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Perils of military life: Laws, deployments and child custody

People who are serving in the military aren't always free to just jump on a plane or hop in the car to go to court proceedings or other important events. This can make it hard for people who are in the military to fight for custody of their children. With all of the military installations in Florida, it is important that people in Florida know about some of the special protections afforded to servicemembers while they are on active deployments.

In the case of child custody, a person who is on an active deployment is granted a 90-day window to appear for hearings under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This act is one that gives people on deployment the right to have civil proceedings halted temporarily while they are on a deployment. The act comes into play if the outcome of the proceeding could have a negative effect on the military member.

While this is a good start for those who are in the military, some lawmakers don't feel it is enough protection. The National Defense Authorization Act, which has passed the House is awaiting approval by the Senate, would increase the protections afforded to members of the military.

A provision in the act specifically addresses the issue of child custody and deployments. It would remove the possibility of anyone using current or future deployments as the basis of a decision made regarding child custody.

It is important for all military members to know their rights when it comes to child custody and deployments. A proper child care plan for deployments, as well as understanding the laws pertaining to your case might help to make the stress of going through child custody battles during your service to our country a little less stressful.

Source: Navy Times, "Custody case highlights a dilemma of deployment" Lance M. Bacon, Jul. 05, 2014

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