SB 406 Divorce Reform

 

Bill Status:

  • Awaiting a committee hearing

 

Bill History:

  • 1/14/2019 Authored by Sen. Spartz and referred to Judiciary Committee

 

Executive Summary

SB 406 requires parties in a dissolution of marriage action to complete a marriage counseling program if: (1) the parties assert irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as a ground for the action; and (2) the court finds that: (A) the parties are the parents or legal custodians of a minor; or (B) a party is pregnant and the party's spouse is the child's father under Indiana law. Provides for certain exceptions to the requirement. Specifies requirements for the marriage counseling program the parties must complete. Provides that a court administrator may enter into an agreement with one or more third parties to provide the court-ordered marriage counseling. Provides that the agreement must require the provider to waive some or all of the cost of the program if directed to do so by the court administrator for purposes of accommodating the ability of a party to pay. Provides that each calendar year: (1) counties shall provide information regarding divorces in the county during the preceding calendar year to the management and performance hub (MPH); and (2) the MPH shall post the information on the MPH's Internet web site.

 

Analysis

SB 406 seeks to reform divorce by requiring couples contemplating divorce to complete marriage counseling, particularly if the couples are parents or expecting children. Additionally, under SB 406, counties would be required to provide divorce-related information during the preceding year to the state management and performance hub (MPH). This information would be posted on the MPH web site.

 

Conclusion

SB 406 would assure that Indiana track divorce statistics properly. We don’t have good divorce numbers currently. SB 406 also reforms divorce laws through encouraging couples looking to divorce to go through marital counseling....especially couples with young children. Helping couples with children to have a better understanding of what divorce will do to their family is a good thing.

IFI supports SB 406.