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PUBLIC LAWS OF MAINE
First Special Session of the 118th

CHAPTER 187
H.P. 776 - L.D. 1053

An Act to Implement the Recommendations of the Family Law Advisory Commission Concerning Parental Rights and Responsibilities

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

     Sec. 1. 19-A MRSA 1501, sub-5, as enacted by PL 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 and affected by Pt. E, 2, is amended to read:

     5. Shared parental rights and responsibilities. "Shared parental rights and responsibilities" means that most or all aspects of a child's welfare remain the joint responsibility and right of both parents, so that both parents retain equal parental rights and responsibilities, and both parents confer and make joint decisions regarding the child's welfare. Matters pertaining to the child's welfare include, but are not limited to, education, religious upbringing, medical, dental and mental health care, travel arrangements, child care arrangements and residence. Parents who share parental rights and responsibilities shall keep one another informed of any major changes affecting the child's welfare and shall consult in advance to the extent practicable on decisions related to the child's welfare.

     Sec. 2. 19-A MRSA 1653, sub-2, D, as enacted by PL 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 and affected by Pt. E, 2, is amended to read:

     Sec. 3. 19-A MRSA 1653, sub-3, as enacted by PL 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 and affected by Pt. E, 2, is amended to read:

     3. Best interest of child. The court, in making an award of parental rights and responsibilities with respect to a child, shall apply the standard of the best interest of the child. In making decisions regarding primary the child's residence and parent-child contact, the court shall consider as primary the safety and well-being of the child. In applying this standard, the court shall consider the following factors:

     Sec. 4. 19-A MRSA 4007, sub-1, G, as enacted by PL 1995, c. 694, Pt. B, 2 and affected by Pt. E, 2, is amended to read:

     Sec. 5. Effective date. This Act takes effect October 1, 1997.

Effective October 1, 1997.

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