Senate File 10 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to grandparent and great-grandparent
2visitation.
3BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  Section 600C.1, Code 2019, is amended by adding
2the following new subsection:
3   NEW SUBSECTION.  1A.  If a party objects to the petition
4filed under this section, the court shall stay the proceedings
5and refer the parties to mediation. If an agreement is reached
6through mediation, the parties shall file the signed agreement
7with the court for approval, and the court shall dismiss the
8petition. If an agreement is not reached through mediation,
9the parties shall proceed to a hearing on the petition unless
10the petition is otherwise dismissed or withdrawn. The costs of
11mediation provided under this subsection shall be borne by the
12petitioner.
13EXPLANATION
14The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
15the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   16This bill relates to grandparent and great-grandparent
17visitation.
   18Under current law, a grandparent or great-grandparent
19may only petition the court for visitation of a minor child
20if the parent of the minor child, who is the child of the
21grandparent or the grandchild of the great-grandparent, is
22deceased. The court may only grant such visitation if the
23court finds by clear and convincing evidence that granting
24such visitation is in the best interest of the child, the
25presumption that the parent of the child is fit to make the
26decision regarding visitation is overcome, and the grandparent
27or great-grandparent has established a substantial relationship
28with the child prior to the filing of the petition.
   29Under the bill, if a party objects to the petition filed,
30the court shall stay the proceedings and refer the parties
31to mediation. If an agreement is reached through mediation,
32the parties are required to file the signed agreement with
33the court for approval and the court is required to dismiss
34the petition. If the parties do not reach an agreement
35through mediation, the parties shall proceed to a hearing on
-1-1the petition unless the petition is otherwise dismissed or
2withdrawn.
   3The costs of mediation provided shall be borne by the
4petitioner.
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