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Sunday, February 1, 2015
According to Bill Sarno,
"The changes enacted last year as to how the state’s family courts operate appear to be just the first steps in reforming a system which some critics have described as incestuous, secretive and having greatly distressed some families, both financially and emotionally.
While much of the impetus for the changes initially came from the legislature, with Reps. Minnie Gonzalez and Edwin Vargas of Hartford leading the fight for passage of the reform bill, the state judicial branch now also indicates its increased willingness to improve and streamline how it treats family matters and is introducing several bills this session.
Gonzalez, who has campaigned for the system’s reform for five years, is also not done. She also is sponsoring new bills this year that call for additional continued changes in the system with Vargas as her co-sponsor. “I have submitted nine bills this session,” she said, which demonstrates her commitment to overhauling the current system.
According to Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, program manager of communications for the judiciary, the reforms called for in Public Act 14-3, the bill passed during last year’s legislative session, have already been implemented by the family court system as it pertains to them. The bill required, among other things, that the judiciary establish a code of conduct and a sliding fee schedule for attorneys for minor children (AMC) and guardians ad litem (GAL). The latter are individuals, often attorneys, who the courts appoint to protect the interests of minor children in custody cases, while the former focus on legal issues."
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