In our earlier post titled, Deployed Military Parents and Adverse Child Custody Impact, we detail several state legislatures introducing bills and passing laws to protect deployed military parents who are divorced from suffering unintended, but very real, child custody arrangement consequences.

Deployed military parents were suffering loss of child custody upon return from battle.  Deployed military parents were returning from war with massive child support arrearages, destroyed credit, loss of licenses, assets, bank accounts – all of which was out of their control as they were serving our country.  Unfortunately, our country’s family court system and law enforcement agencies wouldn’t give careful consideration to the circumstances that impacted the cases before them.  At least, not without new laws to keep them at bay.

Such is the case in Iowa, the latest in a host of states moving swiftly to protect the parenting interests of deployed military parents.  From the Radio Iowa website article:  Bill Expands Child Custody Provisions for Deployed Soldiers:

The Iowa House has passed a bill that would help divorced soldiers who’re called to active duty and who share custody of their kids with the other parent. Representative Jeremy Taylor says if the bill becomes law, a soldier who has had joint physical custody of their children will be able to designate a relative to step in and provide the day-to-day care of the kids during the deployment.

A recent change in Iowa child custody laws allows soldiers who have visitation rights turn that time with their kids over to a relative while they’re away on active duty.  This proposal takes that update to the Iowa child custody statutes up a notch.

Representative Jeremy Taylor is a National Guardsman, serving in a unit based in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  It would seem he has a closer look at soldiers who share custody of their kids and the issues that they face when they’re deployed overseas. Taylor’s initiative would allow parenting time with the kids to be turned over to a relative when the soldier goes away on active duty.

“And so this is, hopefully, going to give some immediate relief to those individuals who want to have a connection to their children through their immediate family members,” Taylor says. “And it’s really in the best interests of those children.” Under the rules written in the bill, a soldier with joint-custody of their kids would have file a petition with the court before he or she is deployed, specifying which relative they want to care for the kids in their absence.

Family court judges would still have final authority over the arrangement, ensuring that there are no issues of parental fitness or other extenuating circumstances that would be detrimental to the placement of the children with relatives.

We urge you to find out who your state legislators are and place a phone call or email today in support of this bill protecting the Iowa military personnel from negative child custody consequences associated with being deployed by clicking here:  Find Your Iowa State Legislator