Session of 1999
By Representative Landwehr

  9             AN  ACT concerning family law case management; amending K.S.A. 1998
10             Supp. 23-1001, 23-1002 and 23-1003 and repealing the existing
11             sections.
13       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
14             Section  1. K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 23-1001 is hereby amended to read as
15       follows: 23-1001. Family law case management under this act K.S.A. 1998
16       Supp. 23-1001 through 23-1003 and amendments thereto, is the process
17       by which a neutral family law case manager appointed by the court, or
18       by a hearing officer in a proceeding pursuant to K.S.A. 23-701, and
19       amendments thereto, or through agreement by the parties, assists the
20       parties by providing a procedure, other than mediation, which facilitates
21       negotiation of a plan for child custody or visitation parent access disputes.
22       In the event that the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the family
23       law case manager shall make recommendations to the court. after at-
24       tempting to receive the input of both parties and considering other factors.
25             Sec.  2. K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 23-1002 is hereby amended to read as
26       follows: 23-1002. (a) The court may order family law case management,
27       when appropriate pursuant to this section, of any contested issue of child
28       custody or visitation parent access at any time, upon the motion of a party
29       or on the court's own motion. A hearing officer in a proceeding pursuant
30       to K.S.A. 23-701, and amendments thereto, may order case management,
31       if appropriate, of a contested issue of child visitation parent access in such
32       a proceeding.
33             (b) In addition to issues regarding child custody and parent access,
34       the family law case manager may review child related financial issues,
35       including child support, by consent of the parties or attorneys of record
36       for the parties. The family law case manager, upon review of the financial
37       circumstances of the case, may provide a recommendation to the court
38       and the parties regarding settlement of the financial issues.
39             (c) Cases in which family law case management is appropriate shall
40       include one or more of the following circumstances:
41             (1) Private or public neutral dispute resolution services have been
42       tried and failed to resolve the disputes;
43             (2) other neutral services have been determined to be inappropriate

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  1       for the family;
  2             (3) repetitive continuous conflict occurs within the family, as evi-
  3       denced by the parties filing at least two motions in a six-month period for
  4       enforcement, modification or change of visitation or custody which are
  5       denied by the court repetitive court actions; or
  6             (4) a parent exhibits diminished capacity to parent.
  7             (c) (d) If the court or hearing officer orders family law case manage-
  8       ment under subsection (a), the court or hearing officer shall appoint a
  9       family law case manager, taking into consideration the following:
10             (1) An agreement by the parties to have a specific family law case
11       manager appointed by the court or hearing officer;
12             (2) the financial circumstances of the parties and the costs assessed
13       by the family law case manager;
14             (3) the family law case manager's knowledge of (A) the Kansas ju-
15       dicial system and the procedure used in domestic relations cases, (B)
16       other resources in the community to which parties can be referred for
17       assistance, (C) child development, (D) clinical issues relating to children,
18       (E) the effects of divorce on children and (F) the psychology of families;
19       and
20             (4) the family law case manager's training and experience in the pro-
21       cess and techniques of alternative dispute resolution and family law case
22       management.
23             (d) (e) To qualify as an appointed family law case manager, an indi-
24       vidual shall meet two of the following qualifications:
25             (1) Be qualified to conduct mediation a mediator approved by the
26       Kansas supreme court;
27             (2) have experience as a mediator or arbitrator;
28             (3) have experience in making recommendations to the court as a
29       special master, mental health professional or dispute resolution counselor;
30       or
31             (4) attend a workshop, approved by the district court in which the
32       case is filed, on case management; and
33             (5) participate in continuing education regarding family law case
34       management issues as approved by the court.
35             Sec.  3. K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 23-1003 is hereby amended to read as
36       follows: 23-1003. (a) A family law case manager appointed under K.S.A.
37       1997 1998 Supp. 23-1002, and amendments thereto, shall:
38             (1) Meet with the parties, children and other individuals when
39       deemed appropriate;
40             (2) gather have information necessary made available to assist the
41       parties in reaching an agreement or making recommendations, including
42       medical, psychological, education and court records, including child cus-
43       tody investigations and child custody psychological evaluations, of the

