August 27, 2005
Marriage in the Military: Child Support and Custody
(Column) After applauding Missouri in my column for passing a law that protects Reservists and Guard Members from child support arrears as they go from high-paying civilian jobs to lower pay on the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan, I recently learned that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger may soon sign a bi-partisan supported bill (SB 1082) that would protect individuals with current custody orders in addition to fair child support protection that does not punish activated or deployed parents who can no longer exercise their parenting time. . . . The pending legislation addresses both the modification of child support payments and child custody orders. Michael Robinson, a lobbyist on family court issues in California who spearheaded the bill through the California Assembly and Senate, appears to have been successful in convincing California legislators that when military personnel are sent to potentially face death in Iraq, it is grossly unfair to allow ex-spouses to take advantage of this situation by filing suit for custody of the children when deployed service members are in no position to fight for their rights in court. . . . Because of the Bradley Amendment, a child support order can only be modified retroactively to the date of a filing of a petition. In so far as many reservists are called up on short notice and are not able to file a petition for a reduction in their monthly child support amount before they are deployed, they can return with arrearages, penalties and interest that cannot be forgiven. By Captain Gene Thomas Gomulka, Military.com.
http://www.military.com/NewContent/0,13190,Gomulka_082905,00.html (last visited August 27, 2005).
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