Maintenance and Custody Act (amended)
BILL NO. 50
5th Session, 61st General Assembly
62 Elizabeth II, 2013
Private Member's Bill
Maintenance and Custody Act
First Reading: April 17, 2013
Clause 1 adds a definition of "grandparent" to the Maintenance and Custody Act.
(a) removes the requirement for leave of the court for an application by a grandparent for an access order;
(b) requires the court to advise parties in a custody or access application of the option of mediation;
(c) sets out matters the court must consider in making a custody or access order;
(d) requires a consideration of grandparent access in all custody and access orders; and
(e) provides that a person who has custody of a child shall not unreasonably place obstacles to personal contact between the child and the child's grandparents.
Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 Section 2 of Chapter 160 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Maintenance and Custody Act, as amended by Chapter 3 of the Acts of 1997 (2nd Session), Chapter 29 of the Acts of 2000 and Chapter 25 of the Acts of 2012, is further amended by adding immediately after clause (da) the following clause:
(db) "grandparent" means the parent of a parent of a child;
(1) Subsection 18(2) of Chapter 160, as amended by Chapter 5 of the Acts of 1990 and Chapter 7 of the Acts of 2012, is further amended by
(a) adding ", grandparent" after "parent" in the second line;
(b) striking out "a grandparent, other" in the second and third lines and substituting "another"; and
(c) adding ", grandparent" after "parent" in the second line of clause (b).
(2) Section 18 of Chapter 160, as amended by Chapter 5 of the Acts of 1990, is further amended by adding immediately after subsection (2) the following subsection:
(2A) The court shall, before setting a trial date on the application pursuant to subsection (2), ensure that both parties are aware of the option of mediation to settle any issues in dispute.
(3) Section 18 of Chapter 160, as amended by Chapter 5 of the Acts of 1990, is further amended by adding immediately after subsection (8) the following subsections:
(9) In making an order under subsection (2), the court shall take into consideration
(a) the principle that a child should have as much contact with each grandparent as is consistent with the best interests of the child;
(b) the importance of maintaining emotional ties between the child and the child's grandparents; and
(c) the willingness of each applicant for custody to facilitate the child's contact with each grandparent.
(10) An order for custody or access or both custody and access must include a determination of the rights of the child's grandparents to access.
(11) A person who has custody of a child shall not unreasonably place obstacles to personal contact between the child and the child's grandparents.
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