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Enrolled Version - Final Version Senate Bill 405 History

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SB405 SUB1 enr
ENROLLED

COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

Senate Bill No. 405

(Senators Kessler, Unger, Minard and White, original sponsors)

____________

[Passed April 8, 2009; in effect ninety days from passage.]

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AN ACT to amend and reenact §48-10-401 and §48-10-402 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to circuit and family court jurisdiction over petitions for grandparent visitation; and establishing exclusive family court jurisdiction over such petitions or motions except when the child or children with whom visitation is sought are the subject or subjects of a pending abuse or neglect petition in the circuit court.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §48-10-401 and §48-10-402 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 10. GRANDPARENT VISITATION.
§48-10-401. Motion for grandparent visitation when action for divorce, custody, legal separation, annulment or establishment of paternity is pending.

(a) The provisions of this section apply to any pending actions for divorce, custody, legal separation, annulment or establishment of paternity.
(b) After the commencement of the action, a grandparent seeking visitation with his or her grandchild may, by motion, apply to the family court for an order granting visitation. A grandparent moving for an order of visitation will not be afforded party status, but may be called as a witness by the court, and will be subject to cross-examination by the parties.
(c) Motions or petitions for grandparent visitation shall be filed and heard in the family court except when an abuse or neglect proceeding involving the child or children is pending before the circuit court, in which case the motion or petition shall be filed and heard in the circuit court.
§48-10-402. Petition for grandparent visitation when action for divorce, custody, legal separation, annulment or establishment of paternity is not pending.

(a) The provisions of this section apply when no proceeding for divorce, custody, legal separation, annulment or establishment of paternity is pending.
(b) A grandparent may petition the family court for an order granting visitation with his or her grandchild, regardless of whether the parents of the child are married. If the grandparent filed a motion for visitation in a previous proceeding for divorce, custody, legal separation, annulment or establishment of paternity, and a decree or final order has issued in that earlier action, the grandparent may petition for visitation if the circumstances have materially changed since the entry of the earlier order or decree.
(c) When a petition under this section is filed, the matter shall be styled "In re grandparent visitation of [petitioner's(s') name(s)]".
(d) Motions or petitions for grandparent visitation shall be filed and heard in the family court except when an abuse or neglect proceeding involving the child or children is pending before the circuit court, in which case the motion or petition shall be filed and heard in the circuit court.
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