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Summary: If a child's parents divorce or one of the parents is incarcerated or dies, a grandparent may sue for possession of a child. HB 2547 mandates a court deny a grandparent's request for a hearing unless a sworn statement provides the basis to do so. This bill requires a grandparent to pay costs if a lawsuit is filed frivolously or the grandparent loses. This bill would prohibit a custody suit from being consolidated with another suit. This bill prohibits a grandparent from requesting custody of a child who has been adopted.
Analysis: HB 2547 will protect a parent who has become single due to divorce or the death of a spouse, or effectively single due to the incarceration of a spouse, from having to defend against grandparents trying to take the children away. We believe that absent extraordinary circumstances, parents should retain custody and full parental rights over their children. A parent should not have to worry about defending against frivolous attempts to have their children taken away. We support this legislation.