|The 26th Alaska State Legislature, 2009 - 2010|
Military Child Custody Reform Bill Enacted
|Thomas's and Huggins's HB 334 Protects Deployed Service Members|
Posted: June 4, 2010
(Eagle River) - Representative Bill Thomas, R-Haines, released the following statement today regarding the enactment of his and Senator Charlie Huggins's House Bill 334. The governor signed the bill into law this morning at a ceremony in Eagle River. HB 334, the top priority of the Joint Legislative Veterans Caucus, includes the following changes to equalize a deployed military member's standing in child custody and divorce proceedings: defining a military absence; assuring that military duties cannot be considered when determining child custody; allowing for expedited hearings, with some restrictions; granting the right of a deploying service member to designate visitation to another family member; allowing electronic testimony; and, placing limitations on temporary custody orders. The Act takes effect immediately.
Our soldiers should not have to fight a battle on two fronts. They deserve to know that, while serving our country, they will still be afforded equal access to our justice system at home and that their service is appreciated, not seen as a deterrent when it comes to child custody matters.
# # #