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
1-27     "education;"
1-28           2.  On page 2, line 29, strike "[; or]" after the word
1-29     "institution"
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.
1-43           SECTION 1.  Chapter 105, Family Code, is amended by adding
1-44     Section 105.009 to read as follows:
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
2-11     adolescents;
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
2-19     resources.
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
2-26     education;
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
2-49     by:
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
 3-6     available.
 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
3-21     order;
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
3-25     court.
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.
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