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Legislative Year: 2023 Change

Bill Detail: SB23-194

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Title Improve Domestic Relations Judicial Proceedings
Status Senate Committee on Judiciary Postpone Indefinitely (04/26/2023)
Bill Subjects
  • Courts & Judicial
  • Human Services
House Sponsors J. Amabile (D)
J. Joseph (D)
Senate Sponsors C. Hansen (D)
House Committee
Senate Committee Judiciary
Date Introduced 03/16/2023

The bill establishes a domestic relations judicial training advisory
committee (advisory committee) to develop a domestic relations training
program (training program) for judges, magistrates, and court personnel
to improve decision-making in domestic relations cases. In carrying out
its duties, the advisory committee shall seek input from judges and
magistrates from each judicial district, the state court administrator's
office, and other stakeholders. The advisory committee is repealed
September 1, 2027, and is subject to a sunset review prior to its repeal.
The training program must satisfy training standards established
by the chief justice of the Colorado supreme court (chief justice). The
state court administrator must begin providing the training program no
later than July 1, 2024, and may contract with a third party to provide the
training. The training program must include both initial training and
continuing training. The bill requires the general assembly to fund
development of the training program and requires the judicial department
to include in its annual budget request an amount necessary to ensure that
judicial officers who hear domestic relations cases and domestic relations
court personnel may attend the training program at no cost.
The bill requires the advisory committee to collaborate with the
chief justice and state court administrator on the development of the
training standards. If the chief justice does not establish training standards
by November 30, 2023, the advisory committee establishes the standards.
The state court administrator shall coordinate with the advisory
committee to a establish an ongoing review process to measure outcomes
of the training program. The bill requires the state court administrator to
study strategies for increasing opportunities for judicial officers to attend
domestic relations judicial training.
The general assembly encourages the chief justice and the chief
judges of each judicial district to establish dedicated domestic relations
dockets in each district and to assign to those dockets judges, magistrates,
and court personnel who have completed the training program. The
general assembly further encourages each judicial district nominating
commission and the governor, when nominating and appointing
replacements for domestic relations judges, to consider candidates who
have substantial experience in domestic relations litigation, have attended
the domestic relations program as a private attorney, and who
demonstrate willingness to serve on a domestic relations docket.
Under existing law, a child or youth who has special needs that
create a barrier to the child or youth's adoption is eligible for adoption
benefits. To be eligible for adoption benefits, the child or youth must be
legally available for adoption. The bill expands this requirement to make
a child or youth eligible for adoption benefits if the child or youth has
been legally available for adoption within 90 days before the application
for the benefits.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (06/20/2023) (most recent)  
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