Bill Text: NY A06608 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Makes numerous modifications to provisions of various laws relating to child custody matters; provides for shared parenting custody; provides for parenting time rather than visitation; provides for mediation and counseling in matrimonial actions involving children; establishes sanctions for interference with parenting time; provides for equality in the burden of child support between parents; bases child support on net income exclusive of income and FICA taxes; provides that child support ceases at age 18; requires contract support collection agents to be audited; deals with DNA evidence when question of paternity; increases parental access to information.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 7-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-14 - referred to judiciary [A06608 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A06608-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          6608
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     March 14, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  M. of A. KOLB, CROUCH, FINCH, MONTESANO, LALOR -- Multi-
          Sponsored by -- M. of A. GIGLIO, HAWLEY -- read once and  referred  to
          the Committee on Judiciary
        AN  ACT to amend the domestic relations law, in relation to establishing
          a presumption of shared parenting of  minor  children  in  matrimonial
          proceedings;  to amend the domestic relations law, the social services
          law and the family court act, in relation to changing  the  denotation
          of  visitation to parenting time; to amend the domestic relations law,
          in relation to matrimonial actions involving custody of children;  and
          in  relation  to the obligations of child support; to amend the social
          services law, in relation  to  audits  of  support  collection  fiscal
          agents;  to  amend  the family court act, in relation to the review of
          evidence; to amend the family court act, in relation to  DNA  evidence
          when  question  of  paternity; to amend the domestic relations law, in
          relation to parental access to information; and to  amend  the  family
          court  act  and the social services law, in relation to the payment of
          child support
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.    Legislative findings and intent. The legislature hereby
     2  finds that, in cases of child custody, the court's paramount concern  is
     3  always  the  best  interests  of the child. Shared parenting, where both
     4  parents share as equally as possible in the legal responsibility, living
     5  experience, and physical care of the child, has been found to be in  the
     6  child's  best interests in certain circumstances. Where the relationship
     7  between the parent and child is  free  from  domestic  violence,  abuse,
     8  neglect  and other harmful circumstances, shared parenting is beneficial
     9  to both parent and child. This legislation seeks to encourage courts and
    10  interested parties to work towards the goal of shared parenting whenever
    11  practical and when in the best interests of the child.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD04411-01-9

        A. 6608                             2
     1    § 2. Short title. This act shall be known and  may  be  cited  as  the
     2  "family court reform act".
     3    §  3.  The  domestic  relations law is amended by adding a new section
     4  240-d to read as follows:
     5    § 240-d. Custody of children. 1.  Where the court  considers  awarding
     6  shared  parenting  pursuant  to  the  provisions of this section "shared
     7  parenting" shall mean an order awarding custody of  the  child  to  both
     8  parties  so that both parties share equally the legal responsibility and
     9  control of such child and share equally the living  experience  in  time
    10  and  physical  care  to assure frequent and continuing contact with both
    11  parties, as the court deems to be in the best interests  of  the  child,
    12  taking  into consideration the location and circumstances of each party.
    13  The term "shared parenting"  will  be  considered  interchangeable  with
    14  "nearly  equal  shared  parenting". An award of joint physical and legal
    15  custody obligates the parties to  exchange  information  concerning  the
    16  health,  education and welfare of the minor child, and unless allocated,
    17  apportioned, or decreed, the parents or parties shall  confer  with  one
    18  another  in the exercise of decision-making rights, responsibilities and
    19  authority.
    20    2. (a) Upon the initial appearance in court in an action for  divorce,
    21  nullity  or separate maintenance where custody, visitation or support of
    22  a minor child is at issue,  and  where  both  parties  agree  to  shared
    23  parenting,  the court shall appoint an independent evaluator with exper-
    24  tise in the field, including  but  not  limited  to,  child  psychology,
    25  domestic  violence  counseling,  etc., to investigate the family dynamic
    26  and interview  the  parents,  children  and  other  interested  parties,
    27  including  but  not  limited to, family members, friends and co-workers.
    28  The independent evaluator's goal is to determine whether shared  parent-
    29  ing  is  in  the best interests of the child and to ensure that domestic
    30  violence and/or any other type of abuse, reported or unreported  by  the
    31  victim  or  by an appropriate federal, state or municipal agency, is not
    32  present in the household setting. The court shall utilize the  independ-
    33  ent  evaluator's  analysis and report, along with other supporting docu-
    34  ments provided by the parties, to determine the best  interests  of  the
    35  child and to award custody based on that determination.
    36    (b)  The  court  shall  determine each party's ability to pay the cost
    37  related to the evaluation. Any cost above and beyond the parents' abili-
    38  ty to pay shall be incurred by the county.
    39    (c) If either parent has been convicted of abuse,  including  but  not
    40  limited  to, domestic violence and sexual abuse against either the other
    41  parent and/or the child, shared  parenting  shall  not  be  a  custodial
    42  option.  If either parent accuses the other parent of domestic violence,
    43  sexual abuse, etc., against him or herself, and/or the child, the  court
    44  shall suspend its determination as to whether or not shared parenting is
    45  in the best interests of the child, until the accusation has been inves-
    46  tigated  and  a determination has been made by law enforcement or appro-
    47  priate federal, state or municipal agencies. If such agencies  determine
    48  that  the  abuse  occurred,  shared  parenting  shall not be a custodial
    49  option. If such agency finds that abuse was not present, the court shall
    50  resume its determination as to whether or not shared parenting is in the
    51  best interests of the child. Should such allegations be proven false and
    52  the court determined upon motion by the accused party that such  allega-
    53  tions  were  made maliciously and in bad faith, the court shall have the
    54  authority to sanction the accusing party pursuant to the powers  granted
    55  to the court pursuant to section two hundred forty of this article.

        A. 6608                             3
     1    3.  For  the  purposes  of  this  article  a "parenting plan" shall be
     2  required to be submitted to the court if the court awards shared parent-
     3  ing.
     4    Each  parent  must  agree  to  a parenting plan during mediation.  The
     5  parenting plan would provide for the  minor  children's  physical  care,
     6  maintain  the  minor children's emotional stability, and provide for the
     7  minor children's changing needs as he or she develops, in a manner which
     8  minimizes the need for future modifications to  the  plan.  The  parties
     9  would  be encouraged to fulfill their parenting responsibilities through
    10  agreements in the parenting plan rather  than  by  relying  on  judicial
    11  intervention.
    12    The  plan  shall  determine  procedures for the day to day care of the
    13  minor child and procedures for transporting the  minor  child  from  one
    14  parent  to  the  other  parent  at the start and conclusion of parenting
    15  time. The plan shall include time spent with each  parent  on  a  weekly
    16  basis,  special  occasions,  including  birthdays, religious and secular
    17  holidays and vacations. The plan shall also specify how major  decisions
    18  regarding  the  minor  child's  health  care,  education,  and religious
    19  upbringing will be made.   Those items that remain  unresolved  will  go
    20  before  the  judge  for determination. The judge shall rely, in part, on
    21  the testimony of the  mediation  counselor  in  all  unresolved  issues.
    22  Other  issues, including but not limited to property division, financial
    23  issues and child support shall not be addressed in this plan.
    24    The court shall have final approval over such  plan  and  may  modify,
    25  suspend  or nullify the plan at its discretion. The court shall have one
    26  year to review the parenting plan to  determine  whether  such  plan  is
    27  being  followed  and continues to be in the best interests of the child.
    28  At such time, the court shall retain the power  to  modify,  suspend  or
    29  nullify the plan based on its findings.
    30    §  4.  The  domestic  relations law is amended by adding a new section
    31  240-e to read as follows:
    32    § 240-e. Parties in disagreement over  shared  parenting.  1.  If  the
    33  parties are seeking a custody arrangement other than shared parenting or
    34  where one parent objects to an award of shared parenting, the court must
    35  determine  what  custody  arrangement  is  in  the best interests of the
    36  child. If one party is seeking shared parenting and the other  party  is
    37  seeking  sole  custody, both parties shall bear the burden of proof that
    38  their requested arrangement is  in  the  best  interests  of  the  child
    39  through  the introduction of testimony and supporting documents, etc. to
    40  the court.
    41    2. The court shall determine each party's  ability  to  pay  the  cost
    42  related to the evaluation.  Any cost above and beyond the parents' abil-
    43  ity to pay shall be incurred by the county.
    44    3. The court shall appoint an independent evaluator with expertise in,
    45  but not limited to, child psychology, domestic violence counseling, etc.
    46  to  investigate  the  family dynamic and interview the parents, children
    47  and other interested parties,  including  but  not  limited  to,  family
    48  members,  friends and co-workers. The independent evaluator's goal is to
    49  determine what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child
    50  and to ensure that domestic violence and/or any  other  type  of  abuse,
    51  reported or unreported by the victim or by an appropriate federal, state
    52  or  municipal agency, is not present in the household setting. The court
    53  shall utilize the independent evaluator's  analysis  and  report,  along
    54  with  other  supporting  documents provided by the parties, to determine
    55  the best interests of the child and  to  award  custody  based  on  that
    56  determination. If one party sought shared parenting, and the court found

        A. 6608                             4
     1  that  such an award would not be in the best interests of the child, the
     2  court must state its reasoning behind such determination  in  the  order
     3  setting out the custody award.
     4    4.  The  court,  in its discretion, may require the parent who was not
     5  awarded shared parenting to fulfill certain  conditions,  including  but
     6  not  limited to, parenting classes, general counseling, anger management
     7  classes, and substance abuse counseling, and shall list such  conditions
     8  on the custody order.
     9    5.  Upon  the non-custodial parent's motion, the court shall, one year
    10  following the initial award of custody, revisit its findings and make  a
    11  subsequent  determination whether or not shared parenting is in the best
    12  interests of the child. Such review is contingent on  the  non-custodial
    13  parent's completion of the conditions set forth in the custody order.
    14    §  5.  Subdivision (b) of section 70 of the domestic relations law, as
    15  added by chapter 457 of the laws of 1988, is amended to read as follows:
    16    (b) Any order under this section which applies to rights of visitation
    17  or parenting time with a child remanded or  placed  in  the  care  of  a
    18  person,  official,  agency or institution pursuant to article ten of the
    19  family court act or pursuant to an  instrument  approved  under  section
    20  three  hundred  fifty-eight-a  of  the  social  services  law,  shall be
    21  enforceable pursuant to the provisions of part eight of article  ten  of
    22  [such]  the  family  court act, sections three hundred fifty-eight-a and
    23  three hundred eighty-four-a of the social services law and other  appli-
    24  cable  provisions  of law against any person or official having care and
    25  custody, or temporary care and custody, of such child.
    26    § 6. Subdivision 1 of section 235 of the domestic  relations  law,  as
    27  amended  by  chapter  122  of  the  laws  of 1979, is amended to read as
    28  follows:
    29    1. An officer of the court with whom the proceedings in a  matrimonial
    30  action  or  a written agreement of separation or an action or proceeding
    31  for custody, visitation, parenting time or maintenance of  a  child  are
    32  filed,  or  before  whom  the  testimony  is taken, or his clerk, either
    33  before or after the termination of the suit, shall not permit a copy  of
    34  any  of the pleadings, affidavits, findings of fact, conclusions of law,
    35  judgment of dissolution, written agreement of separation  or  memorandum
    36  thereof,  or  testimony,  or  any  examination or perusal thereof, to be
    37  taken by any other person than a party, or the attorney or counsel of  a
    38  party, except by order of the court.
    39    §  7. Subdivision (b) of section 237 of the domestic relations law, as
    40  amended by chapter 329 of the laws  of  2010,  is  amended  to  read  as
    41  follows:
    42    (b) Upon any application to enforce, annul or modify an order or judg-
    43  ment for alimony, maintenance, distributive award, distribution of mari-
    44  tal property or for custody, [visitation] parenting time, or maintenance
    45  of  a  child,  made  as in section two hundred thirty-six or section two
    46  hundred forty of this article provided, or upon any application by  writ
    47  of  habeas  corpus  or  by  petition  and order to show cause concerning
    48  custody, [visitation] parenting time or  maintenance  of  a  child,  the
    49  court  may  direct  a  spouse or parent to pay counsel fees and fees and
    50  expenses of experts directly to the attorney  of  the  other  spouse  or
    51  parent  to  enable the other party to carry on or defend the application
    52  or proceeding  by  the  other  spouse  or  parent  as,  in  the  court's
    53  discretion,  justice requires, having regard to the circumstances of the
    54  case and of the respective parties. There shall be a rebuttable presump-
    55  tion that counsel fees shall be awarded to the less  monied  spouse.  In
    56  exercising  the  court's discretion, the court shall seek to assure that

