SS#2/SCS/HB 1550 - This act modifies several provisions relating to child custody orders. First, in a judicial or administrative proceeding, written findings shall be entered if the Missouri Supreme Court's child support guidelines are found to be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case and a deviation is necessary. Additionally, if the parties in a child custody proceeding fail to reach an agreement on custody issues, the court shall enter written findings of fact and conclusions of law for specified factors. Every court order establishing or modifying custody or visitation shall include specified language notifying the parties that if any violation of the order occurs, the aggrieved person may file a family access motion with the court.
The State Courts Administrator shall develop parenting plan guidelines, which parties may use, that maximize the time a child may spend with both parents. The parenting plan guidelines shall be made readily available online and easily accessible to parties. The petitioner's counsel shall provide a copy of the handbook containing the guidelines to the petitioner filing a divorce or separation petition and have a copy provided to the respondent upon service of the petition. If a petitioner is unrepresented at the time of filing, the court shall provide a copy of the handbook to the petitioner and direct a copy to be served on the respondent.
No court shall adopt any local rules, forms, or practice requiring a standardized or default parenting plan for interim, temporary, or permanent orders or judgments. A court may enter an interim order in specified family law proceedings if the interim order does not contain any provisions about child custody or a parenting schedule or plan without first providing the parties with notice and a hearing, unless the parties otherwise agree.
The court shall be prohibited from presuming that a parent, solely because of his or her sex, is more qualified than the other parent to be a joint or sole legal or physical custodian of a child.
Finally, the court shall consider, in a proceeding to enforce or modify a permanent custody or visitation order or judgment, a party's violation, without good cause, of a provision of the parenting plan, for the purpose of determining that party's ability and willingness to allow the child frequent and meaningful contact with the other party.
These provisions are similar to SB 1115 (2016), SCS/SB 964 (2016), and HB 2055 (2016).
Additionally, this act changes the effective date of the repeal and enactment of certain provisions of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.
These provisions are identical to provisions in SCS/SBs 905 & 992 (2016).