SB 21: "An Act relating to child visitation rights of grandparents and other persons who are not the parents of the child."

00SENATE BILL NO. 21 01 "An Act relating to child visitation rights of grandparents and other persons who 02 are not the parents of the child." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. AS 25.20.060(a) is amended to read: 05  (a) If there is a dispute over child custody, ether parent may petition the 06 superior court for resolution of the matter under AS 25.20.060 - 25.20.130. The court 07 shall award custody on the basis of the best interests of the child. In determining the 08 best interests of the child, the court shall consider all relevant factors including those 09 factors enumerated in AS 25.24.150(c). In a custody determination under this 10 section, the court shall provide for visitation by a grandparent or other person if 11 that is in the best interests of the child. 12 * Sec. 2. AS 25.20 is amended by adding a new section to read: 13  Sec. 25.20.065. VISITATION RIGHTS OF GRANDPARENT. (a) Except as 14 provided in (c) of this section, a child's grandparent may petition the superior court

01 for an order establishing reasonable rights of visitation between the grandparent and 02 child if 03  (1) the grandparent has established or attempted to establish ongoing 04 personal contact with the child; 05  (2) the child's custodian has denied the grandparent reasonable 06 opportunity to visit the child; and 07  (3) visitation by the grandparent is in the child's best interest. 08  (b) After a decree or final order relating to child custody is entered under 09 AS 25.20.060 or AS 25.24.150 or relating to an adoption under AS 25.23, a 10 grandparent may petition under this section only if 11  (1) the grandparent did not request the court to grant visitation rights 12 during the pendency of proceedings under AS 25.20.060, AS 25.23, or AS 25.24; or 13  (2) there has been a change in circumstances relating to the custodial 14 parent or the minor child that justifies reconsideration of the grandparent's visitation 15 rights. 16 * Sec. 3. AS 25.24.220(d) is amended to read: 17  (d) If the petition is filed by both spouses under AS 25.24.200(a), the court 18 shall examine the petitioners or petitioner present and consider whether 19  (1) the spouses fully understand the nature and consequences of their 20 action; 21  (2) the written agreements between the spouses concerning child 22 custody, child support, and visitation are just as between the spouses and in the best 23 interests of the children of the marriage; in determining whether the parents' 24 agreement on visitation is in the best interests of the children under this 25 paragraph, the court shall also consider whether the agreement should include 26 visitation by grandparents and other persons; 27  (3) the written agreements between the spouses relating to the division 28 of property, including retirement benefits, spousal maintenance, and the allocation of 29 obligations are just; the spousal maintenance and division of property must fairly 30 allocate the economic effect of dissolution and take into consideration the factors listed 31 in AS 25.24.160(a)(2) and (4);

01  (4) the written agreements constitute the entire agreement between the 02 parties; and 03  (5) the conditions in AS 25.24.200(a) have been met. 04 * Sec. 4. AS 25.24.230 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 05  (i) Notwithstanding AS 25.24.220(g), the court may, in addition to granting the 06 relief sought by the petitioning spouses, provide in a decree of dissolution for visitation 07 rights of a grandparent or another person who is not a petitioning spouse.