Brave men and women have devoted their life to serving our country in the U.S. military. They are deployed to stations all over the world for months at a time, leaving behind those they love most. The pain is bad enough for military families that are intact. Single parents that serve our country have yet another obstacle. Serving in our military has caused some to lose legal rights to their children.
Family law varies from state to state. There is no hard and fast rule on the matter. Some states do favor the deployed parent. But others cut them out completely. Some states allow the serviceman or woman to designate a custodian over the child while they are deployed. Others give the child to the local parent – even without the deployed parent’s consent. There have even been cases where a parent was deployed only to return to find that the other parent had moved to a different state with different laws.
Enter the Uniform Law Commission (ULC). The ULC is a panel of approximately 350 attorneys representing all 50 states. Their purpose is to provide "states with non-partisan, well-conceived and well-drafted legislation that brings clarity and stability to critical areas of state statutory law." They have recently drafted the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act. One of its goals is to prevent a parent’s absence from the state to be used against him or her if the absence is due to military service
If this act is passed, it would be a great benefit to the members of our military. But it is not the law of land yet. For more information about The Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act or the laws that govern your state, contact a family law attorney.