        A. 6608                             5
     1  each party shall be adequately  represented  and  that  where  fees  and
     2  expenses  are  to  be  awarded, they shall be awarded on a timely basis,
     3  pendente  lite,  so  as  to  enable  adequate  representation  from  the
     4  commencement  of  the proceeding. Applications for the award of fees and
     5  expenses may be made at any time or times prior to final judgment.  Both
     6  parties  to  the  action  or  proceeding and their respective attorneys,
     7  shall file an affidavit with the court detailing  the  financial  agree-
     8  ment,  between  the party and the attorney. Such affidavit shall include
     9  the amount of any retainer, the amounts paid and still owing thereunder,
    10  the hourly amount charged by the attorney, the amounts paid,  or  to  be
    11  paid,  any experts, and any additional costs, disbursements or expenses.
    12  Any applications for fees and expenses may be maintained by the attorney
    13  for either spouse in counsel's own name in the same proceeding.  Payment
    14  of any retainer fees to the attorney for the petitioning party shall not
    15  preclude  any  awards  of  fees and expenses to an applicant which would
    16  otherwise be allowed under this section.
    17    § 8. Subdivisions 1 and 1-a of section 240 of the  domestic  relations
    18  law,  subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 624 of the laws of 2002, para-
    19  graph (a) of subdivision 1 as amended by chapter  567  of  the  laws  of
    20  2015,  paragraph (a-1) of subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 295 of the
    21  laws of 2009, paragraph (a-2) of subdivision 1 as added by  chapter  473
    22  of  the  laws of 2009, subparagraph 3 of paragraph (b) and paragraph (d)
    23  of subdivision 1 as added and clause (iii) of subparagraph  2  of  para-
    24  graph  (c)  of  subdivision  1  as amended by chapter 215 of the laws of
    25  2009, and subdivision 1-a as amended by chapter 12 of the laws of  1996,
    26  are amended to read as follows:
    27    1.  (a) In any action or proceeding brought (1) to annul a marriage or
    28  to  declare  the nullity of a void marriage, or (2) for a separation, or
    29  (3) for a divorce, or (4) to obtain, by a writ of habeas  corpus  or  by
    30  petition  and  order  to show cause, the custody of or right to [visita-
    31  tion] parenting time with any child  of  a  marriage,  the  court  shall
    32  require  verification  of  the  status of any child of the marriage with
    33  respect to such child's custody and support, including any prior orders,
    34  and shall enter orders for  custody  and  support  as,  in  the  court's
    35  discretion,  justice requires, having regard to the circumstances of the
    36  case and of the respective parties and to  the  best  interests  of  the
    37  child  and  subject  to  the  provisions  of  subdivision  one-c of this
    38  section. Where either party to an action  concerning  custody  of  or  a
    39  right  to  [visitation]  parenting  time with a child alleges in a sworn
    40  petition or complaint or sworn answer, cross-petition,  counterclaim  or
    41  other  sworn  responsive  pleading that the other party has committed an
    42  act of domestic violence against the party making the  allegation  or  a
    43  family  or household member of either party, as such family or household
    44  member is defined in article eight of the family  court  act,  and  such
    45  allegations  are  proven  by  a preponderance of the evidence, the court
    46  must consider the effect of such domestic violence upon the best  inter-
    47  ests  of  the child, together with such other facts and circumstances as
    48  the court deems relevant in making a direction pursuant to this  section
    49  and  state  on  the  record  how  such findings, facts and circumstances
    50  factored into the direction.  However, should such allegations be proven
    51  false, the court shall have within its power the authority  to  sanction
    52  the accusing party. The subject of an unfounded report of domestic abuse
    53  who  believes the report was made maliciously and in bad faith may pres-
    54  ent a written request to the court for a determination that the reporter
    55  acted maliciously or in bad faith and must be sanctioned.  If  a  parent
    56  makes  a good faith allegation based on a reasonable belief supported by

        A. 6608                             6
     1  facts that the child is the victim of child abuse, child neglect, or the
     2  effects of domestic violence, and if that parent acts  lawfully  and  in
     3  good faith in response to that reasonable belief to protect the child or
     4  seek  treatment for the child, then that parent shall not be deprived of
     5  custody, [visitation] parenting time  or  contact  with  the  child,  or
     6  restricted  in  custody,  [visitation]  parenting time or contact, based
     7  solely on that belief or the reasonable  actions  taken  based  on  that
     8  belief.  If  an  allegation  that  a  child  is abused is supported by a
     9  preponderance of the  evidence,  then  the  court  shall  consider  such
    10  evidence  of  abuse  in  determining  the  [visitation]  parenting  time
    11  arrangement that is in the best interest of the  child,  and  the  court
    12  shall  not  place  a  child  in  the  custody of a parent who presents a
    13  substantial risk of harm to that child, and shall state  on  the  record
    14  how  such  findings  were  factored  into  the  determination.  [Where a
    15  proceeding filed pursuant to article ten or ten-A of  the  family  court
    16  act  is  pending at the same time as a proceeding brought in the supreme
    17  court involving the custody of, or right to visitation with,  any  child
    18  of a marriage, the court presiding over the proceeding under article ten
    19  or  ten-A  of  the  family  court act may jointly hear the dispositional
    20  hearing on the petition under article  ten  or  the  permanency  hearing
    21  under  article ten-A of the family court act and, upon referral from the
    22  supreme court, the hearing to resolve the matter of custody  or  visita-
    23  tion  in  the proceeding pending in the supreme court; provided however,
    24  the court must determine custody or visitation in  accordance  with  the
    25  terms of this section.]
    26    An  order  directing  the  payment  of child support shall contain the
    27  social security numbers of the named parties. [In all cases there  shall
    28  be  no  prima  facie right to the custody of the child in either parent.
    29  Such direction] Before the court makes any order awarding custody  to  a
    30  person or persons other than a parent without consent of the parents, it
    31  shall  make  a  finding  that  an  award of custody to a parent would be
    32  detrimental to the child and the award to the nonparent is  required  to
    33  serve the best interests of the child. Allegations that parental custody
    34  would  be  detrimental to the child, other than a statement of the ulti-
    35  mate fact, shall not appear in the pleadings.  The  court  may,  in  its
    36  discretion,  exclude the public for the hearing on this issue. The court
    37  shall state in writing the reasons for its decision and  why  the  award
    38  made  was  found  to be in the best interest of the child. Any direction
    39  made pursuant to this subdivision shall make provision for child support
    40  out of the property of [either or] both parents. The  court  shall  make
    41  its  award  for  child  support  pursuant  to  subdivision one-b of this
    42  section. Such direction may provide for reasonable visitation rights  to
    43  the  maternal  and/or paternal grandparents of any child of the parties.
    44  Such direction as it applies to rights of visitation or  parenting  time
    45  with a child remanded or placed in the care of a person, official, agen-
    46  cy  or  institution  pursuant to article ten of the family court act, or
    47  pursuant to an instrument approved under section  three  hundred  fifty-
    48  eight-a  of  the  social  services law, shall be enforceable pursuant to
    49  part eight of article ten of the family court  act  and  sections  three
    50  hundred  fifty-eight-a  and  three  hundred  eighty-four-a of the social
    51  services law and other applicable provisions of law against  any  person
    52  having  care  and  custody, or temporary care and custody, of the child.
    53  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any written  application  or
    54  motion  to  the court for the establishment, modification or enforcement
    55  of a child support obligation for  persons  not  in  receipt  of  public
    56  assistance  and  care  must  contain  either a request for child support

        A. 6608                             7
     1  enforcement services which would authorize the collection of the support
     2  obligation by the immediate issuance of an income execution for  support
     3  enforcement  as  provided  for  by this chapter, completed in the manner
     4  specified in section one hundred eleven-g of the social services law; or
     5  a  statement that the applicant has applied for or is in receipt of such
     6  services; or a statement that the applicant knows of the availability of
     7  such services, has declined them at this time and where support enforce-
     8  ment services pursuant to section one hundred  eleven-g  of  the  social
     9  services  law  have been declined that the applicant understands that an
    10  income deduction order may be issued  pursuant  to  subdivision  (c)  of
    11  section  fifty-two hundred forty-two of the civil practice law and rules
    12  without other child support enforcement services and that payment of  an
    13  administrative  fee  may  be required. The court shall provide a copy of
    14  any such request for child support enforcement services to  the  support
    15  collection  unit of the appropriate social services district any time it
    16  directs payments to be made  to  such  support  collection  unit.  Addi-
    17  tionally, the copy of any such request shall be accompanied by the name,
    18  address and social security number of the parties; the date and place of
    19  the  parties' marriage; the name and date of birth of the child or chil-
    20  dren; and the name and address of the employers and income payors of the
    21  party from whom child support is sought or from the party ordered to pay
    22  child support to the other party. Such direction may require the payment
    23  of a sum or sums of money either directly to the custodial parent or  to
    24  third  persons  for  goods  or services furnished for such child, or for
    25  both payments to  the  custodial  parent  and  to  such  third  persons;
    26  provided,  however,  that  unless  the  party seeking or receiving child
    27  support has applied for or is receiving such services, the  court  shall
    28  not  direct  such payments to be made to the support collection unit, as
    29  established in section one hundred eleven-h of the social services  law.
    30  Every  order  directing  the  payment  of  support shall require that if
    31  either parent currently, or at any time in the future, has health insur-
    32  ance benefits available that may be extended or obtained  to  cover  the
    33  child,  such  parent  is  required  to exercise the option of additional
    34  coverage in favor of such child and execute and deliver to  such  person
    35  any  forms, notices, documents or instruments necessary to assure timely
    36  payment of any health insurance claims for such child.
    37    (a-1)(1) Permanent and initial temporary orders of custody or [visita-
    38  tion] parenting time.  Prior to the issuance of any permanent or initial
    39  temporary order of custody or [visitation]  parenting  time,  the  court
    40  shall  conduct  a review of the decisions and reports listed in subpara-
    41  graph three of this paragraph.
    42    (2) Successive temporary orders of custody or  [visitation]  parenting
    43  time. Prior to the issuance of any successive temporary order of custody
    44  or  [visitation] parenting time, the court shall conduct a review of the
    45  decisions and reports listed in subparagraph three  of  this  paragraph,
    46  unless  such a review has been conducted within ninety days prior to the
    47  issuance of such order.
    48    (3) Decisions and reports for review. The court shall conduct a review
    49  of the following:
    50    (i) related decisions in court proceedings initiated pursuant to arti-
    51  cle ten of the family court act, and all warrants issued under the fami-
    52  ly court act; and
    53    (ii) reports of the  statewide  computerized  registry  of  orders  of
    54  protection  established  and  maintained pursuant to section two hundred
    55  twenty-one-a of the executive law,  and  reports  of  the  sex  offender

        A. 6608                             8
     1  registry  established  and  maintained  pursuant  to section one hundred
     2  sixty-eight-b of the correction law.
     3    (4)  Notifying counsel and issuing orders. Upon consideration of deci-
     4  sions pursuant to article ten of the  family  court  act,  and  registry
     5  reports  and  notifying  counsel  involved  in the proceeding, or in the
     6  event of a self-represented party, notifying such party of  the  results
     7  thereof,  including any court appointed attorney for children, the court
     8  may issue a temporary, successive temporary or final order of custody or
     9  [visitation] parenting time.
    10    (5) Temporary emergency order. Notwithstanding any other provision  of
    11  the  law, upon emergency situations, including computer malfunctions, to
    12  serve the best interest of the child, the court may  issue  a  temporary
    13  emergency  order for custody or [visitation] parenting time in the event
    14  that it is not possible to timely review decisions and reports on regis-
    15  tries as required pursuant to subparagraph three of this paragraph.
    16    (6) After issuing a temporary emergency order. After issuing a  tempo-
    17  rary  emergency  order  of  custody  or [visitation] parenting time, the
    18  court shall conduct reviews of the decisions and reports  on  registries
    19  as  required  pursuant  to  subparagraph  three of this paragraph within
    20  twenty-four hours of the issuance of  such  temporary  emergency  order.
    21  Should  such  twenty-four hour period fall on a day when court is not in
    22  session, then the required reviews shall take place  the  next  day  the
    23  court  is  in  session.  Upon  reviewing decisions and reports the court
    24  shall notify associated counsel, self-represented parties and  attorneys
    25  for  children  pursuant  to  subparagraph four of this paragraph and may
    26  issue temporary or permanent  custody  or  [visitation]  parenting  time
    27  orders.
    28    (7)  Feasibility study. The commissioner of the office of children and
    29  family services, in conjunction with the office of court administration,
    30  is hereby authorized and directed to examine, study, evaluate  and  make
    31  recommendations concerning the feasibility of the utilization of comput-
    32  ers  in  courts which are connected to the statewide central register of
    33  child abuse and maltreatment  established  and  maintained  pursuant  to
    34  section  four  hundred twenty-two of the social services law, as a means
    35  of providing courts with information regarding parties requesting orders
    36  of custody or [visitation] parenting time.  Such commissioner shall make
    37  a preliminary report to the governor and the  legislature  of  findings,
    38  conclusions  and recommendations not later than January first, two thou-
    39  sand nine, and a final report of findings, conclusions  and  recommenda-
    40  tions  not  later  than  June first, two thousand nine, and shall submit
    41  with the reports such legislative proposals as are deemed  necessary  to
    42  implement the commissioner's recommendations.
    43    (a-2)  Military service by parent; effect on child custody orders. (1)
    44  During the period of time that a parent is activated, deployed or tempo-
    45  rarily assigned to military service, such that the parent's  ability  to
    46  continue  as a joint caretaker or the primary caretaker of a minor child
    47  is materially affected by  such  military  service,  any  orders  issued
    48  pursuant  to  this  section,  based on the fact that the parent is acti-
    49  vated, deployed or temporarily assigned to military service, which would
    50  materially affect or change  a  previous  judgment  or  order  regarding
    51  custody  of  that  parent's  child or children as such judgment or order
    52  existed on the date the parent was activated, deployed,  or  temporarily
    53  assigned  to  military  service,  shall be subject to review pursuant to
    54  subparagraph three of this paragraph. Any  relevant  provisions  of  the
    55  Service  Member's  Civil  Relief  Act  shall  apply  to  all proceedings
    56  governed by this section.

