SB 964 - This act modifies several provisions relating to child custody orders. Under current law, joint physical custody is defined as an order awarding each of the parents "significant, but not necessarily equal" periods of time with a child. This act changes that definition from significant, but not necessarily equal time to "approximate and reasonably equal" time with the child to assure the child of "substantial, frequent, continuing, and meaningful" contact with both parents.

This act also requires the court, in determining allocation of periods of physical custody, to presume that a parenting plan equalizing to the highest degree the amount of time the child may spend with each parent is in the best interests of the child. Default parenting plans shall include alternating weeks with each parent, unless the parents submit an alternative parenting plan.

If the court finds that a parent, without good cause, has violated an order for custody, visitation, or third-party custody for a second or subsequent time, the court may deem such violation as a material change of circumstances and may order a modification to the joint custody order to award primary custody to the aggrieved parent.

Finally, this act requires the court to hold an expedited hearing upon the motion of a parent to modify a prior custody decree, upon a showing of good cause.

This act is identical to HB 2055 (2016).


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