Quite a few deployed military service members also are fighting child custody battles. But while extended tours of duty undoubtedly make it difficult for custodial parents, judges often award custody to the other parent just because of their military obligations, Stars and Stripes reported.
The Dept. of Defense and various state and federal lawmakers hope to change laws they say unfairly discriminate against soldiers seeking custody.
Illinois is one of 33 states that provide additional protections, according to information from the DOD cited by Stars and Stripes. An Illinois family lawyer could better explain how Illinois law treats child custody cases with respect to deployed parents.
Kentucky Army National Guard soldier and mother Capt. Eva Slusher, highlighted in the article, regained custody of her daughter after a judge first ruled that her military service made her ex-husband more suitable. After her own two-year custody battle, she is pushing for a federal law that would help other similarly situated parents:
"It's not about me anymore. I can't sit back and watch it happen."
Military brass and lawmakers agree that mothers and fathers called to active duty need assurances that military service won't hurt their efforts at seeking custody of children. But the question is whether the state or federal government, or both, should enact such protections.
Chicago family law attorneys well-versed in the special challenges, rights and procedures of deployed servicemembers can help you ensure that your child's custody determination is based on relevant facts. The presiding family court judge has a lot of leeway in such matters.
It's a tough issue, though, especially when one considers the plight of a child whose mom or dad is in a war zone thousands of miles away for six months at a time or more.
Report on Child Custody Litigation Involving Service of Members of the Armed Forces (PDF, US Dept. of Defense)
Contact an Illinois Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
Military Divorces Up Again (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life Blog)