        A. 6608                             9
     1    (2) During such period, the court may enter an order to modify custody
     2  if there is clear and convincing evidence that the  modification  is  in
     3  the  best  interests  of  the  child. An attorney for the child shall be
     4  appointed in all cases where a modification is sought during such  mili-
     5  tary service. Such order shall be subject to review pursuant to subpara-
     6  graph  three  of this paragraph. When entering an order pursuant to this
     7  section, the court shall consider and provide for, if feasible and if in
     8  the best interests of the child, contact between  the  military  service
     9  member  and  his or her child, including, but not limited to, electronic
    10  communication by e-mail, webcam, telephone, or  other  available  means.
    11  During the period of the parent's leave from military service, the court
    12  shall  consider  the  best  interests  of  the child when establishing a
    13  parenting  schedule,  including  [visiting]  parenting  time  and  other
    14  contact.   For such purposes, a "leave from military service" shall be a
    15  period of not more than three months.
    16    (3) Unless the parties have otherwise  stipulated  or  agreed,  if  an
    17  order  is  issued  pursuant  to this paragraph, the return of the parent
    18  from active military service, deployment or temporary  assignment  shall
    19  be considered a substantial change in circumstances. Upon the request of
    20  either  parent,  the  court  shall determine on the basis of the child's
    21  best interests whether the  custody  judgment  or  order  previously  in
    22  effect should be modified.
    23    (4)  This  paragraph  shall not apply to assignments to permanent duty
    24  stations or permanent changes of station.
    25    (b) As used in this  section,  the  following  terms  shall  have  the
    26  following meanings:
    27    (1) "Health insurance benefits" means any medical, dental, optical and
    28  prescription  drugs  and health care services or other health care bene-
    29  fits that may be provided for a dependent through an employer or  organ-
    30  ization,  including  such  employers  or  organizations  which  are self
    31  insured, or through other available  health  insurance  or  health  care
    32  coverage plans.
    33    (2)  "Available  health insurance benefits" means any health insurance
    34  benefits that are reasonable in cost and that are reasonably  accessible
    35  to  the person on whose behalf the petition is brought. Health insurance
    36  benefits that are not reasonable in  cost  or  whose  services  are  not
    37  reasonably accessible to such person, shall be considered unavailable.
    38    (3) When the person on whose behalf the petition is brought is a child
    39  in  accordance  with paragraph (c) of this subdivision, health insurance
    40  benefits shall be considered "reasonable in cost" if the cost of  health
    41  insurance benefits does not exceed five percent of the combined parental
    42  gross  income.  The cost of health insurance benefits shall refer to the
    43  cost of the premium and deductible attributable to adding the  child  or
    44  children  to  existing coverage or the difference between such costs for
    45  self-only and family coverage. Provided, however, the  presumption  that
    46  the  health  insurance  benefits  are reasonable in cost may be rebutted
    47  upon a finding that the cost is unjust or  inappropriate  which  finding
    48  shall be based on the circumstances of the case, the cost and comprehen-
    49  siveness  of  the health insurance benefits for which the child or chil-
    50  dren may otherwise be eligible, and the best interests of the  child  or
    51  children.  In  no instance shall health insurance benefits be considered
    52  "reasonable in cost" if a parent's share of the cost of  extending  such
    53  coverage  would  reduce the income of that parent below the self-support
    54  reserve. Health insurance benefits are "reasonably  accessible"  if  the
    55  child  lives  within  the  geographic  area covered by the plan or lives
    56  within thirty minutes or thirty miles of travel time  from  the  child's

        A. 6608                            10
     1  residence  to  the  services covered by the health insurance benefits or
     2  through benefits provided under a reciprocal agreement; provided, howev-
     3  er, this presumption may be rebutted for good cause shown including, but
     4  not  limited to, the special health needs of the child.  The court shall
     5  set forth such finding and the reasons therefor in the order of support.
     6    (c) When the person on whose behalf  the  petition  is  brought  is  a
     7  child,  the  court  shall  consider the availability of health insurance
     8  benefits to all parties and shall take the following  action  to  ensure
     9  that  health  insurance  benefits  are  provided  for the benefit of the
    10  child:
    11    (1) Where the child is presently covered by health insurance benefits,
    12  the court shall direct in the order of support  that  such  coverage  be
    13  maintained,  unless either parent requests the court to make a direction
    14  for health insurance benefits coverage pursuant to paragraph two of this
    15  subdivision.
    16    (2) Where the child is not presently covered by health insurance bene-
    17  fits, the court shall make a determination as follows:
    18    (i) If only one parent has available health  insurance  benefits,  the
    19  court  shall  direct  in  the  order of support that such parent provide
    20  health insurance benefits.
    21    (ii) If both parents have  available  health  insurance  benefits  the
    22  court  shall  direct  in the order of support that either parent or both
    23  parents provide such health insurance. The court shall make such  deter-
    24  mination  based  on  the  circumstances  of the case, including, but not
    25  limited to, the cost and  comprehensiveness  of  the  respective  health
    26  insurance benefits and the best interests of the child.
    27    (iii)  If  neither parent has available health insurance benefits, the
    28  court shall direct in the order of support  that  the  custodial  parent
    29  apply  for  the  state's  child  health insurance plan pursuant to title
    30  one-A of article twenty-five of the public health law  and  the  medical
    31  assistance  program established pursuant to title eleven of article five
    32  of the social services law. A direction issued  under  this  subdivision
    33  shall  not  limit  or  alter either parent's obligation to obtain health
    34  insurance benefits at such time as they become  available,  as  required
    35  pursuant  to paragraph (a) of this subdivision. Nothing in this subdivi-
    36  sion shall alter or  limit  the  authority  of  the  medical  assistance
    37  program  to  determine when it is considered cost effective to require a
    38  custodial parent to enroll a child in an available group  health  insur-
    39  ance  plan  pursuant  to  paragraphs  (b)  and (c) of subdivision one of
    40  section three hundred sixty-seven-a of the social services law.
    41    (d) The cost of providing health insurance benefits or benefits  under
    42  the  state's  child  health  insurance  plan  or  the medical assistance
    43  program, pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subdivision, shall be  deemed
    44  cash  medical  support,  and the court shall determine the obligation of
    45  either or both parents to contribute to the  cost  thereof  pursuant  to
    46  subparagraph five of paragraph (c) of subdivision one-b of this section.
    47    (e)  The  court shall provide in the order of support that the legally
    48  responsible relative immediately notify the other party,  or  the  other
    49  party and the support collection unit when the order is issued on behalf
    50  of  a  child  in  receipt of public assistance and care or in receipt of
    51  services pursuant to section one hundred eleven-g of the social services
    52  law, of any change in health insurance benefits,  including  any  termi-
    53  nation  of  benefits,  change  in  the health insurance benefit carrier,
    54  premium, or extent and availability of existing or new benefits.
    55    (f) Where the court determines  that  health  insurance  benefits  are
    56  available,  the  court  shall  provide  in the order of support that the

        A. 6608                            11
     1  legally responsible relative immediately enroll the eligible  dependents
     2  named  in the order who are otherwise eligible for such benefits without
     3  regard to any seasonal enrollment restrictions. Such order shall further
     4  direct  the  legally  responsible  relative to maintain such benefits as
     5  long as they remain available to such relative. Such order shall further
     6  direct  the  legally  responsible  relative  to  assign  all   insurance
     7  reimbursement  payments for health care expenses incurred for his or her
     8  eligible dependents to the provider of such services or the party  actu-
     9  ally having incurred and satisfied such expenses, as appropriate.
    10    (g)  When the court issues an order of child support or combined child
    11  and spousal support on behalf of persons in receipt of public assistance
    12  and care or in receipt of  services  pursuant  to  section  one  hundred
    13  eleven-g  of  the  social  services law, such order shall further direct
    14  that the provision of health care benefits shall be immediately enforced
    15  pursuant to section fifty-two hundred forty-one of  the  civil  practice
    16  law and rules.
    17    (h)  When the court issues an order of child support or combined child
    18  and spousal support on behalf of persons other than those in receipt  of
    19  public assistance and care or in receipt of services pursuant to section
    20  one  hundred  eleven-g  of the social services law, the court shall also
    21  issue a separate order which shall include the  necessary  direction  to
    22  ensure the order's characterization as a qualified medical child support
    23  order  as defined by section six hundred nine of the employee retirement
    24  income security act of 1974 (29 USC 1169). Such order shall: (i) clearly
    25  state that it creates or recognizes the existence of the  right  of  the
    26  named  dependent  to  be  enrolled and to receive benefits for which the
    27  legally responsible relative  is  eligible  under  the  available  group
    28  health plans, and shall clearly specify the name, social security number
    29  and  mailing  address  of  the legally responsible relative, and of each
    30  dependent to be covered by the order; (ii) provide a  clear  description
    31  of  the type of coverage to be provided by the group health plan to each
    32  such dependent or the manner in which the type  of  coverage  is  to  be
    33  determined;  and  (iii)  specify  the  period of time to which the order
    34  applies. The court shall not require the group health  plan  to  provide
    35  any  type  or form of benefit or option not otherwise provided under the
    36  group health plan except to the extent necessary to  meet  the  require-
    37  ments  of  a  law relating to medical child support described in section
    38  one thousand three hundred and ninety-six g of title  forty-two  of  the
    39  United States code.
    40    (i) Upon a finding that a legally responsible relative wilfully failed
    41  to  obtain health insurance benefits in violation of a court order, such
    42  relative will be presumptively  liable  for  all  health  care  expenses
    43  incurred  on  behalf  of such dependents from the first date such depen-
    44  dents were eligible to be enrolled to receive health insurance  benefits
    45  after  the issuance of the order of support directing the acquisition of
    46  such coverage.
    47    (j) The order shall be effective as of the  date  of  the  application
    48  therefor,  and  any  retroactive  amount  of  child support due shall be
    49  support arrears/past due support and shall, except as provided for here-
    50  in, be paid in one lump sum or periodic sums, as the court shall direct,
    51  taking into account any amount of temporary support which has been paid.
    52  In addition, such retroactive child support shall be enforceable in  any
    53  manner  provided  by law including, but not limited to, an execution for
    54  support enforcement pursuant to subdivision  (b)  of  section  fifty-two
    55  hundred  forty-one  of  the  civil practice law and rules.  When a child
    56  receiving support is a public assistance  recipient,  or  the  order  of

        A. 6608                            12
     1  support  is  being enforced or is to be enforced pursuant to section one
     2  hundred eleven-g of the social services law, the court  shall  establish
     3  the amount of retroactive child support and notify the parties that such
     4  amount  shall  be enforced by the support collection unit pursuant to an
     5  execution for support enforcement as provided for in subdivision (b)  of
     6  section fifty-two hundred forty-one of the civil practice law and rules,
     7  or  in  such periodic payments as would have been authorized had such an
     8  execution been issued. In such case, the courts  shall  not  direct  the
     9  schedule  of  repayment  of retroactive support. Where such direction is
    10  for child support and paternity has  been  established  by  a  voluntary
    11  acknowledgement  of  paternity  as  defined in section forty-one hundred
    12  thirty-five-b of the public health law, the court shall inquire  of  the
    13  parties  whether  the  acknowledgement  has  been duly filed, and unless
    14  satisfied that it has been so filed shall require the clerk of the court
    15  to file such acknowledgement with the appropriate registrar within  five
    16  business  days. Such direction may be made in the final judgment in such
    17  action or proceeding, or by one or more orders from time to time  before
    18  or subsequent to final judgment, or by both such order or orders and the
    19  final  judgment.  Such  direction  may  be made notwithstanding that the
    20  court for any  reason  whatsoever,  other  than  lack  of  jurisdiction,
    21  refuses  to  grant the relief requested in the action or proceeding. Any
    22  order or judgment made as in this section provided may  combine  in  one
    23  lump  sum  any amount payable to the custodial parent under this section
    24  with any amount payable to such parent under section two  hundred  thir-
    25  ty-six of this article. Upon the application of either parent, or of any
    26  other person or party having the care, custody and control of such child
    27  pursuant  to  such  judgment  or  order,  after such notice to the other
    28  party, parties or persons having such  care,  custody  and  control  and
    29  given  in  such manner as the court shall direct, the court may annul or
    30  modify any such direction, whether made by order or final  judgment,  or
    31  in  case  no  such  direction shall have been made in the final judgment
    32  may, with respect to any judgment of annulment or declaring the  nullity
    33  of  a  void  marriage  rendered  on  or  after September first, nineteen
    34  hundred forty,  or  any  judgment  of  separation  or  divorce  whenever
    35  rendered,  amend  the  judgment by inserting such direction.  Subject to
    36  the provisions of section two hundred forty-four  of  this  article,  no
    37  such  modification  or  annulment  shall reduce or annul arrears accrued
    38  prior to the making of such  application  unless  the  defaulting  party
    39  shows  good  cause  for  failure to make application for relief from the
    40  judgment or order directing such payment prior to the  accrual  of  such
    41  arrears. Such modification may increase such child support nunc pro tunc
    42  as  of  the date of application based on newly discovered evidence.  Any
    43  retroactive amount of child support due shall  be  support  arrears/past
    44  due  support  and shall be paid in one lump sum or periodic sums, as the
    45  court shall direct, taking into account any amount  of  temporary  child
    46  support which has been paid. In addition, such retroactive child support
    47  shall  be  enforceable  in any manner provided by law including, but not
    48  limited to, an execution for support enforcement pursuant to subdivision
    49  (b) of section fifty-two hundred forty-one of the civil practice law and
    50  rules.
    51    1-a. In any proceeding brought pursuant to this section  to  determine
    52  the  custody  or [visitation] parenting time of minors, a report made to
    53  the statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment, pursuant
    54  to title six of article six of the social services  law,  or  a  portion
    55  thereof,  which is otherwise admissible as a business record pursuant to
    56  rule forty-five hundred eighteen of the civil  practice  law  and  rules

        A. 6608                            13
     1  shall  not  be admissible in evidence, notwithstanding such rule, unless
     2  an investigation of such report conducted pursuant to title six of arti-
     3  cle six of the social services law has determined  that  there  is  some
     4  credible  evidence  of  the  alleged  abuse or maltreatment and that the
     5  subject of the report has been notified that the report is indicated. In
     6  addition, if such report has been reviewed by the state commissioner  of
     7  [social  services]  children  and family services or his or her designee
     8  and has been determined to be unfounded, it shall not be  admissible  in
     9  evidence.  If  such  report has been so reviewed and has been amended to
    10  delete any finding, each such deleted finding shall not  be  admissible.
    11  If  the  state  commissioner  of  [social  services] children and family
    12  services or his or her designee has amended the report to  add  any  new
    13  finding,  each  such  new  finding,  together  with  any  portion of the
    14  original report not deleted by the commissioner or his  designee,  shall
    15  be admissible if it meets the other requirements of this subdivision and
    16  is  otherwise  admissible  as  a  business  record. If such a report, or
    17  portion thereof, is admissible in evidence  but  is  uncorroborated,  it
    18  shall  not be sufficient to make a fact finding of abuse or maltreatment
    19  in such proceeding. Any other evidence tending to support the  reliabil-
    20  ity of such report shall be sufficient corroboration.
    21    §  9.  Paragraph  c  of  subdivision  3 of section 240 of the domestic
    22  relations law, as amended by chapter 597 of the laws of 1998, is amended
    23  to read as follows:
    24    c. An order of protection entered pursuant to this subdivision may  be
    25  made  in the final judgment in any matrimonial action or in a proceeding
    26  to obtain custody of or [visitation] parenting time with any child under
    27  this section, or by one or more orders  from  time  to  time  before  or
    28  subsequent  to  final  judgment, or by both such order or orders and the
    29  final judgment. The order of protection may remain in effect after entry
    30  of a final matrimonial judgment and during the  minority  of  any  child
    31  whose  custody  or  [visitation]  parenting  time  is  the  subject of a
    32  provision of a final judgment or any order. An order of  protection  may
    33  be  entered  notwithstanding  that  the court for any reason whatsoever,
    34  other than lack of jurisdiction, refuses to grant the  relief  requested
    35  in the action or proceeding.
    36    § 10. Section 241 of the domestic relations law, as amended by chapter
    37  892 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows:
    38    § 241. Interference with or withholding of [visitation] parenting time
    39  rights; alimony or maintenance suspension. When it appears to the satis-
    40  faction  of the court that a custodial parent receiving alimony or main-
    41  tenance pursuant to an order, judgment or decree of a court of competent
    42  jurisdiction has wrongfully interfered  with  or  withheld  [visitation]
    43  parenting  time  rights  provided by such order, judgment or decree, the
    44  court, in its discretion, [may] shall suspend such  payments  or  cancel
    45  any  arrears  that  may  have  accrued during the time that [visitation]
    46  parenting time rights have been or are being interfered  with  or  with-
    47  held. Nothing in this section shall constitute a defense in any court to
    48  an  application  to  enforce payment of child support or grounds for the
    49  cancellation of arrears for child support.
    50    § 11. Section 251 of the domestic relations law, as added  by  chapter
    51  164 of the laws of 1973, is amended to read as follows:
    52    § 251. Filing of order in family court. When, in a matrimonial action,
    53  the  supreme court refers the issues of support, custody or [visitation]
    54  parenting time to the family court, the order or judgment shall  provide
    55  that  a  copy thereof shall be filed by the plaintiff's attorney, within
    56  ten days, with the clerk of the family court therein specified.

