MI: Dad Loses Agreed Sole Custody to Court-Ordered Joint Custody While Deployed

Yet another sensationally politicized case of a custody award rendered while one parent is deployed in the military …

With each new case, the stay features of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act are highlighted against a family court judge’s present ruling regarding a child that the court can’t “stay”.

This time, the court apparently ignored the mother’s letter allegedly “giving the father sole custody”. Apparently relying on the letter, the father left his son in the care of the boy’s paternal grandmother during his deployment.

In the father’s absence during his deployment, the court awarded the boy’s mother joint custody (not sole custody). The court also ruled that the boy should live with his biological mother during his father’s deployment, rather than his grandmother.

It is difficult to see any clear error or prejudice to the deployed parent in those rulings, under current law, based on the facts provided.

Presumably, the father can always seek a modification of custody and/or timesharing when he concludes active service and returns home.

Read more in this 49 ABC (Topeka, KS) TV News article: U.S. Marine loses custody of child while serving in Iraq.