Thursday, June 09, 2011

Gov. Kasich Signs House Bill 121 – Child Custody For Military Parents

COLUMBUS – Today Gov. John R. Kasich signed House Bill 121 (Rosenberger), legislation that protects members of the military reserves from prejudice in custody proceedings if they choose to serve their country. This legislation received unanimous support in both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly and is effective immediately. Gov. Kasich was joined for the bill signing by bill sponsor Rep. Cliff Rosenberger, Rep. Jarrod Martin, Sen. Kris Jordan, and Director of Veterans’ Services Col. Tom Moe.

With the passage of HB 121, courts may no longer find that past, present, or possible future active military service is considered a change in circumstances that justifies modifying existing custody orders. The bill also allows military parents with court-ordered visitation rights to delegate these rights to a relative or other person with a substantial relationship with the child, and requires that the other parent facilitate contact between the child and military parent when that parent is on active duty. While the legislation protects the rights of parents in the armed forces, it also ensures the rights of the child’s other parent by requiring the service member seeking a temporary parenting time order to notify the child's other parent and apply to the court as soon as reasonably possible.