        A. 6608                            14
     1    § 12. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 252  of  the  domestic
     2  relations law, as amended by chapter 526 of the laws of 2013, is amended
     3  to read as follows:
     4    (b)  to permit a parent, or a person entitled to visitation or parent-
     5  ing time by a court order or a separation agreement, to visit the  child
     6  at stated periods;
     7    §  13.  Subdivision 3 of section 252 of the domestic relations law, as
     8  added by chapter 349 of the laws of 1995, is amended to read as follows:
     9    3. An order of protection entered pursuant to this subdivision may  be
    10  made  in the final judgment in any matrimonial action, or by one or more
    11  orders from time to time before or subsequent to final judgment,  or  by
    12  both  such  order  or  orders  and  the  final  judgment.  The  order of
    13  protection may remain in effect after entry of a final matrimonial judg-
    14  ment and during the minority of any child whose custody or  [visitation]
    15  parenting  time is the subject of a provision of a final judgment or any
    16  order. An order of protection may be entered  notwithstanding  that  the
    17  court  for  any  reason  whatsoever,  other  than  lack of jurisdiction,
    18  refuses to grant the relief requested in the action or proceeding.
    19    § 14. Subdivision 10 of section 358-a of the social services  law,  as
    20  added  by  chapter  457  of  the laws of 1988, paragraphs (b) and (c) as
    21  amended by chapter 41 of the  laws  of  2010,  is  amended  to  read  as
    22  follows:
    23    (10)  Visitation  and parenting time rights; non-custodial parents and
    24  grandparents. (a) Where a social services official  incorporates  in  an
    25  instrument  visitation  or  parenting time rights set forth in an order,
    26  judgment or agreement as described in paragraph (d) of  subdivision  two
    27  of  section  three  hundred eighty-four-a of this chapter, such official
    28  shall make inquiry of the state central  register  of  child  abuse  and
    29  maltreatment  to determine whether or not the person having such visita-
    30  tion or parenting time rights is a subject or another person named in an
    31  indicated report of child abuse  or  maltreatment,  as  such  terms  are
    32  defined  in  section  four  hundred  twelve  of  this chapter, and shall
    33  further ascertain, to the extent practicable, whether or not such person
    34  is a respondent in a proceeding under article ten of  the  family  court
    35  act  whereby  the  respondent  has  been  alleged or adjudicated to have
    36  abused or neglected such child.
    37    (b) Where a social services official or the  attorney  for  the  child
    38  opposes  incorporation  of  an  order,  judgment or agreement conferring
    39  visitation rights or parenting time as provided for in paragraph (e)  of
    40  subdivision  two of section three hundred eighty-four-a of this chapter,
    41  the social services official or attorney for the child shall  apply  for
    42  an  order  determining  that  the  provisions of such order, judgment or
    43  agreement should not be incorporated into the instrument executed pursu-
    44  ant to such section. Such order shall be granted upon a  finding,  based
    45  on  competent,  relevant and material evidence, that the child's life or
    46  health would be endangered by incorporation and enforcement  of  visita-
    47  tion  rights  or  parenting time as described in such order, judgment or
    48  agreement. Otherwise, the court shall deny such application.
    49    (c) Where visitation rights or parenting time pursuant  to  an  order,
    50  judgment or agreement are incorporated in an instrument, the parties may
    51  agree  to an alternative schedule of visitation or parenting time equiv-
    52  alent to and consistent with the  original  or  modified  visitation  or
    53  parenting  time  order,  judgment,  or  agreement where such alternative
    54  schedule reflects changed circumstances of the parties and is consistent
    55  with the best interests of the child. In the absence of such  an  agree-
    56  ment  between the parties, the court may, in its discretion, upon appli-

        A. 6608                            15
     1  cation of any party or the child's attorney, order an alternative sched-
     2  ule of visitation or parenting  time,  as  described  herein,  where  it
     3  determines  that  such schedule is necessary to facilitate visitation or
     4  parenting time and to protect the best interests of the child.
     5    (d)  The  order  providing  an  alternative  schedule of visitation or
     6  parenting time shall remain in effect for the length of the placement of
     7  the child as provided for in such instrument unless such order is subse-
     8  quently modified by the court for good cause shown. Whenever  the  court
     9  makes  an order denying or modifying visitation or parenting time rights
    10  pursuant to this subdivision, the instrument described in section  three
    11  hundred eighty-four-a of this chapter shall be deemed amended according-
    12  ly.
    13    § 15. Paragraphs (b), (d) and (f) of subdivision 2 of section 384-a of
    14  the  social  services  law, paragraph (b) as added by chapter 669 of the
    15  laws of 1976, paragraph (d) as added by chapter 457 of the laws of  1988
    16  and  paragraph  (f)  as  amended  by chapter 41 of the laws of 2010, are
    17  amended to read as follows:
    18    (b) No provisions set forth in any such instrument regarding the right
    19  of the parent or guardian  to  visit  the  child  or  to  have  services
    20  provided  to  the  child and to the parent or guardian to strengthen the
    21  parental relationship may be terminated or  limited  by  the  authorized
    22  agency  having the care and custody of the child unless: (i) the instru-
    23  ment shall have been amended to so limit or terminate such right, pursu-
    24  ant to subdivision three of this section; or (ii) the right  of  visita-
    25  tion  or  parenting  time  or  to  such services would be contrary to or
    26  inconsistent with a court order obtained in any proceeding in which  the
    27  parent or guardian was a party.
    28    (d) In any case where a parent who has transferred care and custody of
    29  a  child  to a social services official pursuant to this section informs
    30  the social services official that an order or judgment conferring [visi-
    31  tation] parenting time rights relating to the child has been entered  by
    32  the  family  court  or  supreme  court  or  that  a written agreement as
    33  described in section two hundred thirty-six of  the  domestic  relations
    34  law  between  the  parents  confers such rights, any instrument executed
    35  pursuant to this section shall incorporate the provisions of such order,
    36  judgment or agreement to the extent  that  [visitation]  parenting  time
    37  rights are affected and shall provide for [visitation] parenting time or
    38  other  rights  as  required  by  such order, judgment or agreement. Such
    39  incorporation shall not preclude a social services official  from  exer-
    40  cising  his  authority pursuant to paragraph (e) or (f) of this subdivi-
    41  sion.
    42    (f) Nothing in this section shall  be  deemed  to  prohibit  a  social
    43  services  official  or an attorney for the child, if any, from making an
    44  application to modify the terms of a visitation or parenting time order,
    45  incorporated pursuant to this section, for good cause shown, upon notice
    46  to all interested parties, or to limit  the  right  of  a  non-custodial
    47  parent  or  grandparent to seek visitation or parenting time pursuant to
    48  applicable provisions of law.
    49    § 16. Subparagraph (iv) of paragraph (c) of subdivision 2  of  section
    50  384-a  of the social services law, as amended by chapter 256 of the laws
    51  of 1990, is amended to read as follows:
    52    (iv) that the parent or guardian has a right to  supportive  services,
    53  which  shall include preventive and other supportive services authorized
    54  to be provided pursuant to the state's consolidated  services  plan,  to
    55  visit  the child, and to determine jointly with the agency the terms and
    56  frequency of visitation or parenting time;

        A. 6608                            16
     1    § 17. Subparagraph 5 of paragraph (f)  of  subdivision  7  of  section
     2  384-b  of the social services law, as amended by chapter 113 of the laws
     3  of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
     4    (5)  making  suitable  arrangements  with  a correctional facility and
     5  other appropriate persons for an incarcerated  parent  to  [visit]  have
     6  parenting  time with the child within the correctional facility, if such
     7  [visiting] parenting time is in the best interests of the child. When no
     8  [visitation] parenting time between child and  incarcerated  parent  has
     9  been  arranged  for  or  permitted by the authorized agency because such
    10  [visitation] parenting time is determined not to be in the best interest
    11  of the child, then no permanent neglect proceeding under  this  subdivi-
    12  sion  shall  be  initiated on the basis of the lack of such [visitation]
    13  parenting time.   Such arrangements shall  include,  but  shall  not  be
    14  limited  to, the transportation of the child to the correctional facili-
    15  ty, and providing or suggesting social  or  rehabilitative  services  to
    16  resolve  or  correct  the problems other than incarceration itself which
    17  impair the incarcerated parent's ability to maintain  contact  with  the
    18  child.  When  the  parent  is  incarcerated  in  a correctional facility
    19  located outside the state, the provisions of this subparagraph shall  be
    20  construed  to  require  that an authorized agency make such arrangements
    21  with the correctional facility only if reasonably feasible and permissi-
    22  ble in accordance with the  laws  and  regulations  applicable  to  such
    23  facility; and
    24    §  18.  Paragraph  (o)  of  subdivision 6 of section 398 of the social
    25  services law, as added by chapter 457 of the laws of 1988, is amended to
    26  read as follows:
    27    (o) Compliance with a court order enforcing  visitation  or  parenting
    28  time  rights  of  a non-custodial parent or grandparent pursuant to part
    29  eight of article ten of the family court act, subdivision ten of section
    30  three hundred fifty-eight-a or  paragraph  (d)  of  subdivision  two  of
    31  section  three hundred eighty-four-a of this chapter, and responsibility
    32  for the return of such child  after  visitation  or  parenting  time  so
    33  ordered.
    34    §  19.  Subdivision  1 of section 398-d of the social services law, as
    35  added by chapter 83 of the laws of 1995, is amended to read as follows:
    36    1. The legislature  finds  that  the  centralized  delivery  of  child
    37  protective  services,  preventive services, adoption services and foster
    38  care services in a social [service] services district with a  population
    39  of  more  than  two  million  hinders  their effective delivery and adds
    40  unnecessary costs.  Numerous studies have recommended that such services
    41  serve small areas, be located in such areas,  and  be  integrated.  Such
    42  relocation  will:   give caseworkers greater knowledge of their assigned
    43  community, the residents of  that  community  and  the  availability  of
    44  community-based  services;  increase  the  availability  of caseworkers;
    45  reduce travel time for caseworkers; enable children in  foster  care  to
    46  remain  in  their own communities and schools and maintain their friend-
    47  ships; enable children in  foster  care  to  have  greater  [visitation]
    48  parenting  time  with their parents; provide for more effective delivery
    49  of preventive services; and expedite adoptions and otherwise reduce  the
    50  amount of time children spend in foster care.
    51    The  relocation  of  child  welfare  service delivery to the community
    52  sites will strengthen efforts to provide a wide range of community-based
    53  early intervention programs including, but not limited to,  school-based
    54  health  clinics  and  community  schools, thereby ensuring the continued
    55  development of a critical mass of community services.

        A. 6608                            17
     1    § 20. Subparagraph 9 of paragraph (f) of subdivision 1 of section  413
     2  of  the family court act, as amended by chapter 567 of the laws of 1989,
     3  is amended to read as follows:
     4    (9)  Provided  that the child is not on public assistance (i) extraor-
     5  dinary expenses incurred  by  the  non-custodial  parent  in  exercising
     6  [visitation] parenting time, or (ii) expenses incurred by the non-custo-
     7  dial  parent  in  extended [visitation] parenting time provided that the
     8  custodial parent's expenses are substantially reduced as a result there-
     9  of; and
    10    § 21. Subdivisions (a) and (c) of section 439 of the family court act,
    11  subdivision (a) as amended by section 1 of chapter 468 of  the  laws  of
    12  2012  and subdivision (c) as amended by chapter 576 of the laws of 2005,
    13  are amended to read as follows:
    14    (a) The chief administrator of the courts shall provide, in accordance
    15  with subdivision (f) of this section, for the appointment  of  a  suffi-
    16  cient  number  of  support  magistrates  to  hear  and determine support
    17  proceedings. Except as hereinafter provided, support  magistrates  shall
    18  be  empowered  to hear, determine and grant any relief within the powers
    19  of the court in  any  proceeding  under  this  article,  articles  five,
    20  five-A,  and five-B and sections two hundred thirty-four and two hundred
    21  thirty-five of this act, and objections raised pursuant to section  five
    22  thousand  two  hundred  forty-one  of  the civil practice law and rules.
    23  Support magistrates shall not be empowered to hear, determine and  grant
    24  any  relief  with  respect  to  issues specified in section four hundred
    25  fifty-five of this article,  issues  of  contested  paternity  involving
    26  claims  of  equitable  estoppel,  custody,  [visitation]  parenting time
    27  including [visitation] parenting  time  as  a  defense,  and  orders  of
    28  protection  or exclusive possession of the home, which shall be referred
    29  to a judge as provided in subdivision (b) or (c) of this section.  Where
    30  an order of filiation is issued by a judge in a paternity proceeding and
    31  child  support is in issue, the judge, or support magistrate upon refer-
    32  ral from the judge, shall be authorized to immediately make a  temporary
    33  or  final  order  of  support, as applicable. A support magistrate shall
    34  have the authority to hear and decide motions and  issue  summonses  and
    35  subpoenas to produce persons pursuant to section one hundred fifty-three
    36  of  this act, hear and decide proceedings and issue any order authorized
    37  by subdivision (g) of section five thousand two hundred forty-one of the
    38  civil practice law and  rules,  issue  subpoenas  to  produce  prisoners
    39  pursuant to section two thousand three hundred two of the civil practice
    40  law  and  rules  and  make  a  determination  that any person before the
    41  support magistrate is in violation of an order of the court  as  author-
    42  ized  by  section one hundred fifty-six of this act subject to confirma-
    43  tion by a judge of the court who shall impose any  punishment  for  such
    44  violation  as  provided  by law. A determination by a support magistrate
    45  that a person is in willful violation  of  an  order  under  subdivision
    46  three of section four hundred fifty-four of this article and that recom-
    47  mends  commitment  shall  be  transmitted to the parties, accompanied by
    48  findings of fact, but the determination shall have no force  and  effect
    49  until confirmed by a judge of the court.
    50    (c)  The  support magistrate, in any proceeding in which issues speci-
    51  fied in section four hundred fifty-five of this [act] article, or issues
    52  of custody, [visitation] parenting time, including [visitation]  parent-
    53  ing  time  as a defense, orders of protection or exclusive possession of
    54  the home are present or in which paternity is contested on  the  grounds
    55  of equitable estoppel, shall make a temporary order of support and refer
    56  the  proceeding to a judge. Upon determination of such issue by a judge,

