New Deployed Parents Act to Help Military Service Members with Child Custody and Visitation Issues

Military DivorceMembers of the military who have concerns about child custody and child visitation rights (often overlooked when service members are deployed during a divorce or family dispute)  recently moved closer to simplification and standardization of these rights.

The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (more commonly known as the Uniform Law Commission) met in Nashville, TN on July 18 and gave final approval to the Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act, according to the Associated Press.

The Commission is made up of 350 attorneys appointed by their respective state governments.  They have been drafting and recommending consistent state laws for more than a century and more recently crafted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, currently used in 49 states.

State legislation designed to protect service members is currently a patchwork of laws differing from one state to another.  Some of the issues which service members face include:

1. How to determine jurisdiction when a military member is assigned to a base in another state.

2. Whether a stepparent or grandparent can have visitation rights when a parent is deployed.

3. Whether a temporary custody arrangement should be made permanent when a parent returns from assignment.

The commission maintains that the mere absence of a military parent from a state, when a move to another state or area is often involuntary, should not be used to deprive that person of jurisdiction.

Federal legislation has also been recently introduced in some of these areas, but the Uniform Law Commission views divorce law as part of family law and consequently as a states’ rights issue.

Once the Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act is approved, commission members will start pushing for it to be introduced in state legislatures starting in 2013.

In addition to child support and visitation, other domestic issues often arise in a military divorce including military pensions and allowances, property division, and rights under the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act which covers service members in such matters as the suspension of judicial proceedings.

With more than 40 years of experience in handling dissolution and divorce matters, the lawyers at Slater & Zurz, LLP understand the complex nature of military divorce issues, regardless of where the military person is stationed.  We can provide our clients with insight into those matters which may be unique to a divorce in which one or both parties  belong to a branch of the military. Please contact the Ohio law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP for a free consultation by calling 1-800-297-9191 or sending a Blog Message to set up a time to talk with with an attorney that will protect your interests.

To find out more information on military divorces, visit

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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