Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2016 Indiana House Bill HB 1223 - Issues relating to the death of a minor

Representative Olthoff has introduced House Bill 1223 relating to the death of a child who is the subject of a child custody order. The bill has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

This is a rather simple bill which addresses an issue that I have, thankfully, yet to encounter in a child custody case. It provides that if a minor child who is the subject of custody order, the parent who was awarded sole legal custody of the minor child or primary physical custody, if the parents were awarded joint legal custody of the minor child, is entitled to make the decisions regarding disposal of the body.

If parents disagree on this issue then the matter needs to be addressed in settlement negotiations or before the court and entered into a court order. As disposal of a body is time sensitive challenging the decision of the custodial parent after the death of the child would not be practical and likely ineffective. It is a matter that should be considered in all cases though because children of parents who are not co-habitating have a significantly elevated risk of death.

The progress of this bill will be updated on the posting List of 2016 Indiana Child Custody, Child Support, Domestic Violence, and Child Well-Being bills.

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