        A. 6608                            18
     1  the judge may make a final determination of the  issue  of  support,  or
     2  immediately  refer  the  proceeding  to a support magistrate for further
     3  proceedings regarding child support or other matters within the authori-
     4  ty of the support magistrate.
     5    §  22.    Subdivision  (a)  of section 439 of the family court act, as
     6  amended by section 2 of chapter 468 of the laws of 2012, is  amended  to
     7  read as follows:
     8    (a) The chief administrator of the courts shall provide, in accordance
     9  with  subdivision  (f)  of this section, for the appointment of a suffi-
    10  cient number of  support  magistrates  to  hear  and  determine  support
    11  proceedings.  Except  as hereinafter provided, support magistrates shall
    12  be empowered to hear, determine and grant any relief within  the  powers
    13  of  the  court  in  any  proceeding  under  this article, articles five,
    14  five-A, and five-B and sections two hundred thirty-four and two  hundred
    15  thirty-five  of this act, and objections raised pursuant to section five
    16  thousand two hundred forty-one of the  civil  practice  law  and  rules.
    17  Support  magistrates shall not be empowered to hear, determine and grant
    18  any relief with respect to issues  specified  in  section  four  hundred
    19  fifty-five  of  this  article,  issues  of contested paternity involving
    20  claims of  equitable  estoppel,  custody,  [visitation]  parenting  time
    21  including  [visitation]  parenting  time  as  a  defense,  and orders of
    22  protection or exclusive possession of the home, which shall be  referred
    23  to  a judge as provided in subdivision (b) or (c) of this section. Where
    24  an order of filiation is issued by a judge in a paternity proceeding and
    25  child support is in issue, the judge, or support magistrate upon  refer-
    26  ral  from the judge, shall be authorized to immediately make a temporary
    27  or final order of support, as applicable.  A  support  magistrate  shall
    28  have  the  authority  to hear and decide motions and issue summonses and
    29  subpoenas to produce persons pursuant to section one hundred fifty-three
    30  of this act, hear and decide proceedings and issue any order  authorized
    31  by subdivision (g) of section five thousand two hundred forty-one of the
    32  civil  practice  law  and  rules,  issue  subpoenas to produce prisoners
    33  pursuant to section two thousand three hundred two of the civil practice
    34  law and rules and make  a  determination  that  any  person  before  the
    35  support  magistrate  is in violation of an order of the court as author-
    36  ized by section one hundred fifty-six of this act subject  to  confirma-
    37  tion  by  a  judge of the court who shall impose any punishment for such
    38  violation as provided by law. A determination by  a  support  magistrate
    39  that  a  person  is  in  willful violation of an order under subdivision
    40  three of section four hundred fifty-four of this article and that recom-
    41  mends commitment shall be transmitted to  the  parties,  accompanied  by
    42  findings  of  fact, but the determination shall have no force and effect
    43  until confirmed by a judge of the court.
    44    § 23. Subdivision (b) of section 446  of  the  family  court  act,  as
    45  amended  by  chapter  526  of  the  laws  of 2013, is amended to read as
    46  follows:
    47    (b) to permit a parent, or a person entitled to visitation or  parent-
    48  ing  time  by  a court order or a separation agreement, to visit or have
    49  time with the child at stated periods;
    50    § 24. Section 447 of the family court act, subdivision (a) as  amended
    51  by chapter 85 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows:
    52    § 447. Order of [visitation] parenting time.  (a) In the absence of an
    53  order  of  custody  or  of  [visitation]  parenting  time entered by the
    54  supreme court, the court may make an order of custody or of [visitation]
    55  parenting time, in  accordance  with  subdivision  one  of  section  two
    56  hundred  forty  of  the  domestic relations law, requiring one parent to

        A. 6608                            19
     1  permit the other to visit the children  at  stated  periods  without  an
     2  order of protection, even where the parents are divorced and the support
     3  order is for a child only.
     4    (b)  Any  order of the family court under this section shall terminate
     5  when the supreme court makes an order  of  custody  or  of  [visitation]
     6  parenting time concerning the children, unless the supreme court contin-
     7  ues the order of the family court.
     8    §  25.  Subdivision  (a)  of  section  456 of the family court act, as
     9  amended by chapter 809 of the laws  of  1963,  is  amended  to  read  as
    10  follows:
    11    (a) No person may be placed on probation under this article unless the
    12  court makes an order to that effect, either at the time of the making of
    13  an  order  of  support  or under section four hundred fifty-four of this
    14  part. The period of probation may  continue  so  long  as  an  order  of
    15  support,  order  of  protection  or order of [visitation] parenting time
    16  applies to such person.
    17    § 26. Subdivisions (a) and (b) of section 467 of the family court act,
    18  as amended by chapter 40 of the laws of 1981, are  amended  to  read  as
    19  follows:
    20    (a)  In  an  action  for divorce, separation or annulment, the supreme
    21  court may refer to the family court the determination of applications to
    22  fix temporary or  permanent  custody  or  [visitation]  parenting  time,
    23  applications  to enforce judgments and orders of custody or [visitation]
    24  parenting time, and applications  to  modify  judgments  and  orders  of
    25  custody  which  modification  may  be granted only upon a showing to the
    26  family court that there has been a subsequent change  of  circumstances,
    27  such as loss of employment or change in income, and that modification is
    28  required.
    29    (b) In the event no such referral has been made and unless the supreme
    30  court provides in the order or judgment awarding custody or [visitation]
    31  parenting  time  in an action for divorce, separation or annulment, that
    32  it may be enforced or modified only in the  supreme  court,  the  family
    33  court may: (i) determine an application to enforce the order or judgment
    34  awarding  custody  or  [visitation] parenting time, or (ii) determine an
    35  application to modify the order or judgment awarding custody or [visita-
    36  tion] parenting time upon a showing that there  has  been  a  subsequent
    37  change of circumstances and modification is required.
    38    §  27.  Section 511 of the family court act, as amended by chapter 533
    39  of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows:
    40    § 511. Jurisdiction. Except as otherwise provided,  the  family  court
    41  has exclusive original jurisdiction in proceedings to establish paterni-
    42  ty  and, in any such proceedings in which it makes a finding of paterni-
    43  ty, to order support and to make orders of custody  or  of  [visitation]
    44  parenting  time,  as  set  forth in this article. On its own motion, the
    45  court may at any time in the proceedings also direct  the  filing  of  a
    46  neglect  petition  in  accord with the provisions of article ten of this
    47  act. In accordance with the provisions of section one  hundred  eleven-b
    48  of the domestic relations law, the surrogate's court has original juris-
    49  diction  concurrent with the family court to determine the issues relat-
    50  ing to the establishment of paternity.
    51    § 28. Section 549 of the family court act, as added by chapter 952  of
    52  the  laws  of 1971, subdivision (a) as amended by chapter 85 of the laws
    53  of 1996, is amended to read as follows:
    54    § 549. Order of [visitation] parenting time.  (a) If an order of fili-
    55  ation is made or if a paternity agreement or compromise is  approved  by
    56  the  court,  in  the  absence  of an order of custody or of [visitation]

        A. 6608                            20
     1  parenting time entered by the supreme court the family court may make an
     2  order of custody or of [visitation] parenting time, in  accordance  with
     3  subdivision  one  of section two hundred forty of the domestic relations
     4  law,  requiring  one  parent  to  permit the other to visit the child or
     5  children at stated periods.
     6    (b) Any order of the family court under this section  shall  terminate
     7  when  the  supreme  court  makes  an order of custody or of [visitation]
     8  parenting time concerning the child  or  children,  unless  the  supreme
     9  court continues the order of the family court.
    10    §  29.  Subdivision  (b)  of  section  551 of the family court act, as
    11  amended by chapter 526 of the laws  of  2013,  is  amended  to  read  as
    12  follows:
    13    (b)  to permit a parent, or a person entitled to visitation or parent-
    14  ing time by a court order or a separation agreement to visit  the  child
    15  at stated periods;
    16    § 30. Section 651 of the family court act, as amended by chapter 85 of
    17  the  laws of 1996, subdivision (b) as amended by chapter 657 of the laws
    18  of 2003, subdivision (c-1) as added by chapter 567 of the laws of  2015,
    19  subdivision  (d)  as amended by chapter 41 of the laws of 2010, subdivi-
    20  sion (e) as amended by chapter 295 of the laws of 2009, and  subdivision
    21  (f)  as  added by chapter 473 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as
    22  follows:
    23    § 651. Jurisdiction over habeas corpus proceedings and  petitions  for
    24  custody [and] of, visitation of, or parenting time with minors. (a) When
    25  referred from the supreme court or county court to the family court, the
    26  family  court has jurisdiction to determine, in accordance with subdivi-
    27  sion one of section two hundred forty of the domestic relations law  and
    28  with  the  same powers possessed by the supreme court in addition to its
    29  own powers, habeas corpus proceedings and proceedings brought  by  peti-
    30  tion  and order to show cause, for the determination of the custody [or]
    31  of, visitation of or parenting time with minors.
    32    (b) When initiated in the family court, the family court has jurisdic-
    33  tion to determine, in accordance with subdivision  one  of  section  two
    34  hundred  forty  of  the  domestic relations law and with the same powers
    35  possessed by the supreme court in addition to  its  own  powers,  habeas
    36  corpus proceedings and proceedings brought by petition and order to show
    37  cause,  for  the  determination  of  the  custody of or visitation of or
    38  parenting time with minors, including applications by a  grandparent  or
    39  grandparents for visitation or custody rights pursuant to section seven-
    40  ty-two or two hundred forty of the domestic relations law.
    41    (c)  When  initiated  in the family court pursuant to a petition under
    42  part eight of article ten of this act or section  three  hundred  fifty-
    43  eight-a of the social services law, the family court has jurisdiction to
    44  enforce  or  modify orders or judgments of the supreme court relating to
    45  the visitation of or parenting time with minors in foster care, notwith-
    46  standing any limitation contained in subdivision  (b)  of  section  four
    47  hundred sixty-seven of this act.
    48    (c-1)  Where  a  proceeding  filed pursuant to article ten or ten-A of
    49  this act is pending at the same time as  a  proceeding  brought  in  the
    50  family  court  pursuant  to  this  article, the court presiding over the
    51  proceeding under article ten or ten-A of this act may jointly  hear  the
    52  hearing  on  the  custody  [and], visitation and parenting time petition
    53  under this article and the dispositional hearing on the  petition  under
    54  article  ten  or the permanency hearing under article ten-A of this act;
    55  provided, however, the court must determine the custody  [and],  visita-

        A. 6608                            21
     1  tion  and  parenting  time petition in accordance with the terms of this
     2  article.
     3    (d)  With respect to applications by a grandparent or grandparents for
     4  visitation or custody rights, made pursuant to  section  seventy-two  or
     5  two  hundred  forty of the domestic relations law, with a child remanded
     6  or placed in the care of  a  person,  official,  agency  or  institution
     7  pursuant to the provisions of article ten of this act, the applicant, in
     8  such  manner  as  the  court  shall prescribe, shall serve a copy of the
     9  application upon the social services official having care and custody of
    10  such child, and the child's attorney, who shall be afforded an  opportu-
    11  nity to be heard thereon.
    12    (e) 1. Permanent and initial temporary orders of custody or visitation
    13  or  parenting  time.   Prior to the issuance of any permanent or initial
    14  temporary order of custody or visitation,  the  court  shall  conduct  a
    15  review  of  the  decisions and reports listed in paragraph three of this
    16  subdivision.
    17    2. Successive temporary orders of custody [or], visitation or  parent-
    18  ing  time.  Prior  to  the issuance of any successive temporary order of
    19  custody or visitation, or parenting  time  the  court  shall  conduct  a
    20  review  of  the  decisions and reports listed in paragraph three of this
    21  subdivision, unless such a review has been conducted within ninety  days
    22  prior to the issuance of such order.
    23    3.  Decisions and reports for review. The court shall conduct a review
    24  of the following:
    25    (i) related decisions in court proceedings initiated pursuant to arti-
    26  cle ten of this act, and all warrants issued under this act; and
    27    (ii) reports of the  statewide  computerized  registry  of  orders  of
    28  protection  established  and  maintained pursuant to section two hundred
    29  twenty-one-a of the executive law,  and  reports  of  the  sex  offender
    30  registry  established  and  maintained  pursuant  to section one hundred
    31  sixty-eight-b of the correction law.
    32    4. Notifying counsel and issuing orders. Upon consideration  of  deci-
    33  sions  pursuant  to  article  ten  of this act, and registry reports and
    34  notifying counsel involved in the proceeding, or in the event of a self-
    35  represented party, notifying such party of the results thereof,  includ-
    36  ing  any  court  appointed  attorney for children, the court may issue a
    37  temporary, successive temporary or final order of custody [or],  visita-
    38  tion or parenting time.
    39    5.  Temporary  emergency order. Notwithstanding any other provision of
    40  the law, upon emergency situations, including computer malfunctions,  to
    41  serve  the  best  interest of the child, the court may issue a temporary
    42  emergency order for custody [or], visitation or parenting  time  in  the
    43  event  that it is not possible to timely review decisions and reports on
    44  registries as required pursuant to paragraph three of this subdivision.
    45    6. After issuing a temporary emergency order. After issuing  a  tempo-
    46  rary  emergency order of custody [or], visitation or parenting time, the
    47  court shall conduct reviews of the decisions and reports  on  registries
    48  as required pursuant to paragraph three of this subdivision within twen-
    49  ty-four  hours of the issuance of such temporary emergency order. Should
    50  such twenty-four hour period fall on a day when court is not in session,
    51  then the required reviews shall take place the next day the court is  in
    52  session.  Upon  reviewing  decisions  and reports the court shall notify
    53  associated counsel, self-represented parties and attorneys for  children
    54  pursuant  to  paragraph four of this subdivision and may issue temporary
    55  or permanent custody [or], visitation or parenting time orders.

