76R11980 JMM-F                           
         By Goodman, Telford, Wohlgemuth,                      H.B. No. 2441
            Lewis of Tarrant, Van de Putte, et al. 
         Substitute the following for H.B. No. 2441:
         By Naishtat                                       C.S.H.B. No. 2441
                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-1                                   AN ACT
 1-2     relating to the requirement that parents participate in a parenting
 1-3     course and counseling in certain suits involving children.
 1-5           SECTION 1.  Chapter 105, Family Code, is amended by adding
 1-6     Section 105.009 to read as follows:
 1-8     COURSE.  (a) In a suit affecting the parent-child relationship,
 1-9     including an action to modify an order in a suit affecting the
1-10     parent-child relationship providing for possession of or access to
1-11     a child, the court may order the parties to the suit to attend a
1-12     parent education and family stabilization course if the court
1-13     determines that the order is in the best interest of the child.
1-14           (b)  The parties to the suit may not be required to attend
1-15     the course together. The court, on its own motion or the motion of
1-16     either party, may prohibit the parties from taking the course
1-17     together if there is a history of family violence in the marriage.
1-18           (c)  A course under this section must be at least four hours
1-19     in length and be designed to educate and assist parents with regard
1-20     to the consequences of divorce on parents and children.  The course
1-21     must include information on the following issues:
1-22                 (1)  the emotional effects of divorce on parents;
1-23                 (2)  the emotional and behavioral reactions to divorce
1-24     by young children and adolescents;
 2-1                 (3)  parenting issues relating to the concerns and
 2-2     needs of children at different development stages;
 2-3                 (4)  stress indicators in young children and
 2-4     adolescents;
 2-5                 (5)  conflict management;
 2-6                 (6)  family stabilization through development of a
 2-7     coparenting relationship;
 2-8                 (7)  the financial responsibilities of parenting;
 2-9                 (8)  family violence, spousal abuse, and child abuse
2-10     and neglect; and
2-11                 (9)  the availability of community services and
2-12     resources.
2-13           (d)  A course may not be designed to provide individual
2-14     mental health therapy or individual legal advice.
2-15           (e)  A course satisfies the requirements of this section if
2-16     it is offered by:
2-17                 (1)  a mental health professional who has at least a
2-18     master's degree with a background in family therapy or parent
2-19     education;
2-20                 (2)  a religious practitioner who performs counseling
2-21     consistent with the laws of this state or another person designated
2-22     as a program counselor by a church or religious institution; or
2-23                 (3)  if a person described by Subdivision (1) or (2) is
2-24     not available, any other person designated as a course provider by
2-25     the county clerk, including a properly trained school counselor or
2-26     a person having training in marriage and family therapy.
2-27           (f)  Information obtained in a course or a statement made by
 3-1     a participant to a suit during a course may not be considered in
 3-2     the adjudication of the suit or in any subsequent legal proceeding.
 3-3     Any report that results from participation in the course may not
 3-4     become a record in the suit unless the parties stipulate to the
 3-5     record in writing.
 3-6           (g)  The court may take appropriate action with regard to a
 3-7     party who fails to attend or complete a course ordered by the court
 3-8     under this section, including holding the party in contempt of
 3-9     court, striking pleadings, or invoking any sanction provided by
3-10     Rule 215, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.  The failure or refusal
3-11     by a party to attend or complete a course required by this section
3-12     may not delay the court from rendering a judgment in a suit
3-13     affecting the parent-child relationship.
3-14           (h)  The course required under this section may be offered
3-15     by:
3-16                 (1)  personal instruction;
3-17                 (2)  videotape instruction;
3-18                 (3)  instruction through an electronic medium; or
3-19                 (4)  a combination of those methods.
3-20           (i)  On completion of the course, the course provider shall
3-21     issue a certificate of completion to each participant.  The
3-22     certificate must state:
3-23                 (1)  the name of the participant;
3-24                 (2)  the name of the course provider;
3-25                 (3)  the date the course was completed; and
3-26                 (4)  whether the course was provided by:
3-27                       (A)  personal instruction;
 4-1                       (B)  videotape instruction;
 4-2                       (C)  instruction through an electronic medium; or
 4-3                       (D)  a combination of those methods.
 4-4           (j)  The county clerk in each county may establish a registry
 4-5     of course providers in the county and a list of locations at which
 4-6     courses are provided.  The clerk shall include information in the
 4-7     registry identifying courses that are offered on a sliding fee
 4-8     scale or without charge.
 4-9           (k)  The court may not order the parties to a suit to attend
4-10     a course under this section if the parties cannot afford to take
4-11     the course. If the parties cannot afford to take a course, the
4-12     court may direct the parties to a course that is offered on a
4-13     sliding fee scale or without charge, if a course of that type is
4-14     available.
4-15           SECTION 2.  Section 157.211, Family Code, is amended to read
4-16     as follows:
4-17           Sec. 157.211.  CONDITIONS OF COMMUNITY SUPERVISION.  If the
4-18     court places the respondent on community supervision and suspends
4-19     commitment, the terms and conditions of community supervision may
4-20     include the requirement that the respondent:
4-21                 (1)  report to the community supervision and
4-22     corrections department officer as directed;
4-23                 (2)  permit the community supervision and corrections
4-24     department officer to visit the respondent at the respondent's home
4-25     or elsewhere;
4-26                 (3)  obtain counseling on financial planning, budget
4-27     management, conflict resolution, parenting skills, alcohol or drug
 5-1     abuse, or other matters causing the respondent to fail to obey the
 5-2     order;
 5-3                 (4)  pay required child support and any child support
 5-4     arrearages; and
 5-5                 (5)  pay court costs and attorney's fees ordered by the
 5-6     court.
 5-7           SECTION 3.  (a)  This Act takes effect September 1, 1999.
 5-8           (b)  The change in law made by this Act applies to a suit
 5-9     affecting the parent-child relationship or a motion to modify an
5-10     order providing for possession of or access to a child that is
5-11     filed on or after the effective date of this Act.  A suit or motion
5-12     filed before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law
5-13     in effect on the date the suit or motion was filed, and the former
5-14     law is continued in effect for that purpose.
5-15           SECTION 4.  The importance of this legislation and the
5-16     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
5-17     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
5-18     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
5-19     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.