(HB 1218)

Task force to study education for
divorcing parents, visitation and custody matters.

         ENTITLED, An Act to  establish a task force to study education for divorcing parents and visitation and custody matters.


     Section  1.  There is established the Task Force to Study Education for Divorcing Parents and Visitation and Custody Matters. The task force shall consist of seventeen members. Five members shall be appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, five members shall be appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, four members shall be appointed by the Governor, and three members shall be appointed by the Chief Justice. Not all members appointed by each appointive power may belong to the same political party. The initial appointments shall be made no later than sixty days after the effective date of this Act. If there is a vacancy on the task force, the vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. The majority of the appointments shall include legislators. The appointments shall also include a member who is a behavioral health care expert, divorced parent, divorce mediator, attorney, a member of the South Dakota Council of Mental Health Centers, and a representative of the Department of Social Services.

     Section  2.  The task force shall be under the supervision of the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council and staffed and funded as an interim legislative committee. The executive board shall appoint the chair and vice chair of the task force who shall be members of the Legislature.

     Section  3.  The task force shall study South Dakota's delivery of parent education for divorcing parents with minor children, visitation and custody issues, and shall explore best practice models of evidence-based curriculums, court-required education, and visitation referees. The task force shall make recommendations to improve divorce outcomes for children and families and shall submit its final report to the Governor, Legislature, and Chief Justice no later than June 30, 2007.

     Signed February 28, 2006