SB 839
Modifies provisions relating to child custody arrangements
LR Number:
Last Action:
5/13/2022 - Formal Calendar S Bills for Perfection
Journal Page:
SCS SB 839
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2022

Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 839 - This act adds a rebuttable presumption when determining child custody arrangements that an award of equal or approximately equal parenting time to each parent is in the best interests of the child. Such presumption shall be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence, as specified in the act, including an agreement by the parents on all issues related to custody.

This act also modifies the factors a court shall consider when awarding custody to parents, including the willingness and ability of parents to cooperate in the rearing of their child; the child's physical, emotional, educational, and other needs; the mental health or substance use history experienced by either parent; the history of domestic and child abuse of any individuals involved; the distance between the residences of the parents; and the reasonable input of the child as to the child's custodian.

Under this act, the General Assembly encourages the courts to enter a temporary parenting plan as early as practicable when determining child custody.

Current law gives preference to a relative of a child when awarding third-party custody or visitation. Under this act, third-party custody or visitation shall be awarded to any person or persons deemed by the court to be suitable and able to provide an adequate and stable environment for the child. Consideration shall be given first to any relatives within the second degree of consanguinity and to those with a familial relationship. If the court finds that a relative or individual with a familial relationship is not suitable, then the court may award custody or visitation to another suitable person.

Finally, this act modifies the effective date of certain provisions of law relating to child custody. Those provisions, as they existed on August 27, 2021, shall apply to all pending actions and proceedings brought as of that date, except that actions on appeal shall be governed by the law in effect at the time of the judgment or decree becoming final. Any amendments to such sections thereafter shall apply to all pending actions and proceedings brought on or after August 28, 2021, except as otherwise provided.

Provisions of this act are identical to provisions in SB 1176 (2022) and similar to provisions in SCS/SB 459 (2021), SB 199 (2021), SB 531 (2020), SCS/HCS/HB 229 (2019), SB 14 (2019), SCS/HCS/HB 1667 (2018), SB 645 (2018), and HCS/HB 724 (2017).



No Amendments Found.