Saturday, May 19, 2007
The House passed House Bill 1634 this week that will better protect the parental rights of military members called to active duty or deployed away from their homes. The bill crafted by Rep. Melanie Wade Goodwin, a family lawyer, and Rep. Grier Martin, an Army reservist who has served in the Middle East, allows service members who are called to duty to have expedited custody hearings. It also allows for them to speak with a judge by phone during a hearing if they were deployed on short notice. Any custody order issued as a result of a deployment expires within 10 days of the soldier's return, under the new law. It also forbids one parent from mentioning the deployment as a reason to modify or change custody arrangements. The bill is yet another away the House is trying to make our state friendly to those military members who protect us. It now goes to the Senate.