New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently signed the bill which will offer protections to New Jersey parents who are in the military and become involved in child custody/parenting time cases. Salvaggio Law Group first brought attention to this bill in a recent blog post, when it was pending in the State Legislature.
The main goal of this new law is to protect the custody and visitation rights of a soldier facing a long term deployment. This law prohibits a New Jersey Family Court judge from using a parent’s military status, when determining who should get custody of a child. Before this law was enacted, judges could use a parent’s active military status and the possibility that he/she would be deployed as a factor in the custody determination.
As always, the standard for determining child custody in New Jersey will remain “What is in the best interests of the child?” Fortunately, the New Jersey Legislature has decided that it is in a child’s best interest to ensure that both parents have a fair chance in child custody determinations.
What exactly does the new law say? Judges cannot “consider the absence or potential absence of a service member parent by reason of deployment with the U.S. Military or treatment for sustained injuries as a factor in determining the best interest of the child.” Courts are also prohibited from making changes or adjustments to a custody arrangement while a parent in the military is deployed, unless the best interest of the child is at stake.
The merits of the new law are highlighted by the fact that it was passed unanimously by both branches of the New Jersey State Legislature.
Salvaggio Law Group LLC devotes its entire practice to New Jersey Divorce and Family Law matters, including issues relating to child custody and parenting time. If you want to talk, please call us at 973-855-3595 or fill out the Contact Form on our website.