Wednesday, May 11, 2011

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COLUMBUS—State Representative Peter Beck (R-Mason) today announced passage of House Bill 121 from the Ohio House of Representatives with a unanimous vote of 96-0. This legislation would ensure that an existing custody order for the child of a parent actively serving in the military cannot be altered solely because of that parent’s military service, keeping the welfare of the child as most pertinent to the decision.

House Bill 121 prohibits a court from finding that past, present or possible future active military service justifies the modification of an existing custody order. It also requires that a service member seeking a temporary parenting time order notifies the child’s other parent and applies to the court as soon as reasonably possible with the date that the active service starts.

“I am pleased to see this important piece of legislation pass with bipartisan support, because military members should not be penalized for their active military service at the expense of their children,” Rep. Beck said.

Under the legislation, the temporary custody order based on a parent’s active military service will be terminated within 10 days of notice that the active military service has ended. While serving, the court may grant a parent on active service a temporary order that allows for a relative or other person who has a substantial relationship with the child to take over that parent’s visitation rights.

House Bill 121 will now move to the Ohio Senate for further debate and consideration.

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