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New Bill Protects Custody Rights for Military Parents, Says Denver Child Custody Attorney

Sep 19, 2012

Denver, CO (Law Firm Newswire) September 18, 2012 – California’s Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a bill protecting custody rights for military parents currently deployed.

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Bill AB 1807 was crafted to address, and protect, the rights of deployed military parents to ensure that the child custody agreement in place before they were deployed for service, will be reinstated post-deployment.

“The bill was proposed to make the process routine and reduce trauma, as much as possible for all family members,” said Bill Thode, a Denver child custody attorney. “When a divorced couple shares custody and one member is deployed, full custody is transferred to the non-deployed parent. Then, when the deployed parent returns, there can be a custody dispute. This bill resumes the pre-deployment agreement for child custody.”

Bill AB 1807 says, in part, that one parent’s “absence, relocation or failure to comply with custody and visitation orders is not, by itself, sufficient to justify modifying a custody or visitation order if the party’s absence, relocation, or failure is due to his or her activation to military service, mobilization in support of combat or other military operation or military deployment,” added Thode.

The bill authorizes a court to issue a temporary custody and visitation order during the deployment, with the presumption that when the parent returns, custody will revert back to the previous agreement, unless circumstances have changed, and the reversion is deemed to not be in the best interest of the child.

“There are times when custody has to be reevaluated,” explained Thode. “But this bill prohibits the court from ordering a routine child custody evaluation as part of its review of a temporary order, unless the party opposing reversion can make a showing that reversion is not in the child or children’s best interest.”

A majority of states have implemented numerous laws to protect service members in child visitation and custody cases, but as of now, there is no uniform nationwide rule. Courts have struggled with how to determine proper jurisdiction when a military parent is assigned out of state, what visitation rights can be modified for extended family, and when to return to previous custody arrangements post-deployment.

The Uniform Law Commission, a national legal panel of some 350 attorneys working together to standardize state laws, gave final approval last month to the Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act, a set of uniform “best practice” codes that they hope will be adopted by state legislatures.

To contact a Denver divorce attorney, Denver child custody lawyer, or a Denver family lawyer, visit http://www.thodelaw.com or call (303) 330-0425.

Thode Law Firm, P.C.
201 Steele Street, Suite 201
Denver, CO 80206
Call: (303) 330-0425

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