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Military Child Custody Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

New Jersey courts may soon be prohibited from making permanent child custody decisions when a service member is away on deployment.

A US Army soldier distributes goods to needy and displaced residents in Far Rockaway, Queens
A US Army soldier distributes goods to needy and displaced residents in Far Rockaway, Queens (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The measure (S-1051/A-634) headed to the Governor’s desk, would prohibit the courts from using absence or potential absence due to deployment or treatment for sustained injuries, as a factor in determining the best interest of a child.

Further, it would prohibit the court from modifying or amending any judgement or order concerning child custody or parenting time, or issuing a new order changing custody arrangement whild the service member parent is deployed, unless it is in the bet interest of the child.

The measure is sponsored by 9th District state lawmakers Senator Chris Connors and Assembly Members Brian Rumpf and Dianne Gove. Senator Connors says “Protecting the parental rights of our military service members in child custody cases is an obligation that our state must fulfill in light of the tremendous stress and demands that can be placed on active service members and their families.”

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