Parents who are in the military may risk losing custody of their children due to being deployed. Often the parent who is not in the military is granted temporary custody while the deployed parent is away. Courts often then find that it is in the child's best interest to make the temporary arrangement permanent. The service duties required of the military parent make it difficult for them to fight a child custody battle. They are, in effect, penalized for their service.
Military families in Rhode Island will be interested to learn that state Rep. Raymond E. Gallison has sponsored a new law that will help parents who are members of the military keep custody of their children. The bill created a law that will expedite child custody hearings if one of the parents is in the military and is about to be deployed.
The purpose of the law is to prevent parents from losing custody rights because they are deployed. Under the law either parent can request the court to expedite a hearing that would establish temporary custody rights and parent child contact before deployment occurs.
The state Rep. was praised by Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, for his sponsorship of the new law, as well as another law that is intended to help military members vote when they are deployed.
The same state Rep. also sponsored another law this year that allows children who are transferred from one school to another because of a family members' military transfer to start in the same grade they were at in their previous school.
Source: Bristol-Warren Patch, "Defense Department Praises Gallison," Patrick Luce, Sept. 24, 2012