        A. 6608                            22
     1    7. Feasibility study. The commissioner of the office of  children  and
     2  family services, in conjunction with the office of court administration,
     3  is  hereby  authorized and directed to examine, study, evaluate and make
     4  recommendations concerning the feasibility of the utilization of comput-
     5  ers in family courts which are connected to the statewide central regis-
     6  ter  of child abuse and maltreatment established and maintained pursuant
     7  to section four hundred twenty-two of the  social  services  law,  as  a
     8  means  of  providing  family  courts  with information regarding parties
     9  requesting orders of custody or visitation. Such commissioner shall make
    10  a preliminary report to the governor and the  legislature  of  findings,
    11  conclusions and recommendations not later than January thirty-first, two
    12  thousand nine, and a final report of findings, conclusions and recommen-
    13  dations  not  later than June first, two thousand nine, and shall submit
    14  with the reports such legislative proposals as are deemed  necessary  to
    15  implement the commissioner's recommendations.
    16    (f)  Military  service  by  parent; effect on child custody orders. 1.
    17  During the period of time that a parent is activated, deployed or tempo-
    18  rarily assigned to military service, such that the parent's  ability  to
    19  continue  as a joint caretaker or the primary caretaker of a minor child
    20  is materially affected by  such  military  service,  any  orders  issued
    21  pursuant  to  this  section,  based on the fact that the parent is acti-
    22  vated, deployed or temporarily assigned to military service, which would
    23  materially affect or change  a  previous  judgment  or  order  regarding
    24  custody  of  that  parent's  child or children as such judgment or order
    25  existed on the date the parent was activated, deployed,  or  temporarily
    26  assigned  to  military  service,  shall be subject to review pursuant to
    27  paragraph three of this subdivision.  Any  relevant  provisions  of  the
    28  Service  Member's  Civil  Relief  Act  shall  apply  to  all proceedings
    29  governed by this section.
    30    2. During such period, the court may enter an order to modify  custody
    31  if  there  is  clear and convincing evidence that the modification is in
    32  the best interests of the child. An attorney  for  the  child  shall  be
    33  appointed  in all cases where a modification is sought during such mili-
    34  tary service. Such order shall be subject to review  pursuant  to  para-
    35  graph three of this subdivision. When entering an order pursuant to this
    36  section, the court shall consider and provide for, if feasible and if in
    37  the  best  interests  of the child, contact between the military service
    38  member and his or her child including, but not  limited  to,  electronic
    39  communication  by  e-mail,  webcam, telephone, or other available means.
    40  During the period of the parent's leave from military service, the court
    41  shall consider the best interests  of  the  child  when  establishing  a
    42  parenting  schedule,  including  [visiting]  parenting  time  and  other
    43  contact.  For such purpose, a "leave from military service" shall  be  a
    44  period of not more than three months.
    45    3. Unless the parties have otherwise stipulated or agreed, if an order
    46  is  issued  pursuant  to this subdivision, the return of the parent from
    47  active military service, deployment or  temporary  assignment  shall  be
    48  considered  a  substantial  change in circumstances. Upon the request of
    49  either parent, the court shall determine on the  basis  of  the  child's
    50  best  interests  whether  the  custody  judgment  or order previously in
    51  effect should be modified.
    52    4. This subdivision shall not apply to assignments to  permanent  duty
    53  stations or permanent changes of station.
    54    §  31. Section 651-a of the family court act, as amended by chapter 12
    55  of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows:

        A. 6608                            23
     1    § 651-a. Reports of child abuse and  maltreatment;  admissibility.  In
     2  any proceeding brought pursuant to this section to determine the custody
     3  [or],  visitation  or  parenting  time  of  minors, a report made to the
     4  statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment, pursuant  to
     5  title six of article six of the social services law, or a portion there-
     6  of,  which is otherwise admissible as a business record pursuant to rule
     7  forty-five hundred eighteen of the civil practice law  and  rules  shall
     8  not  be  admissible  in  evidence,  notwithstanding such rule, unless an
     9  investigation of such report conducted pursuant to title six of  article
    10  six  of the social services law has determined that there is some credi-
    11  ble evidence of the alleged abuse or maltreatment, that the  subject  of
    12  the report has been notified that the report is indicated.  In addition,
    13  if  such  report  has been reviewed by the state commissioner of [social
    14  services] the office of children and  family  services  or  his  or  her
    15  designee and has been determined to be unfounded, it shall not be admis-
    16  sible  in  evidence.  If  such  report has been so reviewed and has been
    17  amended to delete any finding, each such deleted finding  shall  not  be
    18  admissible. If the state commissioner of [social services] the office of
    19  children  and  family  services  or  his or her designee has amended the
    20  report to add any new finding, each such new finding, together with  any
    21  portion of the original report not deleted by the commissioner or his or
    22  her  designee, shall be admissible if it meets the other requirements of
    23  this section and is otherwise admissible as a business record. If such a
    24  report, or portion thereof, is admissible in evidence but  is  uncorrob-
    25  orated,  it  shall  not be sufficient to make a fact finding of abuse or
    26  maltreatment in such proceeding. Any other evidence tending  to  support
    27  the reliability of such report shall be sufficient corroboration.
    28    § 32. Subdivisions (a) and (b) of section 652 of the family court act,
    29  as  amended  by  chapter  40 of the laws of 1981, are amended to read as
    30  follows:
    31    (a) When referred from the supreme court  to  the  family  court,  the
    32  family  court  has  jurisdiction  to  determine,  with  the  same powers
    33  possessed by the supreme court, applications to fix temporary or  perma-
    34  nent  custody and applications to modify judgments and orders of custody
    35  or [visitation] parenting time in actions and  proceedings  for  marital
    36  separation,  divorce, annulment of marriage and dissolution of marriage.
    37  Applications to modify judgments and orders of custody may be granted by
    38  the family court under this section only upon the showing to the  family
    39  court  that there has been a subsequent change of circumstances and that
    40  modification is required.
    41    (b) In the event no such referral has been made and unless the supreme
    42  court provides in the order or judgment awarding custody or [visitation]
    43  parenting time in an action for divorce, separation or  annulment,  that
    44  it  may  be  enforced  or modified only in the supreme court, the family
    45  court may: (i) determine an application to enforce the order or judgment
    46  awarding custody or [visitation] parenting time, or  (ii)  determine  an
    47  application to modify the order or judgment awarding custody or [visita-
    48  tion]  parenting  time  upon  a showing that there has been a subsequent
    49  change of circumstances and modification is required.
    50    § 33. Subdivision (b) of section 656  of  the  family  court  act,  as
    51  amended  by  chapter  526  of  the  laws  of 2013, is amended to read as
    52  follows:
    53    (b) to permit a parent, or a person entitled to visitation or  parent-
    54  ing  time by a court order or a separation agreement, to visit the child
    55  at stated periods;

        A. 6608                            24
     1    § 34. Subdivision (b) of section 759  of  the  family  court  act,  as
     2  amended  by  chapter  483  of  the  laws  of 1995, is amended to read as
     3  follows:
     4    (b)  to permit a parent, or a person entitled to visitation or parent-
     5  ing time by a court order or a separation agreement, to visit the  child
     6  at stated periods;
     7    §  35.  Subdivision  (b)  of  section  842 of the family court act, as
     8  amended by chapter 526 of the laws  of  2013,  is  amended  to  read  as
     9  follows:
    10    (b)  to permit a parent, or a person entitled to visitation or parent-
    11  ing time by a court order or a separation agreement, to visit the  child
    12  at stated periods;
    13    § 36. Section 1030 of the family court act, as added by chapter 457 of
    14  the  laws of 1988, and subdivisions (b) and (d) as amended by chapter 41
    15  of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
    16    § 1030. Order of visitation or parenting time by a respondent.  (a)  A
    17  respondent  shall  have  the right to reasonable and regularly scheduled
    18  visitation or parenting time with a child in the temporary custody of  a
    19  social  services  official pursuant to this part or pursuant to subdivi-
    20  sion (d) of section one  thousand  fifty-one  of  this  article,  unless
    21  limited by an order of the family court.
    22    (b)  A respondent who has not been afforded such visitation or parent-
    23  ing time may apply to the court for an order requiring the local  social
    24  services official having temporary custody of the child pursuant to this
    25  part or pursuant to subdivision (d) of section one thousand fifty-one of
    26  this  article,  to  permit  the  respondent to visit the child at stated
    27  periods. Such application shall be made upon notice to the local  social
    28  services  official and to any attorney appointed to represent the child,
    29  who shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard thereon.
    30    (c) A respondent shall be granted reasonable and  regularly  scheduled
    31  visitation  or  parenting  time  unless the court finds that the child's
    32  life or health would be endangered thereby,  but  the  court  may  order
    33  visitation  or  parenting time under the supervision of an employee of a
    34  local social services department upon a  finding  that  such  supervised
    35  visitation or parenting time is in the best interest of the child.
    36    (d)  An order made under this section may be modified by the court for
    37  good cause shown, upon application by any party or the child's attorney,
    38  and upon notice of such application to all other parties and the child's
    39  attorney, who shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard thereon.
    40    (e) An order made under this section shall terminate upon the entry of
    41  an order of disposition pursuant to part five of this article.
    42    (f) Interference with or withholding of parenting time  without  cause
    43  shall  result  in immediate sanctions. A judge who sanctions a party for
    44  failure to comply with an order of parenting time shall  have  available
    45  the following remedies:
    46    (1)  awarding of counsel fees of the aggrieved party against the party
    47  who violated the terms of the order;
    48    (2) mediation education;
    49    (3) community service;
    50    (4) awarding of compensatory time with the child for which  the  party
    51  was deprived; and
    52    (5)  other  economic  sanctions which may be decided on a case to case
    53  basis.
    54    § 37. Subdivision (e) of section 1035 of  the  family  court  act,  as
    55  amended  by  chapter  526  of  the  laws  of 2003, is amended to read as
    56  follows:

        A. 6608                            25
     1    (e) The summons, petition and notice of pendency of a child protective
     2  proceeding served on the child's non-custodial parent in accordance with
     3  subdivision (d) of this section shall, if applicable, be served together
     4  with a notice that the child was removed from  his  or  her  home  by  a
     5  social  services  official.  Such notice shall also include the name and
     6  address of the official to whom temporary custody of the child has  been
     7  transferred,  the  name  and address of the agency or official with whom
     8  the child has been temporarily placed, if different,  and  shall  advise
     9  such  parent of the right to request temporary and permanent custody and
    10  to seek enforcement of [visitation] parenting time rights with the child
    11  as provided for in part eight of this article.
    12    § 38. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section  1056  of  the  family
    13  court  act, as amended by chapter 526 of the laws of 2013, is amended to
    14  read as follows:
    15    (b) to permit a parent, or a person entitled to visitation or  parent-
    16  ing  time by a court order or a separation agreement, to visit the child
    17  at stated periods;
    18    § 39. Part 8 of article 10 of the family court act, as added by  chap-
    19  ter  457  of the laws of 1988, section 1081 as amended by chapter 242 of
    20  the laws of 2016, paragraph (b)  of  subdivision  2,  paragraph  (c)  of
    21  subdivision 3, paragraph (b) of subdivision 4, paragraphs (a) and (b) of
    22  subdivision  5  as amended by chapter 359 of the laws of 2017, paragraph
    23  (b) of subdivision 1, subdivision 2 of section 1082 and subdivision 4 of
    24  section 1085 as amended by chapter 41 of the laws of 2010,  and  section
    25  1085  as  amended by chapter 378 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read
    26  as follows:
    27                                   PART 8
    28                   VISITATION [OF] AND PARENTING TIME WITH
    29                            MINORS IN FOSTER CARE
    30  Section 1081. Visitation or parenting time rights.
    31          1082. Approval, modification or denial of visitation or  parent-
    32                  ing time rights.
    33          1083.  Duration of orders affecting visitation or parenting time
    34                  rights.
    35          1084. Out-of-wedlock children; paternity.
    36          1085. Visitation, parenting time and custody rights  unenforcea-
    37                   ble; murder of parent, custodian, guardian, or child.
    38    § 1081. Visitation or parenting time rights. 1. A non-custodial parent
    39  or grandparent shall have the visitation or parenting time rights with a
    40  child  remanded  or  placed  in  the  care of a social services official
    41  pursuant to this article as conferred by order of the family court or by
    42  any order or judgment of the supreme  court,  or  by  written  agreement
    43  between  the  parents  as described in section two hundred thirty-six of
    44  the domestic relations law, subject to the  provisions  of  section  one
    45  thousand eighty-two of this part.
    46    2.  (a)  A non-custodial parent or any grandparent or grandparents who
    47  have not been afforded the visitation or parenting time rights described
    48  in subdivision one of this section shall have the right to petition  the
    49  court  for  enforcement  of  visitation  or parenting time rights with a
    50  child remanded or placed in the  care  of  a  social  services  official
    51  pursuant  to  this  article, as such visitation or parenting time rights
    52  have been conferred by order of the family court  or  by  any  order  or
    53  judgment  of  the  supreme  court,  or  by written agreement between the
    54  parents as described in section two hundred thirty-six of  the  domestic
    55  relations law.

