Saturday, May 30, 2015

Custody Bills Protect Soldiers

Yesterday, Governor Snyder signed Senate Bill 09 and tied barred House Bills 4071 and 4482 which provide protections for active service members involved in family court child custody proceedings.  The Senate bill stays custody proceedings during a service member's deployment while the House bills provide similar protection relative to court-ordered parenting time.

The new legislation simply amends the Child Custody Act, an oft-amended piece of legislation. The amendments provide service members protection in the form of a stay of proceedings until the period of deployment ends.

In order for the service member to avail himself or herself of the protections of the new laws, that service member must request the stay from the family court. In cases of emergency, a family court judge would still have the power to modify the custody or parenting time of a minor child.

These bills received unanimous support in both legislative chambers, perhaps due to the case of an active duty father who temporarily lost custody of his child while on a 6-month submarine deployment for the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Ocean.

If you or a family member are active duty military and need assistance for a family law matter, contact our law firm for a free consult. We provide fee discounts for active military.

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