fpiw.org / by Joseph Backholm | February 5, 2013
Have you ever had a significant change in one of your relationships with someone you used to be close with? Has the change in that relationship also changed their relationship with your child?
If so, you need to know about HB 1506, which creates third-party visitation rights for non-parents.
A hearing on this bill is scheduled for tomorrow morning, Wednesday, February 6th, at 8:00 am, in the House Judiciary Committee, John L. O’Brien Building, Hearing Room A
This bill would allow a person who is not a child’s parent, but who has an “established and ongoing relationship with a child” for at least one year, to go to the court and demand regular visitation with someone else’s kid. The court would be permitted to grant visitation if, in its view, “the child would likely suffer harm or the substantial risk of harm if visitation…were not granted.”
If this bill becomes law, it would give a judge the right to determine who gets to spend time with your children. If for any reason you decide that you no longer want them spending time with someone they currently have a relationship with, you just might be required to explain yourself to a judge.
This bill is being driven by the unlikely coalition of grandparents and gay people. Grandparents are interested in it because they are sometimes denied the chance to see their grandchildren when their relationship with their children deteriorates. Gay people are interested in it because they form relationships with their partner’s children and want to continue the relationship with the child when the relationship with the child’s parent ends.