By Madden                                       H.B. No. 1888

      75R7097 SKB-F                           

                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-1                                   AN ACT

 1-2     relating to education of parties to a suit affecting the

 1-3     parent-child relationship regarding the effect of divorce on

 1-4     children.


 1-6           SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 151, Family Code, is

 1-7     amended by adding Section 151.005 to read as follows:


 1-9     CHILDREN.  (a)  In a suit affecting the parent-child relationship,

1-10     the court may order any party to the suit to attend a four-hour

1-11     course regarding the effect of divorce on children.

1-12           (b)  Only a person or group approved by the court may conduct

1-13     a course under this section.  An individual conducting the course

1-14     must have a background in parent education or family therapy.

1-15           (c)  A course conducted under this section must include

1-16     information regarding:

1-17                 (1)  the developmental stages of children, including

1-18     the needs and expectations of children at different ages;

1-19                 (2)  indicators of stress in children;

1-20                 (3)  reduction of stress for a child whose parents are

1-21     divorcing;

1-22                 (4)  the grief process;

1-23                 (5)  changing parental and marital roles in our

1-24     society;

 2-1                 (6)  visitation recommendations for enhancing a child's

 2-2     relationship with both parents;

 2-3                 (7)  financial obligations of raising a child; and

 2-4                 (8)  conflict management and dispute resolution.

 2-5           (d)  On a party's failure to attend or complete a course that

 2-6     the party is ordered to attend under this section, the court may

 2-7     take appropriate action, including holding that party in contempt

 2-8     of court, striking pleadings, or invoking any of the sanctions

 2-9     provided by Rule 215, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

2-10           (e)  A court ordering a party to attend a course under this

2-11     section may order the party to pay a reasonable fee set by the

2-12     court for the course.

2-13           (f)  A court may not order a party to attend a course under

2-14     this section if the suit was brought by the Department of

2-15     Protective and Regulatory Services, the office of the attorney

2-16     general, or a party seeking a protective order under Chapter 71.

2-17           SECTION 2.  The change in law made by this Act applies to a

2-18     suit affecting the parent-child relationship regardless of whether

2-19     the suit is filed before, on, or after the effective date of this

2-20     Act.

2-21           SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1997.

2-22           SECTION 4.  The importance of this legislation and the

2-23     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

2-24     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

2-25     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

2-26     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.