HB 477: "An Act relating to mandatory educational courses for parents who seek a divorce or dissolution."

00HOUSE BILL NO. 477 01 "An Act relating to mandatory educational courses for parents who seek a divorce 02 or dissolution." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. AS 25.24 is amended by adding a new section to read: 05  Sec. 25.24.920. EDUCATIONAL COURSES FOR PARENTS WHO SEEK 06 A DIVORCE OR DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE. As a condition of granting a 07 decree of divorce or dissolution, a court shall require that parties who have minor 08 children must present evidence that they have attended and completed an educational 09 course administered under (c) of this section that instructs the parties about divorce or 10 dissolution, as appropriate, and 11  (1) its potential effects on their children; 12  (2) its potential effects on their family relationships; and 13  (3) the parties' financial responsibilities for their children. 14  (b) A court, on its own motion or on the motion of one of the parties, may

01 waive the requirement in (a) of this section for a particular party or for the parties in 02 a particular action if the court determines that course attendance and completion are 03 not necessary, appropriate, feasible, or in the best interest of the parties. 04  (c) The administrative director of courts shall administer the course required 05 under (a) of this section through contracts with public or private entities. The contract 06 must provide for the recoupment of administrative expenses through the costs charged 07 to individual parties under (d) of this section. 08  (d) Except as provided in (e) of this section, each party ordered to attend an 09 educational course under this section shall bear the expense of the course and, in 10 addition, pay a fee determined by the court system to be sufficient to cover the 11 administrative expenses of the administrative director of courts under (c) of this 12 section. 13  (e) A party who is unable to pay the costs imposed under (d) of this section 14 may attend the required course without payment upon a prima facie showing of 15 inability to pay as evidenced by an affidavit of inability to pay that must be filed with 16 the court. In those situations, the contractor shall be reimbursed for its costs by the 17 court, subject to the availability of appropriations for this purpose. Before a decree 18 of divorce or dissolution may be granted in an action governed by this section, the 19 court shall make a final review and determination of the ability of a party to pay for 20 the costs imposed under (d) of this section and may order the payment of the costs by 21 a person who filed an affidavit of inability to pay under this subsection if the court 22 determines at the final review that the person is able to pay the costs. 23 * Sec. 2. APPLICABILITY. The requirements of this Act apply to actions for divorce or 24 dissolution that are filed on or after the effective date of this Act.