        A. 6608                            26
     1    (b)  A child remanded or placed in the care of a social services offi-
     2  cial pursuant to this article or article ten-A  or  ten-C  of  this  act
     3  shall  have  the  right  to  move  for  visitation or parenting time and
     4  contact with his or her siblings. The siblings of a  child  remanded  or
     5  placed  in the care of a social services official pursuant to this arti-
     6  cle or article ten-A or ten-C of this act shall have a right to petition
     7  the court for visitation or parenting time and contact with such  child.
     8  For purposes of this section, "siblings" shall include half-siblings and
     9  those  who  would be deemed siblings or half-siblings but for the termi-
    10  nation of parental rights or death of a parent.
    11    3. (a) The petition by a non-custodial parent shall allege  that  such
    12  parent has visitation or parenting time rights conferred by order of the
    13  family  court  or  by  any  order or judgment of the supreme court or by
    14  written agreement between  the  parents  as  described  in  section  two
    15  hundred  thirty-six  of the domestic relations law, shall have a copy of
    16  such order,  judgment  or  agreement  attached  thereto,  shall  request
    17  enforcement  of such rights pursuant to this part, and shall state, when
    18  known by the petitioner, that visitation or parenting time  rights  with
    19  the  child  by  any  grandparent  or grandparents have been conferred by
    20  order of the supreme court or family court pursuant to section  seventy-
    21  two  or  two  hundred  forty  of  the  domestic relations law, and shall
    22  provide the name and address of such grandparent or grandparents.
    23    (b) A petition by a grandparent or grandparents shall allege that such
    24  grandparent or grandparents have been granted visitation rights with the
    25  child pursuant to section seventy-two or two hundred forty of the domes-
    26  tic relations law, or subdivision (b) of section six  hundred  fifty-one
    27  of this act, shall have a copy of such order or judgment attached there-
    28  to, and shall request enforcement of such rights pursuant to this part.
    29    (c)  A  motion  by  a child remanded or placed in the care of a social
    30  services official pursuant to this article or article ten-A or ten-C  of
    31  this  act  or  a  petition  by a sibling of such child shall allege that
    32  visitation or parenting time and contact would be in the best  interests
    33  of  both  the  child  who  has  been  remanded or placed and the child's
    34  sibling.
    35    4. (a) A petition filed under paragraphs (a)  or  (b)  of  subdivision
    36  three  of this section shall be served upon the respondent in a proceed-
    37  ing under this article, the local social services  official  having  the
    38  care of the child, any grandparent or grandparents named in the petition
    39  as having visitation rights conferred by court order pursuant to section
    40  seventy-two or two hundred forty of the domestic relations law, and upon
    41  the child's attorney. The petition shall be served in such manner as the
    42  court may direct.
    43    (b)  A petition or motion filed under paragraph (b) of subdivision two
    44  of this section shall be served upon: (i) the respondent in the proceed-
    45  ing under this article or article ten-A or ten-C of this act;  (ii)  the
    46  local social services official having the care of the child; (iii) other
    47  persons  having care, custody and control of the child, if any; (iv) the
    48  parents or other persons having care, custody and control of the sibling
    49  to be visited or with whom contact is  sought;  (v)  any  non-respondent
    50  parent in the proceeding under this article or article ten-A or ten-C of
    51  this  act;  (vi)  such sibling himself or herself if ten years of age or
    52  older; and (vii) such sibling's attorney, if any. The petition or motion
    53  shall be served in such manner as the court may direct.
    54    5. (a) Upon receipt of a petition filed under paragraphs (a) or (b) of
    55  subdivision two of  this  section,  the  court  shall,  subject  to  the
    56  provisions of section one thousand eighty-two of this part, require that

        A. 6608                            27
     1  any  order  of a family court or order or judgment of the supreme court,
     2  or any agreement between the parents as described in subdivision one  of
     3  this  section,  granting visitation or parenting time rights to the non-
     4  custodial  parent,  grandparent  or grandparents, be incorporated in any
     5  preliminary order or order of placement made under this article  to  the
     6  extent  that  such  order,  judgment  or agreement confers visitation or
     7  parenting time rights. In any case where a dispositional hearing has not
     8  been held or will not be held within thirty days of the filing  of  such
     9  petition  the court shall order the person, official, agency or institu-
    10  tion caring for the child pursuant to this article to comply  with  such
    11  part  of the order, judgment or agreement granting visitation or parent-
    12  ing time rights.
    13    (b) Upon receipt of a petition or motion filed under paragraph (c)  of
    14  subdivision  three  of  this  section,  the court shall determine, after
    15  giving notice and an opportunity to be heard  to  persons  served  under
    16  subdivision  four  of this section, whether visitation or parenting time
    17  and contact would be in the best interests of the child and his  or  her
    18  sibling.  The court's determination may be included in the dispositional
    19  order issued pursuant to section one thousand fifty-two or one  thousand
    20  ninety-five  of  this  chapter  or  in a permanency hearing order issued
    21  pursuant to section one thousand eighty-nine of this chapter.
    22    (c) Violation of an order issued under this section shall be  punisha-
    23  ble pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-three of the judiciary law.
    24    §  1082.  Approval,  modification or denial of visitation or parenting
    25  time rights. 1.  (a) Upon receipt of a petition pursuant to  subdivision
    26  four  of section one thousand eighty-one of this part, the local depart-
    27  ment of social services shall make inquiry of the state central register
    28  of child abuse and maltreatment to determine whether or  not  the  peti-
    29  tioner  is  a subject of an indicated report of child abuse or maltreat-
    30  ment, as such terms are defined in section four hundred  twelve  of  the
    31  social  services  law,  and  shall  further ascertain whether or not the
    32  petitioner is a respondent in a proceeding under  this  article  whereby
    33  the  child  with  whom  visitation  or parenting time is sought has been
    34  allegedly abused or neglected or has been adjudicated as  an  abused  or
    35  neglected child.
    36    (b)  The  department,  the  child's  attorney  and the respondent in a
    37  proceeding under this article, shall have the right  to  be  heard  with
    38  respect  to  a  petition for an order to enforce visitation or parenting
    39  time rights under this part.
    40    2. Where the local department of social services or the child's attor-
    41  ney opposes a petition described in section one thousand  eighty-one  of
    42  this  part,  the department or the child's attorney as appropriate shall
    43  serve and file an answer to the petition.  The  court  shall,  upon  the
    44  filing  of  such  answer,  set a date for a hearing on such petition and
    45  shall notify the parents, grandparent or  grandparents,  the  department
    46  and the child's attorney of such hearing date.
    47    3.  Whenever a hearing described in subdivision two of this section is
    48  to be held within ten court days of a dispositional  hearing  authorized
    49  under  this  article, the court may in its discretion hear such petition
    50  as part of such dispositional hearing.
    51    4. In any hearing under this section, the  court  shall  approve  such
    52  petition  unless  the  court finds upon competent, relevant and material
    53  evidence that enforcement of visitation  or  parenting  time  rights  as
    54  described in the order, judgment or agreement would endanger the child's
    55  life or health. Upon such a finding, the court shall make an order deny-
    56  ing  such  petition  or  make  such other order affecting enforcement of

        A. 6608                            28
     1  visitation or parenting time rights as the court deems to be in the best
     2  interests of the child.
     3    5.  (a)  Where  a  petition  is  approved pursuant to this section the
     4  parties may agree in writing to an alternative schedule of visitation or
     5  parenting time equivalent to and consistent with the original  or  modi-
     6  fied visitation or parenting time order or agreement where such alterna-
     7  tive  schedule  reflects  changed  circumstances  of  the parties and is
     8  consistent with the best interests of the child.
     9    (b) In the absence of such an agreement between the parties, the court
    10  may, in its discretion, order an alternative schedule of  visitation  or
    11  parenting time as defined herein, where it determines that such schedule
    12  is  necessary  to facilitate visitation or parenting time and to protect
    13  the best interests of the child.
    14    § 1083. Duration of orders  affecting  visitation  or  parenting  time
    15  rights.  1.  Where  an order of the court has been made incorporating an
    16  order, judgment or agreement conferring  visitation  or  parenting  time
    17  rights  with  a  child  on  a non-custodial parent or grandparent into a
    18  dispositional order under this article, or  where  the  court  otherwise
    19  orders  compliance  by  a person, official, agency or institution caring
    20  for the child, with an order, judgment or agreement granting  visitation
    21  or  parenting  time  rights,  such  order shall remain in effect for the
    22  length of time the child remains in such care pursuant to this  article,
    23  unless  such  order is subsequently modified by the court for good cause
    24  shown.
    25    2. Where the court makes an order denying a petition seeking  enforce-
    26  ment  of visitation or parenting time rights or makes an order modifying
    27  visitation or parenting time  rights,  pursuant  to  the  provisions  of
    28  section one thousand eighty-two of this part, such order shall remain in
    29  effect  for  the length of time the child is placed with a person, offi-
    30  cial, agency or institution caring for the child pursuant to this  arti-
    31  cle,  unless  such  order is subsequently modified by the court for good
    32  cause shown.
    33    § 1084. Out-of-wedlock children; paternity. No [visitation]  parenting
    34  time  right  shall  be enforceable under this part concerning any person
    35  claiming to be a parent of an out-of-wedlock child  without  an  adjudi-
    36  cation of the paternity of such person by a court of competent jurisdic-
    37  tion,  or  without  an  acknowledgement  of the paternity of such person
    38  executed pursuant to applicable provisions of law.
    39    § 1085. Visitation, parenting time and custody  rights  unenforceable;
    40  murder  of  parent,  custodian,  guardian,  or  child. 1. No visitation,
    41  parenting time or custody order shall be enforceable under this part  by
    42  a  person who has been convicted of murder in the first or second degree
    43  in this state, or convicted of an offense in another jurisdiction which,
    44  if committed in this state, would constitute either murder in the  first
    45  or second degree, of a parent, legal custodian, legal guardian, sibling,
    46  half-sibling or step-sibling of the child unless:
    47    (i) (A) such child is of suitable age to signify assent and such child
    48  assents to such visitation, parenting time or custody; or
    49    (B) if such child is not of suitable age to signify assent the child's
    50  custodian or legal guardian assents to such order; or
    51    (C) the person who has been convicted of murder in the first or second
    52  degree, or an offense in another jurisdiction which if committed in this
    53  state, would constitute either murder in the first or second degree, can
    54  prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:
    55    (1)  he or she, or a family or household member of either party, was a
    56  victim of domestic violence by the victim of such murder; and

        A. 6608                            29
     1    (2) the domestic violence was causally related to  the  commission  of
     2  such murder; and
     3    (ii)  the  court finds that such visitation, parenting time or custody
     4  is in the best interest of the child.
     5    2. Pending determination of a petition for visitation, parenting  time
     6  or  custody  such  child shall not visit and no person shall visit, with
     7  such child present, such person, legal guardian or legal  custodian  who
     8  has  been  convicted  of  murder  in  the first or second degree in this
     9  state, or an offense in another jurisdiction which, if committed in this
    10  state, would constitute either murder in the first or second degree,  of
    11  the other parent, legal guardian, legal custodian, sibling, half-sibling
    12  or  step-sibling  of  such  child,  without  the consent of such child's
    13  custodian or legal guardian.
    14    3. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to  require  a
    15  court,  without petition from any of the interested parties, to review a
    16  previously issued order of visitation,  parenting  time  or  custody  or
    17  denial of such petition.
    18    4. For the purposes of making a determination pursuant to subparagraph
    19  (C) of paragraph (i) of subdivision one of this section, the court shall
    20  not  be  bound  by  the findings of fact, conclusions of law or ultimate
    21  conclusion as determined by the proceedings leading to the conviction of
    22  murder in the first or second degree in this state or of an  offense  in
    23  another jurisdiction which, if committed in this state, would constitute
    24  murder  in either the first or second degree, of a parent, legal guardi-
    25  an, legal custodian, sibling, half-sibling or step-sibling  of  a  child
    26  who  is  the  subject  of  the proceeding. In all proceedings under this
    27  section, an attorney shall be appointed for the child.
    28    § 40. The domestic relations law is amended by adding  a  new  section
    29  242 to read as follows:
    30    §  242.  Matrimonial  actions involving custody of children; mediation
    31  and family counselling. In any matrimonial action involving the  custody
    32  of  children, the court shall direct the parties to attend mediation and
    33  family counselling sessions prior to the entry of any  orders  or  judg-
    34  ments, except for temporary orders of protection or support, as provided
    35  for  in  the  rules  of the chief administrator of the courts, who shall
    36  promulgate rules and regulations therefor.
    37    § 41. Clause (i) of subparagraph 5 of paragraph (b) of subdivision 1-b
    38  of section 240 of the domestic relations law, as added by chapter 567 of
    39  the laws of 1989, is amended to read as follows:
    40    (i) gross (total) income less any federal, state, and  local  personal
    41  income  taxes  paid  and  contributions required pursuant to the federal
    42  insurance contributions act (social security and  medicare),  as  should
    43  have  been  or  should be reported in the most recent federal income tax
    44  return. If an individual files his/her federal income tax  return  as  a
    45  married  person filing jointly, such person shall be required to prepare
    46  a form, sworn to under penalty of law, disclosing his/her  gross  income
    47  individually;
    48    §  42.  Subdivision 11 of section 111-h of the social services law, as
    49  amended by chapter 502 of the laws  of  1990,  is  amended  to  read  as
    50  follows:
    51    11.  The  department may provide for the performance of the collection
    52  and disbursement functions of the support collection units  by  contract
    53  with a fiscal agent. For purposes of any reference to support collection
    54  unit  in  this chapter or any other law, the fiscal agent under contract
    55  with the department shall be deemed to be part of all support collection
    56  units for which the fiscal agent performs  collection  and  disbursement

