ASSEMBLY, No. 1300

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2010 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  DAVID W. WOLFE

District 10 (Monmouth and Ocean)

Assemblywoman  NANCY F. MUNOZ

District 21 (Essex, Morris, Somerset and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Denies custody and visitation rights to minor child by family members of individuals convicted of certain crimes.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning custody and visitation rights and amending P.L.1995, c.55.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Section 1 of P.L.1995, c.55 (C.9:2-4.1) is amended to read as follows:

     1.  a.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a person convicted of sexual assault under N.J.S.2C:14-2 shall not be awarded the custody of or visitation rights to any minor child, including a minor child who was born as a result of or was the victim of the sexual assault, except upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child for custody or visitation rights to be awarded.  However, a court that awards such custody or visitation rights to a person convicted of sexual assault under N.J.S.2C:14-2 shall stay enforcement of the order or judgment for at least 10 days in order to permit the appeal of the order or judgment and application for a stay in accordance with the Rules of Court.

     b.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a person convicted of sexual contact under N.J.S.2C:14-3 or endangering the welfare of a child under N.J.S.2C:24-4 shall not be awarded the custody of or visitation rights to any minor child, except upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child for such custody or visitation rights to be awarded. However, a court that awards such custody or visitation rights to a person convicted of sexual contact under N.J.S.2C:14-3 or endangering the welfare of a child under N.J.S.2C:24-4 shall stay enforcement of the order or judgment for at least 10 days in order to permit the appeal of the order or judgment and application for a stay in accordance with the Rules of Court.

     c.  A denial of custody or visitation under this section shall not by itself terminate the parental rights of the person denied visitation or custody, nor shall it affect the obligation of the person to support the minor child.

     d.  In any proceeding for establishment or enforcement of such an obligation of support the victim shall not be required to appear in the presence of the obligor and the victim's and child's whereabouts shall be kept confidential.

     e.  Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a family member of a person convicted of sexual assault under N.J.S.2C:14-2 shall not be awarded the custody of or visitation rights to any minor child born as a result of the sexual assault, except upon a showing of clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child for custody or visitation rights to be awarded.  However, a court that awards such custody or visitation rights to a family member of a person convicted of sexual assault under N.J.S.2C:14-2 shall stay enforcement of the order or judgment for at least 10 days in order to permit the appeal of the order or judgment and application for a stay in accordance with the Rules of Court.

     As used in this subsection, "family member" means a person 18 years of age or older related to a person convicted of sexual assault under N.J.S.2C:14-2 by blood, marriage or adoption who resides with the convicted person on a full-time basis, including: a spouse; a sibling, parent, stepsibling or stepparent of the convicted person or his spouse; and a person whose status is preceded by the words "great" or "grand."

(cf: P.L.1999, c.424, s.1)

 

     2.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill amends N.J.S.A.9:2-4.1 to deny the awarding of visitation rights to or custody of a minor child to a family member of a person convicted of sexual assault under N.J.S.A.2C:14-2 if the sexual assault resulted in the birth of the child, except upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence that awarding visitation rights or custody is in the best interest of the child.  The bill defines "family member" as a person 18 years of age or older related to a person convicted of sexual assault by blood, marriage or adoption who resides with the convicted person on a full-time basis, including: a spouse; a sibling, parent, stepsibling or stepparent of the convicted person or his spouse; and a person whose status is preceded by the words "great" or "grand."

     The bill also provides that after a court awards visitation rights to or custody of the minor child to a family member of the person convicted of sexual assault, the court shall not enforce the order or judgment for at least 10 days in order to permit the appeal of the order or judgment and application for the stay in accordance with the Rules of Court.