Over the last decade, legislation addressing issues facing military parents has become a national trend. With the number of custody and visitation issues among military families growing, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws drafted the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA) to allow states to adopt a procedure for courts to use when faced with this unique situation. During the 2013 legislative session, eight states enacted nine bills addressing deployed parent custody and visitation. Of those eight states, Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, and North Dakota became the first in the nation to adopt the UDPCVA. For more information about this legislation passed during the 2013 legislative session, visit the Child Support Project's 2013 Military Parent Custody and Visitation Legislation page.
Already during the 2014 legislative session, four states—Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah—and the District of Columbia have introduced bills to adopt the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA). In addition to those states seeking to adopt the UDPCVA, six other states have 16 pending bills for consideration during the 2014 legislative session that address some aspect of military parent custody and visitation.
Below is a map illustrating the states that have legislation, a description of the Uniform Deployed Parent Custody and Visitation Act, and a 50-state survey of how states currently address the issue.
Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act1
Currently, the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is the only federal statute designed to protect single-parent service members.
With the increase of deployment over the past decade, courts have been seeing an increase in custody and visitation issues involving military parents. While some states have statutes or rules dealing with deployed parent custody and visitation issues, there remain some gaps in protections for military parents involved in custody or visitation proceedings. As a result, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws drafted the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA).
The UDPCVA is made up of five articles that each address the varying issues affecting deployed parents in custody and visitation proceedings.
- Article 1 details definitions and general provisions, requires the deploying parent to notify the other parent of the deployment as soon as possible, and prohibits the court from considering past or future deployment when making a best interest of the child determination in custody proceedings.
- Article 2 sets the procedure for parents to make out-of-court agreements as to custody and visitation during deployment.
- Article 3 allows for expedited proceedings for parents who do not agree to ensure that a custody order is entered prior to deployment, and prohibits a permanent custody arrangement to be ordered without the deployed parent's consent.
- Article 4 establishes the procedure used to terminate the temporary custody arrangement when the parties agree, and when the parties do not agree and the court must intervene.
- Article 5 sets out the technical effective date and uniform act language.
As of Jan. 1, 2014, only four states—Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina and North Dakota—have adopted the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act. At the start of the 2014 legislative session, three more states—Mississippi, South Dakota and Tennessee—and the District of Columbia have introduced legislation to adopt the UDPCVA.
||Ala. Code § 30-3-165
||Alaska Stat. § 25.20.095
||Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §25-411
||Propose UDPCVA 2015: SB 792; Ark. Stat. Ann. § 9-13-110
||Cal. Fam. Code § 3047
||UDPCVA: Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-13.7-101 et. seq.
||Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-56e
||Del. Code Ann. tit. 13, § 727(d)
|District of Columbia
||D.C. Code Ann. § 16-914.02
||Fla. Stat. § 61.13002
||Ga. Code Ann. § 19-9-1; Ga. Code Ann. § 19-9-3
||Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 31-571-91 et. seq.
||Idaho Code § 32-720; Idaho Code §32-717; Idaho Code §15-5-104
||Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 750, § 5/606; Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 750, § 5/607(h); Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 750 § 5/610
||Ind. Code § 31-14-13-6.1 through § 31-14-13-6.3; Ind. Code §31-17-2-21.1 through § 31-17-2-21.3
||Iowa Code § 598.41C; Iowa Code § 598.41D
||Kan. Stat. Ann. § 23-3217
||Ky. Rev. Stat. § 403.340; Ky. Rev. Stat. § 403.320
||La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:348; La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:359 et. seq.
||Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 37-B, § 373; Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. Tit. 18-A, §5-104
||Proposed 2015 Legislation: HB 350; Md. Family Law Code Ann. § 9-108
||Proposed 2015 Legislation: HB 1318, HB 1564
||Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 722.27
||Proposed UDPCVA 2015: HB 260
||Proposed 2015 Legislation: SB 2085; Miss. Code Ann. § 93-5-34
||Mo. Rev. Stat. § 452.413
||Mont. Code Ann. § 40-4-212, 216, 219, 228, 234
||Proposed 2015 UDPCVA: NE LB 219; Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-2929; Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-2929.01
||UDPCVA: Nev. Rev. Stat. §125C.0601 et. seq.
||Military Parents' Rights Act: N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 458-E-1 et. seq.
||N.J. Rev. Stat. § 9:2-12.1; Proposed Legislation in 2014: AB 1917
||UDPCVA: SB 130
||Proposed 2015 Legislation: SB 3297, AB 3787; N.Y. Dom. Rel. §75-L; N.Y. Dom. Rel. §240(a-2)
||UDPCVA: N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-13.2
||UDPCVA: N.D. Cent. Code § 14-09.3-01 et. seq.
||Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3109.04(I)
||Okla. Stat. tit. 43, §§ 150-150.10; Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 112(5), 112.7
||Or. Rev. Stat. § 107.145; Or. Rev. Stat. § 107.169
||Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 51, § 4109
||R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-5-16
||Proposed UDPCVA 2015: HB 3156 & SB 6; S.C. Code Ann. § 63-5-920 through § 63-5-940
||UDPCVA: HB 1165
||UDPCVA: HB 2314
||Tex. Family Code Ann. § 156.105; Tex. Family Code Ann. § 153.701 et. seq.
||Utah Code Ann. § 30-3-40;
||Military Parents' Rights Act: Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15 § 11-681 et. seq.
||Virginia Military Parents' Equal Protection Act: Va. Code § 20-124.7 et. seq.
||Wash. Rev. Code § 26.09.260
||W. Va. Code § 48-9-404
||Wis. Stat. § 767.41; Wis. Stat. § 767.451(3m)
||Wyo. Stat. § 20-2-205
 Uniform Law Commission, "Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act Summary," National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, 2014
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