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Ohio bill regarding child custody and military service is now law

A new bill concerning child custody and military service has been signed into action in Ohio. The bill, which was sponsored by State Rep. Cliff Rosenberger, was initially advocated for by a Family Readiness Group Leader from the same city. The woman was concerned about child custody and visitation rights being altered because of a parent's service in the military, which is why she spearheaded the campaign for House Bill 121.

Now that the bill has been enacted, existing custody orders can no longer be changed solely because a parent is actively serving in the military. Rep. Rosenberger was pleased with the speedy passing of the bill. Rosenberger said he was surprised when he learned that Ohio had no law reinforcing the rights of active members of the military in this regard.

The speedy legislative process is accompanied by an emergency measure in the bill that allows the law to be taken advantage of by 2,500 members of the Ohio National Guard who are in pending deployment status.

The new law prohibits the courts from using military service, whether past, present or future, against a parent as reason for modifying custody. It also requires military members to contact the other parent and the court with information regarding the beginning and end of their service time when requesting a temporary parenting-time order. The temporary custody order will be ended within 10 days of the date that the service member becomes inactive.

Another temporary order may be granted under this law that allows a relative of the active parent to take over their visitation rights. The relative may be substituted with someone who has a close relationship with the child or children.

Source:, "Military child custody bill enacted," 21 June 2011

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