Section 5 of HB 369 is where the most substantial changes to Georgia law were made in the bill. It affected several existing Code sections and I will address each by reference to the statute it changed or added.
In OCGA section 19-9-7, the bill also added “parenting time” as an alternative to the term “visitation,” in the prior statute dealing with the impact of family violence on visitation. The restrcitions, such as supervised visitation, were in the prior version of the statute. The current versions reads as follows:
“(a) A judge may award visitation or parenting time to a parent who committed one or more acts involving family violence only if the judge finds that adequate provision for the safety of the child and the parent who is a victim of family violence can be made. In a visitation or parenting time order, a judge may:
(1) Order an exchange of a child to occur in a protected setting;
(2) Order visitation or parenting time supervised by another person or agency;
(3) Order the perpetrator of family violence to attend and complete, to the satisfaction of the judge, a certified family violence intervention program for perpetrators as defined in Article 1A of Chapter 13 of this title as a condition of the visitation or parenting time;
(4) Order the perpetrator of family violence to abstain from possession or consumption of alcohol, marijuana, or any Schedule I controlled substance listed in Code Section 16-13-25 during the visitation or parenting time and for 24 hours preceding the visitation or parenting time;
(5) Order the perpetrator of family violence to pay a fee to defray the costs of supervised visitation or parenting time;
(6) Prohibit overnight visitation or parenting time;
(7) Require a bond from the perpetrator of family violence for the return and safety of the child; and
(8) Impose any other condition that is deemed necessary to provide for the safety of the child, the victim of family violence, or another family or household member.
(b) Whether or not visitation or parenting time is allowed, the judge may order the address of the child and the victim of family violence to be kept confidential.
(c) The judge shall not order an adult who is a victim of family violence to attend joint counseling with the perpetrator of family violence as a condition of receiving custody of a child or as a condition of visitation or parenting time.
(d) If a judge allows a family or household member to supervise visitation or parenting time, the judge shall establish conditions to be followed during visitation or parenting time."