The Ohio House of Representatives today concurred on Senate changes to House Bill 121, which will ensure that an existing custody order for the child of a parent actively serving in the military cannot be altered solely because of that parent’s military service.

House Bill 121 prohibits a court from finding that past, present or possible future active military service justifies the modification of an existing custody order. It also requires that a service member seeking a temporary parenting time order notifies the child’s other parent and applies to the court as soon as reasonably possible with the date that the active service starts.

Under the legislation, the temporary custody order based on a parent’s active military service will be terminated within 10 days of notice that the active military service has ended. While serving, the court may grant a parent on active service a temporary order that allows for a relative or other person who has a substantial relationship with the child to take over that parent’s visitation rights, if deemed acceptable by the court.

The Senate included an emergency measure so House Bill 121 would be in effect for a pending troop deployment that will likely see the mobilization of 2,500 members of the Ohio National Guard. House Bill 121 will now move to Governor Kasich for his signature.


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