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. Nearly every state has as provision addressing custody and visitation of deployed parents.
So far, 10 states have enacted the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act while several other states have introduced and/or enacted similar legislation supporting deployed parents and their families.
The majority of states have some statutory provision addressing the custody and visitation rights of military parents. Each year several states introduce legislation to enact the UDPCVA or other similar legislation. This legislation is tracked in NCSL's Child Support and Family Law Legislation Database under the "Custody and Visitation - Military Parents" topic.
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.
||Ala. Code § 30-3-165
||Alaska Stat. § 25.20.095
||Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §25-411
||UDPCVA: Ark. Stat. Ann. §9-21-101 et.seq.
||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
||UDPCVA: Fla. Stat. § 61.703 et.seq.
||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
||UDPCVA: Iowa Code § 598C.101 et.seq.
||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
||Md. Family Law Code Ann. § 9-108
||Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 722.27
||UDPCVA: Minn. Stat. Ann. § 518E.101
||Miss. Code Ann. § 93-5-34
||Mo. Rev. Stat. § 452.413
||Mont. Code Ann. § 40-4-212, 216, 219, 228, 234
||UDPCVA: Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-4601 et.seq. (2015 LB 219)
||UDPCVA: Nev. Rev. Stat. §125C.0601 et. seq.
||N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 458-E-1 et. seq.
||N.J. Rev. Stat. § 9:2-12.1
||N.M. Stat. Ann. § 40-10D-1 et.seq.
||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
UDPCVA: S.C. Code Ann. § 63-15-500 et.seq.
Other related statutes: S.C. Code Ann. § 63-5-920 through § 63-5-940
||UDPCVA: S.D. Codified Laws § 25-4B-101 et.seq.
||UDPCVA: Tenn. Code § 36-7-101 et.seq.
||Tex. Family Code Ann. § 156.105; Tex. Family Code Ann. § 153.701 et. seq.
||UDPCVA: Utah Code § 78B-20-101 et.seq.
||Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 15 § 11-681 et. seq.
||Va. Code § 20-124.7 et. seq.
||Wash. Rev. Code § 26.09.260
||UDPCVA: W. Va. Code § 48-31-101 et.seq. (2017 HB 2479)
||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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