Thursday, July 15, 2010

36 states now protect military parents

I mentioned in 2005 a story about a Michigan dad who lost custody of his son while serving as a soldier in Iraq. The soldier himself, Joseph W. McNeilly, commented on this blog along with anonymous friend of his ex-wife who
had some petty complaints about him.

Glenn Sacks reports that he and some fathers rights groups have made excellent progress:
There are now 36 states which have passed military parent child custody legislation, including Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, Michigan, Colorado, and numerous others. Four other states have legislation pending, including Massachusetts and California.
The problem with issues like this is that most people will argue that there must be exceptions when the child custody is not in the Best Interest Of The Child (BIOTCh). So they will favor a law that says that soldiers can retain custody unless some judge decides that it is not in the BIOTCh. But of course the law already says that the judge can decide custody as he pleases, as long as he declares that it is in the BIOTCh. So laws with a BIOTCh exception may not do any good.

I say that soldiers should never lose custody on account of their military service. Forget whatever silly opinion some stupid judge has about the BIOTCh. He should only lose custody if he is determined to be unfit after a fair trial. The anonymous petty gripes from McNeilly's ex-wife should be irrelevant to his custodial rights.

Congratulations to Glenn Sacks and his friends and allies for getting these laws passed.

1 comment:

Joseph W. McNeilly SR said...

Well said....very well said. Now if only many others would view this as you have.


Joseph W. McNeilly, Sr.
Afghanistan 2012