Email to a friend

Defense Bill Recognizes Custodial Rights of Military Parents

Defense Bill Recognizes Custodial Rights of Military Parents

January 31, 2008 – Washington, DC – A bill signed into effect this week by President Bush provides protection for child custody arrangements of deployed military parents. Its implementation reaffirms the rights of military parents and acknowledges the government’s support of these families.

The 2008 Defense Authorization Bill amends the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to prohibit courts from permanently modifying the custody arrangement for a child that existed upon the date of the service member’s deployment. While temporary arrangements may be made for the period of deployment, no court may consider the absence of the service member by reason of that deployment in determining the best interest of the child.

“With more of our service men and women deploying for their second or third tours overseas, this act provides the protection and government backing necessary for them to focus on the task at hand,” said Greg T. Rinckey, a former Army JAG Attorney who concentrates his practice in military and family law at Tully Rinckey PLLC. “The amendment could mark a significant turning point in the cases involving military personnel who have lost their children as a result of serving our country.”

One such case involves Tanya Towne, a member of the New York Army National Guard who was stripped of custody of her son after deploying to Iraq in 2004.

“While the bill may not affect the outcome of Ms. Towne’s case, the attention which she and others with cases like hers have generated caused a positive rippling effect, resulting in the inclusion of this amendment,” said Rinckey. “Future military parents who face deployment will be able to rest easy knowing their children will not be taken away because of their service.”


Attorney Locator

Find an attorney near you.
Click below.

Contact Us

  • Foreign Adoptions: A How-To Guide

    Each year, thousands of American families seek to adopt children from foreign countries to give them a new life on our shores. However, given the uncertainties surrounding immigration laws today, some prospective parents are concerned about whether foreign adoptions will …

  • Certification matters for disabled vets

    For Anthony Kuhn, a Buffalo-based partner at Tully Rinckey PLLC, helping disabled veteran business owners is a way to give back. After all, he can relate. “I’m a disabled combat veteran,” Kuhn said, adding that he’s been in the Army for …

Read All

  • Free Download: EEOC 2016 Update White Paper

    You Could Be Sharing Confidential Info and Not Even Know It Tully Rinckey’s white paper details the Equal Employment Opportunity’s (“EEOC”) nationwide change to procedure that has gone largely unnoticed. The new procedure applies to Charges filed on or after …

Read All

Read All

Read All