Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Soldier's Rights v. Best Interest of the Child

With the war in Iraq as well as the war on terror looming over our country, there is a new issue and problem that has arisen with military families. With many men and women being deployed overseas for extended periods of time, custody arrangements that have been made between divorced couples are altered especially in cases where the person being deployed is the custodial parent. While these men and women are serving their country, Court's are amended custody orders changing who is the custodial parent on a permanent basis based on the "best interest of the child". The service men and women who are affected by the custody changes are left wondering whether their rights are being protected while they are performing their duties overseas, while the mothers and fathers left home with the children argue that its in their children's best interest to have a parent who will not be deployed to dangerous situations and who may not return. The Court's have argued that the determining the welfare of a child does not fall under the actions that the Serviceman's Relief Act was designed to protect, so therefore, a Judge can rule on a change of custody if he/she believes that the child's interests will be better served if they are placed with the parent who is not an active member of the U.S. Armed forces. This debate is something that we are going to be hearing so long as we are at war and I find validity in both arguments. I think at all times, the best interests of the child should be paramount in deciding who should be the custodial parent. However, determination of what is in the best interests of a child should not rest solely on whether or not a parent is an active member of the U.S. military.

If you would like to read more about this subject, visit: http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=nation_world&id=5257863

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