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Possible changes in child custody for military parents

One of the primary disputes many divorced parents are faced with is child custody. Alaska parents who serve in the military may fear losing child custody or being found in contempt of court if they are on active duty. A state representative in another state has stepped up in an attempt to stop members of the military from losing out on child custody because of their service.

The state representative became inspired to push for this bill after learning about a case involving a military service member. Apparently, the serviceman was found to be in contempt when he did not appear for a custody hearing. He failed to attend because he was onboard a submarine at the time. The state representative is a helicopter pilot who is serving in the National Guard. He stated that he pushed for the bill because he believes that military parents should not lose their parental rights before a hearing is held involving both parents.

The bill was introduced during the last term, but it did not pass. If the bill is passed, military service members would be allowed to request delays in the child custody court process. The only time parents would not have this layer of protection is if the child is in imminent danger.

Child custody is determined by a number of factors, including the relationship the child has with each parent and the best interests of the child. It is likely that both parents want to spend equal time with their child and could possibly reach a child custody agreement by simply sitting down with a mediator to sort out any issues. However, settling issues without turning to litigation is not always possible for Alaska parents, and, when that happens, the family court system will review the relevant facts in regard to the best interests of the child.

Source: lansingstatejournal.com, "Barrett joins Jones on military custody protections", Justin A. Hinkley, Jan. 28, 2015

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