SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 6629





                        57th Legislature

                      2002 Regular Session


Passed by the Senate February 15, 2002

  YEAS 44   NAYS 3




President of the Senate


Passed by the House March 5, 2002

  YEAS 90   NAYS 7



I, Tony M. Cook, Secretary of the Senate of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is  SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 6629 as passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on the dates hereon set forth.




Speaker of the

      House of Representatives









Approved Place Style On Codes above, and Style Off Codes below.  





Governor of the State of Washington

                   Secretary of State

                  State of Washington



                    SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 6629



             Passed Legislature - 2002 Regular Session


State of Washington   57th Legislature        2002 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections (originally sponsored by Senators Sheahan, T. Sheldon, Jacobsen, Oke, Hargrove, Swecker, Rasmussen, Honeyford, Shin and Winsley)


READ FIRST TIME 02/08/2002.

Requiring the administrator for the courts to create a family law handbook.  

    AN ACT Relating to a family law handbook; amending RCW 2.56.030; adding a new section to chapter 2.56 RCW; and creating a new section.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature declares that:

    (1) Strong marital relationships result in stronger families, children, and ultimately, stronger communities and place less of a fiscal burden on the state; and

    (2) The state has a compelling interest in providing couples, applying for a marriage license, information with regard to marriage and, if contemplated, the effects of divorce.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 2.56.030 and 1997 c 41 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:

    The administrator for the courts shall, under the supervision and direction of the chief justice:

    (1) Examine the administrative methods and systems employed in the offices of the judges, clerks, stenographers, and employees of the courts and make recommendations, through the chief justice, for the improvement of the same;

    (2) Examine the state of the dockets of the courts and determine the need for assistance by any court;

    (3) Make recommendations to the chief justice relating to the assignment of judges where courts are in need of assistance and carry out the direction of the chief justice as to the assignments of judges to counties and districts where the courts are in need of assistance;

    (4) Collect and compile statistical and other data and make reports of the business transacted by the courts and transmit the same to the chief justice to the end that proper action may be taken in respect thereto;

    (5) Prepare and submit budget estimates of state appropriations necessary for the maintenance and operation of the judicial system and make recommendations in respect thereto;

    (6) Collect statistical and other data and make reports relating to the expenditure of public moneys, state and local, for the maintenance and operation of the judicial system and the offices connected therewith;

    (7) Obtain reports from clerks of courts in accordance with law or rules adopted by the supreme court of this state on cases and other judicial business in which action has been delayed beyond periods of time specified by law or rules of court and make report thereof to supreme court of this state;

    (8) Act as secretary of the judicial conference referred to in RCW 2.56.060;

    (9) Submit annually, as of February 1st, to the chief justice, a report of the activities of the administrator's office for the preceding calendar year including activities related to courthouse security;

    (10) Administer programs and standards for the training and education of judicial personnel;

    (11) Examine the need for new superior court and district judge positions under a weighted caseload analysis that takes into account the time required to hear all the cases in a particular court and the amount of time existing judges have available to hear cases in that court.  The results of the weighted caseload analysis shall be reviewed by the board for judicial administration which shall make recommendations to the legislature.  It is the intent of the legislature that weighted caseload analysis become the basis for creating additional district court positions, and recommendations should address that objective;

    (12) Provide staff to the judicial retirement account plan under chapter 2.14 RCW;

    (13) Attend to such other matters as may be assigned by the supreme court of this state;

    (14) Within available funds, develop a curriculum for a general understanding of child development, placement, and treatment resources, as well as specific legal skills and knowledge of relevant statutes including chapters 13.32A, 13.34, and 13.40 RCW, cases, court rules, interviewing skills, and special needs of the abused or neglected child.  This curriculum shall be completed and made available to all juvenile court judges, court personnel, and service providers and be updated yearly to reflect changes in statutes, court rules, or case law;

    (15) Develop, in consultation with the entities set forth in RCW 2.56.150(3), a comprehensive statewide curriculum for persons who act as guardians ad litem under Title 13 or 26 RCW.  The curriculum shall be made available July 1, 1997, and include specialty sections on child development, child sexual abuse, child physical abuse, child neglect, clinical and forensic investigative and interviewing techniques, family reconciliation and mediation services, and relevant statutory and legal requirements.  The curriculum shall be made available to all superior court judges, court personnel, and all persons who act as guardians ad litem;

    (16) Develop a curriculum for a general understanding of crimes of malicious harassment, as well as specific legal skills and knowledge of RCW 9A.36.080, relevant cases, court rules, and the special needs of malicious harassment victims.  This curriculum shall be made available to all superior court and court of appeals judges and to all justices of the supreme court;

    (17) Develop, in consultation with the criminal justice training commission and the commissions established under chapters 43.113, 43.115, and 43.117 RCW, a curriculum for a general understanding of ethnic and cultural diversity and its implications for working with youth of color and their families.  The curriculum shall be available to all superior court judges and court commissioners assigned to juvenile court, and other court personnel.  Ethnic and cultural diversity training shall be provided annually so as to incorporate cultural sensitivity and awareness into the daily operation of juvenile courts statewide;

    (18) Authorize the use of closed circuit television and other electronic equipment in judicial proceedings.  The administrator shall promulgate necessary standards and procedures and shall provide technical assistance to courts as required;

    (19) Develop a Washington family law handbook in accordance with section 3 of this act.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  A new section is added to chapter 2.56 RCW to read as follows:

    (1) The administrator for the courts will create a handbook explaining the sections of Washington law pertaining to the rights and responsibilities of marital partners to each other and to any children during a marriage and a dissolution of marriage.  The handbook may also be provided in videotape or other electronic form.

    (2) The handbook created under subsection (1) of this section will be provided by the county auditor when an individual files a marriage certificate under RCW 26.04.090.

    (3) The information contained in the handbook created under subsection (1) of this section will be reviewed and updated annually.  The handbook must contain the following information:

    (a) Information on prenuptial agreements as contracts and as a means of structuring financial arrangements and other aspects of the marital relationship;

    (b) Information on shared parental responsibility for children, including establishing a residential schedule for the child in the event of the dissolution of the marriage;

    (c) Information on notice requirements and standards for parental relocation;

    (d) Information on child support for minor children;

    (e) Information on property rights, including equitable distribution of assets and premarital and postmarital property rights;

    (f) Information on spousal maintenance;

    (g) Information on domestic violence, child abuse, and neglect, including penalties;

    (h) Information on the court process for dissolution;

    (i) Information on the effects of dissolution on children;

    (j) Information on community resources that are available to separating or divorcing persons and their children.


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