senate Bill S7597

Prohibits the consideration of evidence that either parent has ever obtained or attempted to obtain reproductive health services relating to the termination of a pregnancy in certain legal proceedings

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 15 / May / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Summary

Prohibits the consideration of evidence that either parent has ever obtained or attempted to obtain reproductive health services relating to the termination of a pregnancy in certain legal proceedings.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S7597
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Children And Families
Law Section:
Domestic Relations Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง70 & 240, Dom Rel L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7597

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the domestic relations law, in
relation to prohibiting the consideration of evidence that either
parent has ever obtained or attempted to obtain reproductive health
services relating to the termination of a pregnancy in certain legal
proceedings

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Prohibits courts from considering
evidence that a parent has ever obtained or attempted to obtain
certain reproductive health services, including medical, surgical,
counseling or referral services relating to the human reproductive
system in child custody hearings.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends subdivision (a) of section 70 of the domestic
relations law.

Section 2 amends paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 240 of the
domestic relations law, as amended by chapter 476 of the laws of 2009.

Section 3 provides that the act shall take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION: Under New York State Domestic Relations Law,
determinations in child custody hearings are made by examining the
best interests of the child. While courts are able to take into
account a broad range of evidence in making that determination, the
fact that one of the parents has ever obtained or attempted to obtain
reproductive health services should not be a factor that the court
weighs.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Legislation

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7597

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 15, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families

AN ACT to amend the domestic relations law, in relation  to  prohibiting
  the  consideration of evidence that either parent has ever obtained or
  attempted to obtain  reproductive  health  services  relating  to  the
  termination of a pregnancy in certain legal proceedings

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Subdivision (a) of section 70  of  the  domestic  relations
law,  as  amended by chapter 457 of the laws of 1988, is amended to read
as follows:
  (a) Where a minor child is residing within this state,  either  parent
may  apply to the supreme court for a writ of habeas corpus to have such
minor child brought before such court; and on the  return  thereof,  the
court,  on due consideration, may award the natural guardianship, charge
and custody of such child to either parent for  such  time,  under  such
regulations  and  restrictions, and with such provisions and directions,
as the case may require, and may at any time thereafter vacate or modify
such order. In all cases there shall be no  prima  facie  right  to  the
custody  of  the  child  in either parent, but the court shall determine
solely what is for the best interest of the child, and  what  will  best
promote  its  welfare  and  happiness,  and make award accordingly.   IN
MAKING A DETERMINATION OF THE BEST INTEREST OF  THE  CHILD  PURSUANT  TO
THIS  SECTION,  THE COURT SHALL NOT CONSIDER EVIDENCE THAT EITHER PARENT
HAS EVER OBTAINED OR ATTEMPTED TO OBTAIN REPRODUCTIVE  HEALTH  SERVICES.
FOR  THE  PURPOSES  OF  THIS SECTION, REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES MEANS
HEALTH CARE SERVICES PROVIDED IN A HOSPITAL, CLINIC, PHYSICIAN'S  OFFICE
OR OTHER FACILITY AND INCLUDES MEDICAL, SURGICAL, COUNSELING OR REFERRAL
SERVICES  RELATING  TO THE HUMAN REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM, INCLUDING SERVICES
RELATING TO PREGNANCY OR THE TERMINATION OF A PREGNANCY.
  S 2. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section  240  of  the  domestic
relations law, as amended by chapter 476 of the laws of 2009, is amended
to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD14793-02-4

