Archive for February, 2017

461-A:11 Modification of Parental Rights and Responsibilities

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

I. The court may issue an order modifying a permanent order concerning parental rights and responsibilities under any of the following circumstances:
(a) The parties agree to a modification.
(b) If the court finds repeated, intentional, and unwarranted interference by a parent with the residential responsibilities of the other parent, the court may order a change in the parental rights and responsibilities without the necessity of showing harm to the child, if the court determines that such change would be in accordance with the best interests of the child.
(c) If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child’s present environment is detrimental to the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health, and the advantage to the child of modifying the order outweighs the harm likely to be caused by a change in environment.
(d) If the parties have substantially equal periods of residential responsibility for the child and either each asserts or the court finds that the original allocation of parental rights and responsibilities is not working, the court may order a change in allocation of parental rights and responsibilities based on a finding that the change is in the best interests of the child.
(e) If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that a minor child is of sufficient maturity to make a sound judgment, the court may give substantial weight to the preference of the mature minor child as to the parent with whom he or she wants to live. Under these circumstances, the court shall also give due consideration to other factors which may have affected the minor child’s preference, including whether the minor child’s preference was based on undesirable or improper influences.
(f) The modification makes either a minimal change or no change in the allocation of parenting time between the parents, and the court determines that such change would be in the best interests of the child.

[Paragraph I(g) effective January 1, 2017.]

(g) If one parent’s allocation of parenting time was based in whole or in part on the travel time between the parents’ residences at the time of the order and the parents are now living either closer to each other or further from each other by such distance that the existing order is not in the child’s best interest.

[Paragraph I(h) effective January 1, 2017.]

(h) If one parent’s allocation or schedule of parenting time was based in whole or in part on his or her work schedule and there has been a substantial change in that work schedule such that the existing order is not in the child’s best interest.

[Paragraph I(i) effective January 1, 2017.]

(i) If one parent’s allocation or schedule of parenting time was based in whole or in part on the young age of the child, the court may modify the allocation or schedule or both based on a finding that the change is in the best interests of the child, provided that the request is at least 5 years after the prior order.

[Paragraph II effective until January 1, 2017; see also paragraph II set out below.]

II. Except as provided in RSA 461-A:11, I(b)-(f) for parenting schedules and RSA 461-A:12 for a request to relocate the residence of a child, the court may issue an order modifying any section of a permanent parenting plan based on the best interest of the child. RSA 461-A:5, III shall apply to any request to modify decision-making responsibility.

[Paragraph II effective January 1, 2017; see also paragraph II set out above.]

II. Except as provided in RSA 461-A:11, I(b)-(i) for parenting schedules and RSA 461-A:12 for a request to relocate the residence of a child, the court may issue an order modifying any section of a permanent parenting plan based on the best interest of the child. RSA 461-A:5, III shall apply to any request to modify decision-making responsibility.
III. For the purposes of this section, the burden of proof shall be on the moving party.

Source. 2005, 273:1, eff. Oct. 1, 2005. 2006, 232:1, eff. June 1, 2006. 2007, 213:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2008. 2011, 162:1, 2, eff. Aug. 13, 2011. 2016, 134:1, 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.

 

2016 Committee to study RSA 461-A Relative to Parental Rights and Responsibilities

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Legislative update Chapter 281(HB378) Effective 06/16/16 was established to review implementation of RSA 461-A.

The committee is comprised of four (4) members one of which is the Chair and Ranking Democrat for the Child and Family Committee, Chair of Committee is Rep Stephen Schmidt.

Committee is charged with addressing the following questions:

 A.        Did adoption of RSA 461-A meet the legislature’s goal of minimizing the adversarial nature of divorce and parenting cases?

B.        Could RSA 461-A and RSA 458-C be amended to further reduce the adversarial nature of such proceedings?

C.        Would specific guidelines for shared and split parenting cases improve outcomes and reduce conflict?

D.        What effect has the loss of state funding for guardians ad litem had on low income cases?

The committee has heard testimony from Judges Folley and Kelly. A final report from the committee is planned for April 2017.