Deployed Parent’s Rights Versus: Other Parent or Child?

Federal law enables deployed soldiers to put most civil proceedings against them on hold while they are serving their country.

But practically since the beginning of the war in Iraq, soldiers (and their advocates) have been speaking out against family courts rendering child custody modification decisions while they are away on deployment and unable to participate in the proceedings.

Read more in this Associated Press article in the Roanoke Times: Forced to fight battles on both fronts and this Newday article: Wartime Custody Deals Would Be Protected.

Both articles focus on the admittedly important parental rights of the deployed parent.

However, it is unrealistic to deny that there is any impact on the innocent children whose lives are uprooted by their parent’s deployment. Or that the children’s rights (or best interests) may support the children remaining with the other parent – even after the previously deployed parent returns.

Family court proceedings are not just like other civil court proceedings. And children are not the same as a car loan or apartment lease.

The policy and human considerations are just more complex.