Say What?

Question MarksIn one of the most surprising and regressive legislative proposals in recent years, the Kansas House has before it a bill [HB2462] which would:

Require jury trials in all family law cases that involve modification of child custody, residency, visitation or parenting time

  • Replace the Kansas Supreme Court (and the Kansas Child Support Guidelines Advisory Committee) with a nine member group of legislators to set child support guidelines
  • Limit an award of spousal support (alimony) to no longer than 12 months — no matter the length of the marriage
  • Allow parents to set child support amounts without any requirement of fairness, adequacy or court approval
  • Automatically end child support a month earlier (May 30) for eighteen year olds
  • Require accountings by recipients of child support to substantiate how the support was used
  • Attribute “income” to stay-at-home parents for the value of doing the shopping, doing laundry, cleaning and providing child care
  • Limit punishment for contempt to a fine of not more than $500
  • Make “marital misconduct” a factor in property division and child support
  • Apply a criminal standard of proof (“beyond a reasonable doubt”) in any proceeding to modify a prior order of custody or joint custody, residency, visitation and (sic) parenting time
  • Require hearings before a District Judge (rather than a hearing officer) in expedited proceedings to enforce visitation rights or parenting time orders
  • Require the judge to interview a minor child, “on the record” in cases requiring the court to determine custody, residency, parenting time or visitation
  • Abolish the “best interests of the child” standard and replace it with a “least detrimental” standard
  • Permit retroactive modification of child support at any time without any showing of a change in circumstances
  • Prohibit wage withholding for collection of child support or spousal maintenance
  • Allow a child to testify as to his or her preference for parenting time, and require the Court to adopt the child’s preference

(Just thought you ought to know, in case you hadn’t heard)

This bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Children and Seniors.

About Brad Short

CEO : Bradley Software; Of Counsel at Short, Borth & Thilges, Attorneys at Law, LLC, Overland Park, Kansas. Born Birmingham, Alabama, December 27, 1941; admitted to bar,1966, Kansas and U.S. District Court, District of Kansas; 1975, U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit; 1976, U.S. Supreme Court. Education: University of Colorado (B.A., 1963; J.D., 1966). Contributing Author, Practitioner's Guide to Kansas Family Law, Kansas Bar Association, 1997. Listed in: The Best Lawyers in America, Family Law, every year from 1987 through 2013. Member, Technology Advisory Committee, Kansas Judicial Council, 1991-1998. Member: Bourbon County, 1966-1977 (President, 1970-1971), Johnson County (Member: Ethics and Grievance Committee, 1984-1998; Family Law Bench/Bar Committee, 1984-), Kansas and American (Vice-Chair, Solo Practitioners and Small Firms Committee, Economics of Law Practice Section, 1984-1985) Bar Associations; Kansas Trial Lawyers Association, 1974-1984 (State Treasurer, 1975-76; Member, Board of Governors, 1974-1984). Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1994-2013 . Practice areas: Family Law.
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