Connecticut State Representative Roberta Willis (D-64th District) testified last week before the Select Committee on Veteran’s Affairs in support of a bill she’s sponsoring to protect members of the armed service from losing their parental rights while they’re deployed.
HB 5395 is entitled “An Act Concerning Custody Orders For Deployed Members of the Armed Forces.”
The act precludes a custody or visitation order from being entered or modified while a parent is deployed, unless that parent agrees:
If a deploying parent is required to be separated from a child due to deployment or mobilization, a court shall not enter a final order of custody or visitation modifying a final order of custody or visitation … until ninety days after the deployment ends, unless such modification is agreed to by the deploying parent.
Also, the non-deployed parent is required to make the child available to the deployed parent:
A temporary court order modifying final orders of custody or visitation issued under this section shall require that: (1) The nondeploying parent make the child reasonably available to the deploying parent when the deploying parent has leave; (2) the nondeploying parent facilitate opportunities for telephonic, electronic mail, and other such contact between the deploying parent and the child during deployment; and (3) the deploying parent provide timely information regarding his or her leave schedule to the nondeploying parent. Changes in actual leave dates shall not be used by the nondeploying parent to prevent parent-child contact.
As reported by The Register Citizen (serving Litchfield County, Connecticut), Rep. Willis said that the bill was inspired when she heard of a female army sergeant who was deployed to Iraq when a temporary order was entered allowing her child to be in the care of the child’s father.
“Unfortunately, the father took the opportunity to use her deployment as a basis to modify custody of their five year old child,” Rep. Willis said. “Many states have prohibited a non-deployed person from using the fact of deployment as a basis of custody modification. Connecticut is not among them.”
To learn more about child custody rights in Connecticut, contact Connecticut divorce lawyer Lisa J. Cappalli, Esq.
The text and status of the bill can be found at:
The article is at: