Not often publicized, there are few issues facing our military today that are more demoralizing than the sudden divorces that take place when they are overseas. This often results in a minimal amount of child custody, and the loss of their homes and other assets. Even more troubling, those serving in our military who are under a child custody order are left in a lurch when they are called to duty.
Arizona Senator, Kyrsten Sinema (D) wants to ensure that members of our military don’t suffer a loss of child custody just because they are called to duty overseas. While this makes perfect sense, many states have no such protections for our military service members and too often, their child custody orders and arrangements are permanently altered when they are least able to provide a defense against it. They lose a portion and even all of their child custody while they’re serving our country.
So, Senator Sinema did what any self-respecting United States legislator would do – she authored a bill to protect against such tragedy. The bill is SB 1283. SB 1283 will prohibit family courts from making final decisions on the child custody rights of parents until 90-days after a parent returns from deployment. Depending upon circumstances, the 90-days provided for in this Arizona child custody bill (SB1283) may not be enough time for a returning veteran to get a case in order – but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
The Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee unanimously endorsed the bill Tuesday, sending it to the floor by way of the Rules Committee.
From the article on the East Valley Tribune website:
Sinema, whose district includes the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center, said she received calls about deployed service members losing custody of children or having their custody rights altered while on deployment.
Ninety days would allow a parent who’s returning from deployment to get settled, find an attorney and go to court, she said.
“The bill is designed to ensure that individuals who serve in active duty in our military are not forced to make choices between serving their country and taking care of their families,” Sinema said.
Sinema’s bill would also prohibit courts from considering a parent’s absence due to a deployment as a sole deciding factor for changes in custody.
34 states currently have laws dealing with child custody or other parenting arrangement issues arising from military service members being deployed to active duty.
To see more details, Click Here: SB 1283, Child Custody, Military Families
Call your representatives and please urge them to support passage of this bill into law.