his signature, it becomes effective July 1.

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