Effective July 1, 2013, the Uniformed Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act went into effect in Colorado. The purpose of the Deployed Parents Act is to protect the parenting rights of our military parents while deployed and promote and foster relationships with non-parents in the children's lives.
Prior to the enactment of the Deployed Parents Act, during a dissolution of marriage or child custody matter, children of the deployed parents were typically placed with the other parent and even though the custody was supposed to be temporary, it typically became permanent.
Under the Deployed Parents Act, parents of the children can either create an agreement in which they consent to the temporary custody during deployment or the deployed parent may appoint a non-parent, either a family member or one whom has a close substantial relationship with the child or children, to receive the parenting time that the deployed parent would have received if not deployed. A non-parent may also be granted the deployed parent's decision making authority over the child or children while the parent is deployed.
All of these changes to the Act ensure that the deployed parent's rights and relationships are maintained during deployment. The Act also grants the deployed parent reasonable contact with the child during deployment. Once the deployed parent returns from deployment, the temporary custody of the non-parent and all related orders terminate after 35 days, if not earlier.
Service members who are currently on active status or deployed should consider their parental rights if they are currently undergoing child custody concerns or a dissolution of marriage proceeding. They should be mindful that even though they are not currently available for full custody, they still maintain rights to their child or children and should guarantee their family members visitation and custody rights during deployment.
Feldmann Nagel Cantafio Margulis Gonnell PLLC has consistently represented service members and their families within a variety of legal matters. If you are currently experiencing issues related to Child Custody and Child Support, please contact us and we will assist you with your custody or support matters to ensure your parental rights and relationships with your child or children are maintained throughout your service to our country.