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The House Judiciary Committee submitted a substitute bill which amended the requirements of the original bill. The Committee Substitute limits the lesser standard of proof for a grandparent's right of visitation to situations when the parents are dead, divorced, or separated.
As introduced, House Bill 7244 would have given grandparents a right to petition for visitation with their grandchildren. Connecticut's current statute permits third-party visitation over a parent's objection only if the denial of visitation would cause "real and significant harm" to the child. HB 7244 would change the statute to merely require clear and convincing evidence that the parents have acted unreasonably in depriving the grandparents of visitation.
In Troxel v. Granville, the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutional principle that parents, and not the state, are best-suited to determine what is in the best interest of their children. The ruling also upheld that the government needs to respect the decisions of parents unless the parents are unfit, the parents themselves disagree on what is best for their children, or the parents' decision poses a significant risk to the children.
As introduced, HB 7244 would erode these constitutional protections and permit the state courts to intervene in the decisions of fit parents and intact families – if the courts believe there is just clear and convincing evidence that the parents have acted unreasonably in depriving the grandparents of visitation.
|03/07/2017||House||Introduced; Referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary|
|03/09/2017||House||Public Hearing scheduled for 03/13/2017 at 10:00 a.m. in the Judiciary Committee in Room 2C of the Legislative Office Building.|
|04/07/2017||House||Joint Committee on Judiciary: Reported with substitute; Filed with Legislative Commissioner's Office|
|04/18/2017||House||Referred to Office of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis|
|04/25/2017||House||Committee Substitute reported out of Legislative Commissioner's Office; House Calendar No. 458; Reissued by Legislative Commissioner's Office with File No. 702|
|06/05/2017||House||Passed House; To Senate; Senate Calendar No. 594|
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