Law may change child custody system for those in military

One can only imagine the horror associated with coming home from active military service and being unable to find one's own children. Shockingly, this has happened to more than one member of the U.S. military (perhaps, some in Maryland) when child custody orders were changed during their active duty service and they were unable to be present in court. New legislation known as HB 4071 is designed to protect military service members when custody disputes arise while they are overseas.

Senator Rick Jones introduced HB 4071. Many say it is a positive step toward protecting parental rights of active service military members. The law would prevent judges from making any changes to existing court orders or child custody agreements while a parent is deployed in the military.

The senator proposed the bill after a naval petty officer lost custody of his 6-year-old daughter while he was serving on a submarine. He was also arrested for not showing up to a custody hearing while he was deployed. Thankfully, arrest orders were later canceled.

The court is usually of the opinion that children fare better after divorce when provided ample amounts of time with both parents. Unless extenuating circumstances suggest this would not be in a child's best interests, it is typically a key goal when parenting and child custody decisions are made. Any member of the military or other parent in Maryland facing problems related to such issues may seek guidance from a family law attorney to determine what may be the way to proceed to achieve a fair and amicable solution.

Source: detroitnews.com, "How to keep military families together", Ned Holstein, Nov. 26, 2016