Controversial Military Child Custody Bill Passes House Vote
Recently the House of Representatives passed the Service member Family Protection Act which is aimed at protecting the child custody of military parents while deployed. Many times military deployment or the possibility of deployment can be used against a soldier in a child custody case.
This Bill is highly criticized because if it were to pass, military custody cases could be heard by federal courts. Many oppose this action because it would make the legal cost more expensive and custody battles would be heard by judges that are not experienced in family law.
Bills that protect child custody of military parents have already been passed at the state level in 40 states including Colorado. The state legislation focuses on judges not using a soldier’s deployment or possibility of deployment as the sole factor in determining custody. Colorado recently passed the Deployed Parents Act which in addition to protecting the custody rights of service members, it also recognizes other relationships in the child’s life. Now a service member can delegate someone with a close relationship to the child to assume parenting time with the child while they are deployed.
Critics of the Servicemember Family Protection Act believe that the new state legislations such as the Deployed Parents Act are much more appropriate to protect our military parents because it suits the same purposes as the Servicemember Family Protection Act but does not involve federal courts.