Ohio Governor signs military child custody bill

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law a child custody bill that will ensure parents who are active in the U.S. military will not have their existing custody order altered solely due to their military service.

The law, sponsored by Rep. Cliff Rosenberger, prohibits a court from finding that past, present or future military service is reason to modify an existing child custody order. The legislation also requires that men or women who are about to enter active service that are seeking a temporary parenting-time order notify the child’s other parent and apply to the court as early as possible.

Under the legislation, the temporary custody order will be canceled within 10 days of notice that active military service has ended.

“The men and women of our armed forces deserve our utmost respect and gratitude,” Rosenberger said in a statement. “I was shocked to learn that, with all of the sacrifices they make for our country, Ohio would not already have this law in the books.”

An emergency measure was included in the bill to ensure the law is in effect for a pending troop deployment of approximately 2,500 members of the Ohio National Guard.

More than 30 states have passed similar laws that secure child custody rights for members of the military. Most recently, Oklahoma passed the legislation in early June.