LaRose Introduces Bill To Help Ohio's Military Parents
Senate Bill 151 Addresses Child Custody Cases Involving Deployed Military Personnel
April 21, 2011
[ Frank LaRose Home | Frank LaRose Press ]
Columbus - 
State Senator Frank LaRose (R- Akron) today introduced Senate Bill 151, legislation that seeks to address the inequities in Ohio law regarding child custody and visitation rights when a parent is deployed as part of their military service. Currently, Ohio law permits courts to consider a parent's active-duty military service when determining child custody and visitation rights. Senate Bill 151 would prohibit a parent's absence due to past, present or possible future military service from being the sole determining factor in awarding custody or visitation. This change would better balance the best interests of the child involved as well as the responsibilities associated with military service. "The brave men and women serving our country in the military make sacrifices every day on behalf of their families," LaRose said. "This bill will help to ensure that their parental responsibilities are not diminished as a result of their military service, while keeping the child's emotional and physical well-being at the forefront of custody and visitation decisions." Additionally, Senate Bill 151 would permit military parents to participate in custody and visitation proceedings via electronic means such as the telephone or video conferencing. It also provides that any temporary custody order based on a parent's active military service is terminated within 10 days of that service ending, and allows a parent with court-ordered visitation to apply for a temporary order delegating their visitation rights to another person while the parent is deployed. "Deployed service members regularly use phone and video conferencing technology to speak with their families, so it only makes sense to use this capability for other matters such as custody or visitation hearings," LaRose said. "The changes made by Senate Bill 151 will help strengthen our military families by giving them more flexibility when a parent is called to active duty or deployed." Senate Bill 151 will now be assigned to a Senate committee for further review. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Ohio House by State Representative Cliff Rosenberger (RClarksville).
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