Legislation introduced in the House on Friday would protect child custody arrangements of deployed military service members.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), would prohibit a judge from considering certain military deployments in determining the best interest of the child. Also, if custody were temporarily transferred to another person during a service member’s deployment, arrangements would return to pre-deployment status upon his or her return.
Currently, courts use military deployments against service members when determining custody rights, said Thomas Crosson, a spokesman for Turner.
To qualify, military orders would have to prohibit the accompaniment of family members, such as on combat assignments, and be between 60 days and 18 months in length.
The bill, which was referred to the Veterans Affairs committee, would add a provision to the 2003 Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
The language has passed the House six times since 2008 but has gotten hung up in the Senate, Crosson said.
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