House Bill 4691 (Sponsored by Jim Runestad – (primary)Tim Kelly, Scott VanSingel, Peter Lucido, Roger Hauck, Triston Cole, Jim Tedder) significantly revises the Child Custody Act by creating a presumption regarding parenting time that does not currently exist and the factors that constitute “best interests of the child.”
It creates a presumption of joint legal custody and substantially equal parenting time and defines those terms.
With some exceptions, requires a court to grant joint legal custody and substantially equal parenting time
Requires a clear and convincing standard of proof to rebut a presumption of established custodial environment or to demonstrate why joint legal custody or substantially equal parenting time should not be granted.
Requires, instead of allows, a court to consider certain factors when determining parenting time orders.
For a child at least 16 years of age, gives predominant weight to the child’s preference
Prohibits a parent from changing a child’s residence over 40 miles (instead of 100) from the child’s residence or school unless a court finds that the 40 mile distance negatively impacts the child’s access to parenting time and the child’s involvement in support groups and extracurricular activities.
Defines “Substantially equal parenting time” means the child resides for alternating periods of time with each parent and that the court seeks to provide balance and equality in overnights, with one parent not to exceed 200 (55%) overnights in a year unless otherwise adjusted for or agreed to by the parties.