Proposed Family Law Legislation for 2016

AB 2098:

Existing law requires the court to consider and give due weight to the wishes of a child in making an order granting or modifying custody or visitation, if the child is of sufficient age and capacity to form an intelligent preference as to custody or visitation. Existing law also requires the court to permit a child who is 14 years of age or older to address the court regarding custody or visitation, unless the court determines that doing so is not in the child’s best interests.

This bill, commencing July 1, 2017, would instead require the court to permit a child who is 10 years of age or older, of his or her own volition, to address the court regarding custody or visitation, unless the court determines that doing so is not in the child’s best interests. The bill would require the court to determine whether the child is addressing the court of his or her own volition and to provide the child with an age-appropriate form developed by the Judicial Council that explains to the child specified information prior to the child addressing the court regarding custody or visitation.

AB 2128:

Existing law allows a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is stationed overseas and serving in a conflict or a war and is unable to appear for the licensure and solemnization of the marriage to enter into that marriage by the appearance of an attorney in fact.

This bill would remove the requirement that the member of the Armed Forces of the United States be serving in a conflict or war.

AB 2761:

Existing law enumerates persons who are authorized to solemnize a marriage, including current Members of the Legislature, constitutional officers of this state, Members of Congress of the United States who represent a district within this state, elected mayors, and county supervisors.

This bill would additionally authorize former Members of the Legislature and constitutional officers of this state, former Members of Congress of the United States who represented a district within this state, and current and former elected officials of a city, county, or city and county, to solemnize a marriage.

AB 2882:

Existing law provides that an unmarried person under 18 years of age is capable of consenting to and consummating marriage upon obtaining a court order granting permission of the underage person or persons to marry. Existing law requires the court order and written consent of the parents of each underage person, or of one of the parents or the guardian of each underage person, to be filed with the clerk of the court, and requires a certified copy of the order to be presented to the county clerk at the time the marriage license is issued. This bill would instead require the court order and written consent of at least one of the parents or the guardian of each underage person to be filed with the clerk of the court.

SB 917:

Existing law authorizes a court to issue orders relating to matters under the Family Code, including, among others, restraining orders and orders for child support.

This bill would require a court, at the conclusion of a hearing conducted pursuant to the Family Code, to provide each party who is present at the hearing with a written order setting forth the basic terms of any orders that were made in open court during the hearing.

SB 1005:

Under existing law, a reference to “husband” and “wife,” “spouses,” or “married persons,” or a comparable term, includes persons who are lawfully married to each other and persons who were previously lawfully married to each other, as is appropriate under the circumstances of the particular case. Under existing law, registered domestic partners have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and are subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses. Existing law requires, where necessary to implement the rights of registered domestic partners, gender-specific terms referring to spouses to be construed to include domestic partners.

The bill would replace references to a “husband” or “wife” with references to a “spouse,” would define “spouse” as including “domestic partner,” and would make other conforming and related changes.

SB 1255:

Existing law regulates the characterization and division of property upon the dissolution of marriage or the legal separation of the parties. Under existing law, debt incurred by a spouse after the date of separation is generally confirmed to that spouse. Existing law similarly provides that the earnings of a spouse are separate property if the spouse is living separate and apart from the other spouse.

This bill would define “date of separation” for purposes of the Family Code to mean the date that a complete and final break in the marital relationship has occurred, as evidenced by the spouse’s expression of his or her intent to end the marriage and conduct that is consistent with that intent. The bill would direct a court to take into account all relevant evidence in determining the date of separation.

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