1-1 By: Goodman, et al. (Senate Sponsor - Ellis) H.B. No. 2441
1-2 (In the Senate - Received from the House May 5, 1999;
1-3 May 6, 1999, read first time and referred to Committee on
1-4 Jurisprudence; May 14, 1999, reported favorably, as amended, by the
1-5 following vote: Yeas 3, Nays 0; May 14, 1999, sent to printer.)
1-6 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT NO. 1 By: Harris
1-7 Amend H.B. 2441 as follows:
1-8 On page 3, insert a new section (l) between lines 6 and 7, to
1-9 read as follows:
1-10 (l) A person who has attended a course under this section
1-11 may not be required to attend the course more than twice before the
1-12 fifth anniversary of the date the person completes the course for
1-13 the first time.
1-14 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT NO. 2 By: Harris
1-15 Amend H.B. 2441 as follows:
1-16 On page 3, line 6, insert a new sentence after the word
1-17 "available." to read as follows:
1-18 A party to a suit may not be required to pay more than $100 to
1-19 attend a course ordered under this section.
1-20 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT NO. 3 By: Harris
1-21 Amend H.B. 2441 as follows:
1-22 On page 2, line 48, strike the word "[
offered]" and insert the
1-23 word "completed" after the word "be".
1-24 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT NO. 4 By: Harris
1-25 Amend H.B. 2441 as follows:
1-26 1. On page 2, line 26, insert the word "or" after the word
1-28 2. On page 2, line 29, strike "[ ; or]" after the word
1-30 3. On page 2, line 29, insert the words "if the litigant so
1-31 chooses." after the word "institution"
1-32 4. On page 2, beginning on line 30, strike subsection (3) in
1-33 its entirety
1-34 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT NO. 5 By: Harris
1-35 Amend H.B. 2441 as follows:
1-36 On page 2, line 1, insert the words ", but not more than
1-37 twelve hours," after the word "hours".
1-38 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
1-39 AN ACT
1-40 relating to the requirement that parents participate in a parenting
1-41 course and counseling in certain suits involving children.
1-42 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
1-43 SECTION 1. Chapter 105, Family Code, is amended by adding
1-44 Section 105.009 to read as follows:
1-45 Sec. 105.009. PARENT EDUCATION AND FAMILY STABILIZATION
1-46 COURSE. (a) In a suit affecting the parent-child relationship,
1-47 including an action to modify an order in a suit affecting the
1-48 parent-child relationship providing for possession of or access to
1-49 a child, the court may order the parties to the suit to attend a
1-50 parent education and family stabilization course if the court
1-51 determines that the order is in the best interest of the child.
1-52 (b) The parties to the suit may not be required to attend
1-53 the course together. The court, on its own motion or the motion of
1-54 either party, may prohibit the parties from taking the course
1-55 together if there is a history of family violence in the marriage.
2-1 (c) A course under this section must be at least four hours
2-2 in length and be designed to educate and assist parents with regard
2-3 to the consequences of divorce on parents and children. The course
2-4 must include information on the following issues:
2-5 (1) the emotional effects of divorce on parents;
2-6 (2) the emotional and behavioral reactions to divorce
2-7 by young children and adolescents;
2-8 (3) parenting issues relating to the concerns and
2-9 needs of children at different development stages;
2-10 (4) stress indicators in young children and
2-12 (5) conflict management;
2-13 (6) family stabilization through development of a
2-14 coparenting relationship;
2-15 (7) the financial responsibilities of parenting;
2-16 (8) family violence, spousal abuse, and child abuse
2-17 and neglect; and
2-18 (9) the availability of community services and
2-20 (d) A course may not be designed to provide individual
2-21 mental health therapy or individual legal advice.
2-22 (e) A course satisfies the requirements of this section if
2-23 it is offered by:
2-24 (1) a mental health professional who has at least a
2-25 master's degree with a background in family therapy or parent
2-27 (2) a religious practitioner who performs counseling
2-28 consistent with the laws of this state or another person designated
2-29 as a program counselor by a church or religious institution; or
2-30 (3) if a person described by Subdivision (1) or (2) is
2-31 not available, any other person designated as a course provider by
2-32 the county clerk, including a properly trained school counselor or
2-33 a person having training in marriage and family therapy.
2-34 (f) Information obtained in a course or a statement made by
2-35 a participant to a suit during a course may not be considered in
2-36 the adjudication of the suit or in any subsequent legal proceeding.
2-37 Any report that results from participation in the course may not
2-38 become a record in the suit unless the parties stipulate to the
2-39 record in writing.
2-40 (g) The court may take appropriate action with regard to a
2-41 party who fails to attend or complete a course ordered by the court
2-42 under this section, including holding the party in contempt of
2-43 court, striking pleadings, or invoking any sanction provided by
2-44 Rule 215, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. The failure or refusal
2-45 by a party to attend or complete a course required by this section
2-46 may not delay the court from rendering a judgment in a suit
2-47 affecting the parent-child relationship.
2-48 (h) The course required under this section may be offered
2-50 (1) personal instruction;
2-51 (2) videotape instruction;
2-52 (3) instruction through an electronic medium; or
2-53 (4) a combination of those methods.
2-54 (i) On completion of the course, the course provider shall
2-55 issue a certificate of completion to each participant. The
2-56 certificate must state:
2-57 (1) the name of the participant;
2-58 (2) the name of the course provider;
2-59 (3) the date the course was completed; and
2-60 (4) whether the course was provided by:
2-61 (A) personal instruction;
2-62 (B) videotape instruction;
2-63 (C) instruction through an electronic medium; or
2-64 (D) a combination of those methods.
2-65 (j) The county clerk in each county may establish a registry
2-66 of course providers in the county and a list of locations at which
2-67 courses are provided. The clerk shall include information in the
2-68 registry identifying courses that are offered on a sliding fee
2-69 scale or without charge.
3-1 (k) The court may not order the parties to a suit to attend
3-2 a course under this section if the parties cannot afford to take
3-3 the course. If the parties cannot afford to take a course, the
3-4 court may direct the parties to a course that is offered on a
3-5 sliding fee scale or without charge, if a course of that type is
3-7 SECTION 2. Section 157.211, Family Code, is amended to read
3-8 as follows:
3-9 Sec. 157.211. CONDITIONS OF COMMUNITY SUPERVISION. If the
3-10 court places the respondent on community supervision and suspends
3-11 commitment, the terms and conditions of community supervision may
3-12 include the requirement that the respondent:
3-13 (1) report to the community supervision and
3-14 corrections department officer as directed;
3-15 (2) permit the community supervision and corrections
3-16 department officer to visit the respondent at the respondent's home
3-17 or elsewhere;
3-18 (3) obtain counseling on financial planning, budget
3-19 management, conflict resolution, parenting skills, alcohol or drug
3-20 abuse, or other matters causing the respondent to fail to obey the
3-22 (4) pay required child support and any child support
3-23 arrearages; and
3-24 (5) pay court costs and attorney's fees ordered by the
3-26 SECTION 3. (a) This Act takes effect September 1, 1999.
3-27 (b) The change in law made by this Act applies to a suit
3-28 affecting the parent-child relationship or a motion to modify an
3-29 order providing for possession of or access to a child that is
3-30 filed on or after the effective date of this Act. A suit or motion
3-31 filed before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law
3-32 in effect on the date the suit or motion was filed, and the former
3-33 law is continued in effect for that purpose.
3-34 SECTION 4. The importance of this legislation and the
3-35 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an
3-36 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the
3-37 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several
3-38 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.
3-39 * * * * *