        A. 6608                            30
     1  functions.  The department shall provide by rule for an annual audit and
     2  performance appraisal of each fiscal agent.
     3    § 43. The family court act is amended by adding a new section 385.3 to
     4  read as follows:
     5    § 385.3. Evidence. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a fami-
     6  ly  court  judge shall, in every proceeding and hearing under his or her
     7  jurisdiction, review all evidence including law guardian reports,  child
     8  advocate reports, physician reports, psychologist reports and counseling
     9  reports,  as  well  as  all  third  party  communications related to the
    10  proceeding or hearing.
    11    § 44. Subdivision (a) of section 418  of  the  family  court  act,  as
    12  amended  by  chapter  214  of  the  laws  of 1998, is amended to read as
    13  follows:
    14    (a) The court, on its own motion or motion of any party, when paterni-
    15  ty is contested, shall order the  mother,  the  child  and  the  alleged
    16  father  to submit to one or more genetic marker or DNA marker tests of a
    17  type generally acknowledged as reliable by an accreditation body  desig-
    18  nated  by  the  secretary  of the federal department of health and human
    19  services and performed by a laboratory approved by such an accreditation
    20  body and by the commissioner of health or by a duly qualified  physician
    21  to  aid  in the determination of whether the alleged father is or is not
    22  the father of the child. No such test shall be ordered, however, upon  a
    23  written finding by the court that it is not in the best interests of the
    24  child  on  the basis of res judicata, equitable estoppel or the presump-
    25  tion of legitimacy of a child born to a married  woman.  The  record  or
    26  report  of  the  results of any such genetic marker or DNA test shall be
    27  received in evidence, pursuant to subdivision  (e)  of  rule  forty-five
    28  hundred  eighteen  of  the  civil practice law and rules where no timely
    29  objection in writing has been made thereto. Any order pursuant  to  this
    30  section  shall  state  in  plain  language that the results of such test
    31  shall be admitted into evidence, pursuant  to  rule  forty-five  hundred
    32  eighteen  of  the  civil practice law and rules absent timely objections
    33  thereto and that if such timely objections are not made, they  shall  be
    34  deemed  waived  and  shall  not be heard by the court.  If the record or
    35  report of results of any such genetic marker or DNA test or tests  indi-
    36  cate at least a ninety-five percent probability of paternity, the admis-
    37  sion  of  such record or report shall create a rebuttable presumption of
    38  paternity, and, if unrebutted, shall  establish  the  paternity  of  and
    39  liability  for the support of a child pursuant to this article and arti-
    40  cle five of this act.  If child support is being paid and the record  or
    41  report  of  results  of  any  genetic marker or DNA test or tests do not
    42  indicate at least a ninety-five percent  probability  of  paternity,  if
    43  unrebutted,  the  court shall order the immediate cessation of all child
    44  support regardless of the length of time that  child  support  has  been
    45  paid,  except  in  a  case where a sperm donor was used and the putative
    46  father was aware of and consented to such use in which case there  shall
    47  not be a cessation of support.
    48    §  45.  The  domestic relations law is amended by adding a new section
    49  74-a to read as follows:
    50    § 74-a. Parental access to information. Unless prohibited  by  federal
    51  or  state law, a parent shall have complete access to records and infor-
    52  mation pertaining to the health, education and welfare  of  his  or  her
    53  minor  child,  regardless  of  whether or not he or she is the custodial
    54  parent, unless a court decrees that access to the information is not  in
    55  the best interest of the child.

        A. 6608                            31
     1    §  46. Subparagraph 3 of paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 413
     2  of the family court act, as amended by chapter 567 of the laws of  1989,
     3  is amended to read as follows:
     4    (3) "Child support percentage" shall mean:
     5    (i)  seventeen  percent of the combined parental income for one child,
     6  except in a case of shared parenting in which case ten  percent  of  the
     7  combined parental income for one child;
     8    (ii) twenty-five percent of the combined parental income for two chil-
     9  dren, except in a case of shared parenting in which case sixteen percent
    10  of the combined parental income for two children;
    11    (iii)  twenty-nine  percent  of the combined parental income for three
    12  children, except in a case of shared parenting in which case  twenty-six
    13  percent of the combined parental income for three children;
    14    (iv) thirty-one percent of the combined parental income for four chil-
    15  dren; and
    16    (v)  no  less than thirty-five percent of the combined parental income
    17  for five or more children.
    18    In addition to the percentages established in  this  subparagraph  for
    19  shared parenting, the court may include an additional seven percent upon
    20  the demonstration of necessity, based upon receipts, for clothing, care,
    21  medical   attention,  the  expense  of  education,  payment  of  funeral
    22  expenses, and other proper and reasonable expenses.
    23    § 47. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 1 of  section  413  of  the  family
    24  court act is amended by adding a new subparagraph 8 to read as follows:
    25    (8)  Where the court determines that the custodial parent will receive
    26  tax savings because of being able to file as head of a household, take a
    27  child related tax deduction and/or take a child  related  earned  income
    28  tax  credit,  the  court  shall  add  the  amount saved to the custodial
    29  parent's income when determining combined parental income.
    30    § 48. Section 413 of the family court act is amended by adding  a  new
    31  subdivision 2-a to read as follows:
    32    2-a.  Nothing in this article shall impose any liability upon a person
    33  to support any minor child who  has  become  emancipated,  married,  has
    34  ceased to attend school, or who, if it has been determined by the court,
    35  has  become  self-supporting. Such liability shall not be imposed for so
    36  long as the minor remains emancipated, married,  has  ceased  to  attend
    37  school or is self-supporting.
    38    §  49. Paragraph (e) of subdivision 4-a of section 111-b of the social
    39  services law, as added by chapter 398 of the laws of 1997, is amended to
    40  read as follows:
    41    (e)  Information maintained as part of the state case  registry  shall
    42  be made available to other state and federal agencies as provided for in
    43  federal statutes and regulations promulgated by the federal secretary of
    44  health  and human services.  Every January, May and September, a support
    45  payer's information shall be mailed to him or her by  first  class  mail
    46  from  the  New  York  state child support collection unit to the support
    47  obligor's known home address or such other place where the support obli-
    48  gor is likely to receive first class  mail.    This  shall  include  all
    49  payments, including arrearages, received by the child support collection
    50  unit.
    51    §  50.  Subdivision  (a)  of section 458-a of the family court act, as
    52  amended by chapter 624 of the laws  of  2002,  is  amended  to  read  as
    53  follows:
    54    (a) If the respondent has accumulated support arrears equivalent to or
    55  greater  than  the  amount  of support due pursuant to court order for a
    56  period of four months, the court may order the department of motor vehi-

        A. 6608                            32
     1  cles to suspend the respondent's driving privileges, and if  such  order
     2  issues, the respondent may apply to the department of motor vehicles for
     3  a  restricted use license pursuant to section five hundred thirty of the
     4  vehicle  and traffic law.  If the court finds that the respondent has in
     5  the past been timely in paying his or her support due then the  respond-
     6  ent's  driving  privileges  cannot  be  suspended without a hearing. The
     7  court may at any time upon payment of  arrears  or  partial  payment  of
     8  arrears  by  the  respondent  order  the department of motor vehicles to
     9  terminate  the  suspension  of  respondent's  driving  privileges.   For
    10  purposes  of  determining  whether  a  support  obligor  has accumulated
    11  support arrears equivalent to or greater than the amount of support  due
    12  for  a  period  of  four  months, the amount of any retroactive support,
    13  other than periodic payments of retroactive support which are past  due,
    14  shall  not be included in the calculation of support arrears pursuant to
    15  this section.
    16    § 51. Subdivision 1 of section 454 of the family court act, as amended
    17  by chapter 892 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows:
    18    1. If a respondent is brought before the court for failure to obey any
    19  lawful order of support [and if, after hearing,] the parties can  choose
    20  to  have  a  hearing before the court or to go through an arbitrator, in
    21  order to avoid a court appearance.  An arbitrator shall  be  established
    22  through  child  support  collection to arbitrate disputes when there are
    23  accusations of child support arrearage in order to avert a court appear-
    24  ance.  If the court is satisfied by competent proof that the  respondent
    25  has  failed  to obey any such order, the court may use any or all of the
    26  powers conferred upon it by this part. The court has the  power  to  use
    27  any  or all enforcement powers in every proceeding brought for violation
    28  of a court order under this part regardless of the relief  requested  in
    29  the petition.
    30    §  52.  Paragraph  (a)  of  subdivision 3 of section 454 of the family
    31  court act, as amended by chapter 892 of the laws of 1986, is amended  to
    32  read as follows:
    33    (a) commit the respondent to jail for a term not to exceed six months.
    34  For  purposes  of  this subdivision, failure to pay support, as ordered,
    35  shall constitute prima facie evidence of a willful violation.   However,
    36  the court shall consider real circumstances when finding that a respond-
    37  ent  has failed to comply with any lawful order of support, such as that
    38  a parent presently has voluntarily or involuntarily reduced resources or
    39  income. Such commitment may be served upon  certain  specified  days  or
    40  parts  of  days  as the court may direct, and the court may, at any time
    41  within the term of such sentence, revoke such suspension and commit  the
    42  respondent  for  the  remainder of the original sentence, or suspend the
    43  remainder of such sentence. Such commitment does not prevent  the  court
    44  from  subsequently  committing  the respondent for failure thereafter to
    45  comply with any such order; or
    46    § 53. Section 451 of the family court act, as amended by  chapter  373
    47  of the laws of 2014, is amended to read as follows:
    48    §  451.  Continuing jurisdiction. 1. (a) Except as provided in article
    49  five-B of this act, the  court  has  continuing  jurisdiction  over  any
    50  support  proceeding  brought  under  this  article until its judgment is
    51  completely satisfied and may modify,  set  aside  or  vacate  any  order
    52  issued  in  the  course  of  the proceeding, provided, however, that the
    53  modification, set aside or vacatur  shall  not  reduce  or  annul  child
    54  support  arrears  accrued prior to the making of an application pursuant
    55  to this section. The court shall not reduce or annul any  other  arrears
    56  unless  the defaulting party shows good cause for failure to make appli-

        A. 6608                            33
     1  cation for relief from the judgment or order directing payment prior  to
     2  the  accrual  of  the arrears, in which case the facts and circumstances
     3  constituting such good cause shall be set forth in a written  memorandum
     4  of  decision. A modification may increase support payments nunc pro tunc
     5  as of the date of the initial application for  support  based  on  newly
     6  discovered evidence. Any retroactive amount of support due shall be paid
     7  and  be  enforceable  as  provided in section four hundred forty of this
     8  article. Upon an application to set aside or vacate an order of support,
     9  no hearing shall be required unless such application shall be  supported
    10  by  affidavit  and  other evidentiary material sufficient to establish a
    11  prima facie case for the relief requested.
    12    (b) Once a year, a motion may be made by a child  support  obligor  to
    13  require  an  accounting  by  the  parent  receiving the child support on
    14  behalf of the child or children. The accounting shall  account  for  all
    15  funds  expended  on the child or children and shall be used by the court
    16  in determining whether the funds are being misused or not fulfilling the
    17  child's or children's needs. The accounting shall include,  but  not  be
    18  limited to, the disposition of all funds paid by the child support obli-
    19  gor  and  all  funds  expended  on  behalf of the child or children. Any
    20  motion filed by a child support obligor  pursuant  to  this  subdivision
    21  shall  be  accompanied by a sworn affidavit that the obligor has reason-
    22  able grounds to question whether the child support funds are being  used
    23  appropriately and shall state the grounds in the affidavit.
    24    2.  A  proceeding  to modify an order of support shall be commenced by
    25  the filing of a petition which shall allege facts sufficient to meet one
    26  or more of the grounds enumerated in subdivision three of this section.
    27    3. (a) The court may modify an order of child  support,  including  an
    28  order  incorporating  without merging an agreement or stipulation of the
    29  parties, upon a  showing  of  a  substantial  change  in  circumstances.
    30  Incarceration  shall  not  be  a  bar to finding a substantial change in
    31  circumstances provided such incarceration is not the result of  non-pay-
    32  ment  of  a  child  support  order,  or an offense against the custodial
    33  parent or child who is the subject of the order or judgment.
    34    (b) In addition, unless the parties have specifically opted out of the
    35  following provisions in a  validly  executed  agreement  or  stipulation
    36  entered into between the parties, the court may modify an order of child
    37  support where:
    38    (i) three years have passed since the order was entered, last modified
    39  or adjusted; or
    40    (ii) there has been a change in either party's gross income by fifteen
    41  percent or more since the order was entered, last modified, or adjusted.
    42  A  reduction in income shall not be considered as a ground for modifica-
    43  tion unless it was involuntary and the party has made diligent  attempts
    44  to  secure  employment  commensurate with his or her education, ability,
    45  and experience.
    46    § 54. The closing paragraph of subdivision 1 of  section  460  of  the
    47  family  court  act,  as  amended  by chapter 815 of the laws of 1987, is
    48  amended to read as follows:
    49  and the party defaults in paying any sum of money due as required by the
    50  order directing the payment thereof, the court, without  regard  to  the
    51  amount  due, shall make an order directing the entry of judgment for the
    52  amount of child support arrears, together with costs and  disbursements.
    53  This  judgment shall be directed to be paid each month, at a rate not to
    54  exceed ten percent of  the  defaulting  party's  regular  monthly  child
    55  support  payment,  until  the  arrears are paid. The court shall make an
    56  order directing the entry of judgment for the amount of arrears  of  any

        A. 6608                            34
     1  other  payments  so  directed,  together  with  costs and disbursements,
     2  unless the defaulting party shows good cause for failure to make  appli-
     3  cation  for  relief  from  the  judgment or order directing such payment
     4  prior  to the accrual of such arrears. The court shall not make an order
     5  reducing or [cancelling] canceling such arrears  unless  the  facts  and
     6  circumstances  constituting  good cause are set forth in a written memo-
     7  randum of decision. The application for such order shall  be  made  upon
     8  such  notice  to the party or other person as the court may direct. Such
     9  judgment shall provide for the payment of interest on the amount of  any
    10  arrears  if  the default was willful, in that the defaulting party know-
    11  ingly, consciously and voluntarily disregarded the  obligation  under  a
    12  lawful  court  order.  Such  interest shall be computed from the date on
    13  which the payment was due, at the prevailing rate of interest  on  judg-
    14  ments as provided in the civil practice law and rules.
    15    § 55. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
    16  ing  the  date  on  which  it shall have become a law, provided that the
    17  amendments to subdivision (a) of section 439 of  the  family  court  act
    18  made  by  section twenty-one of this act shall be subject to the expira-
    19  tion and reversion of such subdivision pursuant  to  subdivision  19  of
    20  section  246  of  chapter  81 of the laws of 1995, as amended, when upon
    21  such date the provisions of section twenty-two of this  act  shall  take
    22  effect  and  provided further that any and all rules and regulations and
    23  any other measures necessary to implement this act on its effective date
    24  may be promulgated or taken on or before such date.
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