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  1       parties and children;
  2             (3) report to the court as directed by court order;
  3             (4) keep a record by date and topic of all contacts with the parties in
  4       the case. When requested, this record shall be made available to the court
  5       in total or summary form without the express consent of the parties and
  6       shall not be considered a medical or psychological record for purposes of
  7       confidentiality;
  8             (5) notify the court when a party fails to meet the financial obligations
  9       of the case management process;
10             (6) file for collection of costs as necessary. The court shall may assist
11       in such filing or collection efforts, or both and may grant judgments;
12             (7) be authorized by the court to report threats, imminent danger,
13       suspected child abuse, fear of abduction and suspected or actual harm to
14       any party or child involved in family law case management either directly
15       to the court and to other authorities, or both. Such action shall be followed
16       by a written summary within five business days of the initial filing of such
17       report which shall be sent to the judge or the judge's designee and in-
18       cluded in the court file; and
19             (8) directly contact the court with any other information the family
20       law case manager determines that the court should know.
21             (b) A family law case manager appointed under K.S.A. 1997 1998
22       Supp. 23-1002, and amendments thereto, may withdraw at any time fol-
23       lowing the initial order. Sufficient reasons for withdrawal may include,
24       but not be limited to, the following:
25             (1) Loss of neutrality which prevents objectivity;
26             (2) nonpayment by a party;
27             (3) lack of cooperation by a party;
28             (4) threat to a party;
29             (5) retirement or case load reduction by a family law case manager;
30       or
31             (6) any other reason which shall be stated to the court in writing and
32       considered adequate and sufficient reason by the court.
33             (c) A disputant party may request reassignment of a family law case
34       manager by filing a motion with the court. The court shall consider such
35       requests upon review. Repeated requests may raise a presumption of lack
36       of parental cooperation and the court may consider sanctions against the
37       uncooperative parent or parents.
38             (d)  (1) If parties have been ordered by the court to attempt to settle
39       the party's disputes with the assistance of a family law case manager, and
40       are unable to settle such disputes, the parties are to follow the recom-
41       mendation or recommendations of the family law case manager as or-
42       dered by the court.
43             (2)  (A) When a family law case manager is forced to make makes

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  1       recommendations for the parties, such recommendations shall be noted
  2       in writing as soon as possible and may be accompanied by supporting
  3       information. Such recommendation shall be reported to the court with
  4       copies to the parties and the attorneys of record for each party within 10
  5       working days and the court shall be notified of the date that such parties
  6       and attorneys were notified. The parties and the attorneys of record for
  7       each party shall be notified of such recommendation prior to the filing of
  8       the recommendation and order with the court.
  9             (B) Along with the copy of the recommendation and supporting in-
10       formation, the family law case manager shall notify the party that if such
11       party disagrees with the recommendation, such party must file a motion
12       disputing the recommendation within 10 days of the date of the mailing
13       of the recommendation, as provided in subsection (d)(5).
14             (3) Agreements of the parties and recommendations of the family
15       law case manager which may concern temporary arrangements need not
16       be entered into the court record by the attorneys of record.
17             (4) Family law case managers shall be furnished a form for orders to
18       recommend such agreements to the court for the court's final order pur-
19       suant to local court rules and shall file the orders with the court upon
20       filing the recommendation. This order shall become a final order upon the
21       expiration of 10 days after filing unless a motion is filed by either party.
22             (5) Permanent issues such as designation of custody, primary resi-
23       dence or child support which are recommended by the case manager
24       shall be entered into the court record within 10 working days of receipt
25       of the recommendation. Should there be differing opinions as to the lan-
26       guage of the journal entry, the case manager shall review the proposed
27       journal entry and may recommend appropriate language to the court.
28             (6) (5) If a disputant party disagrees with a recommendation such
29       party may file a motion before the court for a review at which time an
30       order shall be made by the court. The case manager shall explain to the
31       court either by report or testimony the reasons for such recommendation
32       or recommendations. or the language of an order, such party must file a
33       motion within 10 days of the date of mailing of any recommendation.
34       Such recommendation or order shall thereafter be reviewed by the court
35       at which time an order shall be made by the court. The family law case
36       manager shall explain to the court, either by report or testimony on issues
37       regarding parent access or child-related financial matters, the reasons for
38       such recommendation or recommendations. Any party objecting to a rec-
39       ommendation regarding custody or primary residence shall be entitled to
40       an evidentiary hearing and the family law case manager may be required
41       to testify and be subject to cross-examination. In the event either party
42       files a motion, neither party shall be required to follow a recommendation
43       by a family law case manager until the matter is heard by the court.

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  1             (6) A family law case manager may seek emergency relief pursuant
  2       to K.S.A. 60-3105 and amendments thereto by filing a verified petition as
  3       required therein.
  4             (7) Costs of the procedure and professional time may be assessed to
  5       the party who objected to the recommendations in the journal entry or
  6       may shall be otherwise assessed by the court. Family law case manager
  7       fees in excess of the party's prior and established level of obligation gen-
  8       erally shall not be assessed to a party objecting to the family law case
  9       manager's recommendations regarding child custody issues unless the
10       court specifically finds that the objections of the party were frivolous and
11       without merit.
12             (e) The family law case management forms are subject to modification
13       by local court rule.  
14       Sec.  4. K.S.A. 1998 Supp. 23-1001, 23-1002 and 23-1003 are hereby
15       repealed.
16        Sec.  5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
17       publication in the statute book.