S. 7597                             2

  (a)  In any action or proceeding brought (1) to annul a marriage or to
declare the nullity of a void marriage, or (2) for a separation, or  (3)
for  a divorce, or (4) to obtain, by a writ of habeas corpus or by peti-
tion and order to show cause, the custody of or right to visitation with
any  child  of  a  marriage, the court shall require verification of the
status of any child of the marriage with respect to such child's custody
and support, including any prior orders,  and  shall  enter  orders  for
custody  and  support  as,  in the court's discretion, justice requires,
having regard to the circumstances of the case  and  of  the  respective
parties  and  to  the  best  interests  of  the child and subject to the
provisions of subdivision one-c of this section.  IN MAKING  A  DETERMI-
NATION  OF  THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, THE
COURT SHALL NOT CONSIDER EVIDENCE THAT EITHER PARENT HAS  EVER  OBTAINED
OR ATTEMPTED TO OBTAIN REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES. FOR THE PURPOSES OF
THIS  SECTION,  REPRODUCTIVE  HEALTH SERVICES MEANS HEALTH CARE SERVICES
PROVIDED IN A HOSPITAL, CLINIC, PHYSICIAN'S OFFICE OR OTHER FACILITY AND
INCLUDES MEDICAL, SURGICAL, COUNSELING OR REFERRAL SERVICES RELATING  TO
THE  HUMAN REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM, INCLUDING SERVICES RELATING TO PREGNANCY
OR THE TERMINATION OF A PREGNANCY.  Where  either  party  to  an  action
concerning custody of or a right to visitation with a child alleges in a
sworn  petition  or  complaint or sworn answer, cross-petition, counter-
claim or other sworn  responsive  pleading  that  the  other  party  has
committed an act of domestic violence against the party making the alle-
gation  or  a family or household member of either party, as such family
or household member is defined in article eight of the family court act,
and such allegations are proven by a preponderance of the evidence,  the
court  must  consider the effect of such domestic violence upon the best
interests of the child, together with such other facts and circumstances
as the court deems relevant in  making  a  direction  pursuant  to  this
section  and  state  on  the record how such findings, facts and circum-
stances factored into the direction. If a  parent  makes  a  good  faith
allegation  based  on  a  reasonable  belief supported by facts that the
child is the victim of child abuse, child neglect,  or  the  effects  of
domestic violence, and if that parent acts lawfully and in good faith in
response  to  that reasonable belief to protect the child or seek treat-
ment for the child, then that parent shall not be deprived  of  custody,
visitation  or contact with the child, or restricted in custody, visita-
tion or contact, based solely on that belief or the  reasonable  actions
taken  based  on that belief. If an allegation that a child is abused is
supported by a preponderance of  the  evidence,  then  the  court  shall
consider  such  evidence of abuse in determining the visitation arrange-
ment that is in the best interest of the child, and the court shall  not
place a child in the custody of a parent who presents a substantial risk
of  harm  to that child, and shall state on the record how such findings
were factored into the determination. An order directing the payment  of
child  support  shall  contain  the social security numbers of the named
parties. In all cases there shall be no prima facie right to the custody
of the child in either parent. Such direction shall make  provision  for
child  support  out of the property of either or both parents. The court
shall make its award for child support pursuant to subdivision one-b  of
this  section.  Such  direction  may  provide  for reasonable visitation
rights to the maternal and/or paternal grandparents of any child of  the
parties.  Such  direction  as  it applies to rights of visitation with a
child remanded or placed in the care of a person,  official,  agency  or
institution pursuant to article ten of the family court act, or pursuant
to  an  instrument approved under section three hundred fifty-eight-a of

S. 7597                             3

the social services law, shall be enforceable pursuant to part eight  of
article  ten  of  the family court act and sections three hundred fifty-
eight-a and three hundred eighty-four-a of the social services  law  and
other  applicable  provisions  of law against any person having care and
custody, or temporary care and custody, of  the  child.  Notwithstanding
any  other  provision  of  law, any written application or motion to the
court for the establishment, modification  or  enforcement  of  a  child
support  obligation  for persons not in receipt of public assistance and
care must  contain  either  a  request  for  child  support  enforcement
services  which would authorize the collection of the support obligation
by the immediate issuance of an income execution for support enforcement
as provided for by this chapter, completed in the  manner  specified  in
section  one hundred eleven-g of the social services law; or a statement
that the applicant has applied for or is in receipt of such services; or
a statement that  the  applicant  knows  of  the  availability  of  such
services,  has  declined them at this time and where support enforcement
services pursuant to section one hundred eleven-g of the social services
law have been declined that the applicant  understands  that  an  income
deduction  order  may  be  issued pursuant to subdivision (c) of section
fifty-two hundred forty-two of the civil practice law and rules  without
other child support enforcement services and that payment of an adminis-
trative  fee may be required. The court shall provide a copy of any such
request for child support enforcement services to the support collection
unit of the appropriate social services district  any  time  it  directs
payments  to  be made to such support collection unit. Additionally, the
copy of any such request shall be accompanied by the name,  address  and
social  security  number  of  the  parties;  the  date  and place of the
parties' marriage; the name and date of birth of the child or  children;
and the name and address of the employers and income payors of the party
from whom child support is sought or from the party ordered to pay child
support  to the other party. Such direction may require the payment of a
sum or sums of money either directly to the custodial parent or to third
persons for goods or services furnished for  such  child,  or  for  both
payments  to  the  custodial parent and to such third persons; provided,
however, that unless the party seeking or receiving  child  support  has
applied  for  or  is receiving such services, the court shall not direct
such payments to be made to the support collection unit, as  established
in  section one hundred eleven-h of the social services law. Every order
directing the payment of support shall require  that  if  either  parent
currently,  or  at any time in the future, has health insurance benefits
available that may be extended or obtained  to  cover  the  child,  such
parent  is  required  to  exercise  the option of additional coverage in
favor of such child and execute and deliver to such  person  any  forms,
notices,  documents or instruments necessary to assure timely payment of
any health insurance claims for such child.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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