When a military service member returns from a deployment, there is generally a period of adjustment as he or she works to reacclimate to a world that is usually quite different than the one he or she left. Unfortunately, Raleigh families do not always survive the time apart or the readjustment period that follows it, and with inconsistent divorce and custody laws, the returning service member may end up spending significant time and money in family court.
But that may no longer be the case, if North Carolina and the other U.S. states adopt the recommendations of the Uniform Law Commission, an influential group of 350 attorneys from every state that develops model legislation in lacking areas of the law. One such deficiency that has been addressed by the commission is the inconsistencies of current military child custody laws.
For example, under the current patchwork of custody laws, parents and state family courts across the country have grappled with issues regarding jurisdiction, grandparent and third-party custody, and temporary custody during and after deployments. But those issues may soon be a mere memory. The commission recently approved a piece of legislation called the Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act, a set of uniform codes and laws that aims to make the custody process less confusing and complicated.
The act will not automatically become law, but must be adopted and implemented by state lawmakers in order to take effect. It remains to be seen whether the North Carolina legislature will take that step.
Source: Associated Press, "US panel: Improve child custody rules for military," Kristin M. Hall, July 19, 2012
At our Raleigh family law firm, we help our clients deal with a variety of issues related to military service and family law. To learn more, please visit our divorce page.