Ft. Lauderdale, FL- The new defense bill, which goes to President Obama’s desk to be signed this week, will protect our military members from losing custody of their children while they are on deployment.
Representative Mike Turner (R.-OH) worked with Kentucky guardsman, Eva Slusher, for several years to get a provision added to the recent defense authorization act that would forbid judges from changing child custody arrangements when one of the interested parties is away on deployment, the Army Times reported.
In 2004, Slusher was on a stateside deployment when a judge changed the terms of her child custody arrangement. She found that when she returned home that she had lost custody of her daughter after a judge cited her present and future obligations to the military, according to the Army Times.
Slusher challenged the custody order and took her case all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court. After two years of fighting, Slusher eventually prevailed and won back custody of her daughter, but she wasn’t done. She reached out to lawmakers and worked to ensure other military members don’t face the same battle.
Slusher said, according to the Military Times, “I’m not looking to be hailed as a hero because I served my country. I’m looking for not being penalized for military service. A judge now can’t say that the military lifestyle isn’t conducive to raising children.”
Under the new rules, state judges are forbidden to make any changes to child custody arrangements while a troop is deployed. It also requires that child custody arrangement stay the same upon their return. Judges are allowed to make exceptions if the best interest of the child is in jeopardy by allowing a child custody arrangement to stand.
Any divorce attorney will tell you that child custody is one of the most difficult issues a couple must grapple with when they decide to go their separate ways. There are a number of child custody arrangements a couple can choose for their children.
Joint custody is the most common arrangement and though to the best arrangement for the child. Both parents get to spend time with their child or children, but contentious issues can arise. Those issues center on when a parent can visit their child and who gets custody over the holidays. A couple is generally expected to come up with these compromises on their own, however that is not always as simple as it seems. If visitation has become a sticking point for a couple, a Ft. Lauderdale divorce attorney can help them resolve this issue with as little argument as possible.
When it comes to child custody, a divorce can take an ugly turn quickly and it isn’t uncommon for an estranged couple to lose sight of what is most important; the best interest of their child or children. A divorce attorney will do what they can to ensure your child’s best interest takes precedent in your divorce and a couple can come up an arrangement they both agree on. Or, at least, one they can live with.