SB 640 - Grandparent Visitation - change provisions

Georgia Senate - 1995/1996 Sessions

SB 640 - Grandparent Visitation - change provisions

Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3
Code Sections - 19-7-3
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1. Abernathy  38th        2. Oliver  42nd            3. Middleton  50th
4. Ralston  51st

Senate Comm: Judy / House Comm: Judy / Senate Vote: Yeas 54 Nays 0 --------------------------------------------- Senate Action House --------------------------------------------- 1/26/96 Read 1st time 2/12/96 2/7/96 Favorably Reported 2/26/96 Sub Committee Amend/Sub Sub 2/8/96 Read 2nd Time 2/13/96 2/12/96 Read 3rd Time 3/13/96 2/12/96 Passed/Adopted 3/13/96 CS/FA Comm/Floor Amend/Sub CS/FA 3/15/96 Amend/Sub Agreed To 3/25/96 Sent To Governor 4/15/96 Signed by Governor 954 Act/Veto Number --------------------------------------------- Code Sections amended: 19-7-3
SB 640 96 SB640/AP SENATE BILL 640 By: Senators Abernathy of the 38th, Oliver of the 42nd, Middleton of the 50th and Ralston of the 51st A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT 1- 1 To amend Article 1 of Chapter 7 of Title 19 of the Official 1- 2 Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions 1- 3 applicable to the parent and child relationship generally, 1- 4 so as to change the provisions relating to visitation rights 1- 5 of grandparents; to provide when original actions for 1- 6 grandparent visitation are not authorized; to require 1- 7 certain findings of the court before granting visitation 1- 8 rights to a grandparent; to provide for written findings of 1- 9 fact; to provide for the appointment of a guardian ad litem 1-10 and mediation under certain circumstances; to provide for a 1-11 determination of the issue of grandparent visitation rights 1-12 through mediation or by the court; to provide for the 1-13 compensation of the guardian ad litem and mediator; to 1-14 provide for related matters; to provide for an effective 1-15 date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. 1-16 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1. 1-17 Article 1 of Chapter 7 of Title 19 of the Official Code of 1-18 Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions applicable 1-19 to the parent and child relationship generally, is amended 1-20 by striking in its entirety Code Section 19-7-3, relating to 1-21 visitation rights of grandparents, and inserting in lieu 1-22 thereof a new Code Section 19-7-3 to read as follows: 1-23 "19-7-3. (Index) 1-24 (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'grandparent' 1-25 means the parent of a parent of a minor child, the parent 1-26 of a minor child's parent who has died, and the parent of 1-27 a minor child's parent whose parental rights have been 1-28 terminated. 1-29 (b) Any Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, 1-30 any grandparent shall have the right to file an original 1-31 action for visitation rights to a minor child or to 1-32 intervene in and seek to obtain visitation rights in any 1-33 action in which any court in this state shall have before S. B. 640 -1- (Index) SB 640/AP 2- 1 it any question concerning the custody of a minor child, a 2- 2 divorce of the parents or a parent of such minor child, a 2- 3 termination of the parental rights of either parent of 2- 4 such minor child, or visitation rights concerning such 2- 5 minor child or whenever there has been an adoption in 2- 6 which the adopted child has been adopted by the child's 2- 7 blood relative or by a stepparent, notwithstanding the 2- 8 provisions of Code Section 19-8-19. This subsection shall 2- 9 not authorize an original action where the parents of the 2-10 minor child are not separated and the child is living with 2-11 both of the parents. 2-12 (c) Upon the filing of an original action or upon 2-13 intervention in an existing proceeding under subsection N (b) of this Code section, the court may grant any 2-15 grandparent of the child reasonable visitation rights upon 2-16 proof of special circumstances which make such visitation 2-17 rights necessary to if the court finds the health or 2-18 welfare of the child would be harmed unless such 2-19 visitation is granted, and if the best interests of the 2-20 child would be served by such visitation. The court shall 2-21 make specific written findings of fact in support of its 2-22 rulings. There shall be no presumption in favor of 2-23 visitation by any grandparent; and the court shall have 2-24 discretion to deny such visitation rights. An original 2-25 action requesting visitation rights shall not be filed by 2-26 any grandparent more than once during any two-year period 2-27 and shall not be filed during any year in which another 2-28 custody action has been filed concerning the child. After 2-29 visitation rights have been granted to any grandparent, 2-30 the legal custodian, guardian of the person, or parent of 2-31 the child may petition the court for revocation or 2-32 amendment of such visitation rights, for good cause shown, 2-33 which the court, in its discretion, may grant or deny; but 2-34 such a petition shall not be filed more than once in any 2-35 two-year period. 2-36 (d) If the court finds that the grandparent or 2-37 grandparents can bear the cost without unreasonable 2-38 financial hardship, the court, at the sole expense of the 2-39 petitioning grandparent or grandparents, may: 2-40 (1) Appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor child; and 2-41 (2) Assign the issue of visitation rights of a 2-42 grandparent for mediation. S. B. 640 -2- (Index) SB 640/AP 3- 1 (e) In the event that the court does not order mediation 3- 2 or upon failure of the parties to reach an agreement 3- 3 through mediation, the court shall fix a time for the 3- 4 hearing of the issue of visitation rights of the 3- 5 grandparent or grandparents." SECTION 2. 3- 6 The trial court may award resonable attorney fees and costs 3- 7 to a respondent in an action filed pursuant to this Act upon 3- 8 the finding that the petition is brought for the purpose of 3- 9 harassment or any other improper purpose. SECTION 3. 3-10 This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the 3-11 Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval. SECTION 4. 3-12 All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 3-13 repealed. S. B. 640 -3- (Index)

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Last Updated on 01/02/97