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By Eva Loayza | December 3rd, 2012 - 4:15pm
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Assembly Democrats News Release

Conaway & Singleton Bill to Ensure Parents in Armed Forces Receive Fair Treatment in Child Custody Cases Gets Final Legislative OK

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway, Jr. M.D. and Troy Singleton that would ensure parents serving in the Armed Forces who are involved in custody cases are not disadvantaged by certain military absences received final legislative approval on Monday and now heads to the governor's desk.

The bill (A-2164) would address child custody and parenting time arrangements in the event of prolonged military service absences of 30 or more days by service members, based upon: (1) deployments for combat or other operations, training duty, or attendance at a military service school, or (2) service-related treatments due to a service injury, illness, or other health condition.

"Custody cases should revolve around what's truly best for the child, and that should include fairness for a parent on active military duty or who is being treated for a service-related injury," said Conaway (D-Burlington). "All this does is ensure a parent isn't penalized by serving in the military. Our veterans make enough sacrifices. The opportunity to be involved with their children should not be one of them."

"Custody cases are difficult enough for the parties involved. Punishing one parent because he or she is away on active military duty or recovering from an injury is not only unfair, it's wrong," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "We want the courts to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child. A parent's military service should not be the only factor when deciding how much time they get to spend with their child."

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