H.R. 6048, To amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to provide for the protection of child custody arrangements for parents who are members of the Armed Forces deployed in support of a contingency operation (18 comments ↓ | 5 wiki edits: view article ↓)

  • This item is from the 110th Congress (2007-2008) and is no longer current. Comments, voting, and wiki editing have been disabled, and the cost/savings estimate has been frozen.
  • This bill, or a similar bill, was reintroduced in the current Congress as H.R. 4201, The Servicemember Family Protection Act.

H.R. 6048 would amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to provide for the protection of child custody arrangements for parents who are members of the Armed Forces deployed in support of a contingency operation.

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Spc Jodie Gollihugh

June 10, 2008, 9:21pm (report abuse)

Please pass this bill.. My kids were taken away from me before my last deploymen and now because the impending deployemnt made my home too unstable. they would rather place my kids with their father who abused me for 8 years. I'm a good mom who has gotten to see her children less than 9 months in 3 years. Please pass this so they can have their mom as a part of their life too.

Joe Valentin

June 13, 2008, 12:18pm (report abuse)

I believe this is a well worth bill. Allowing the military member to serve his/her nation in the call of duty and know that their children will not be taken away from them upon their return will relieve stress while deployed. Military members should not be faulted for deployments.

kathy suzzi

June 25, 2008, 10:10pm (report abuse)

this is a law that is the only thing to stop the outragous actions against out troops. My grandson was just given to his mother when my son deployed to Iraq in april the mother had seen my 4 year old grandson 3 times in 2 1/2 years and the judge sent him from ri to wa where he knew nothing and did not know anyone.

this happening to many of our troops when they get deployed and it is not right. why are they being punished for protecting their country.

Tim Higgins

July 14, 2008, 3:07pm (report abuse)

Please pass this Bill as quickly as possible. Custody of our son's 5 -1/2 year-old child is at stake. The Family Court has ruled that the child's mother (our son's former girlfriend) has SERIOUS mental and personality disorders. It is the time overseas during two tours in Iraq that is preventing our son from having custody. This child deserves to be raised in a stable and loving home that our son and his darling (and sane) wife provide to him.


Tim Higgins

Pat Higgins, Sr.

July 14, 2008, 3:36pm (report abuse)

Please pass this bill!

My nephew is currently losing his rights because he was deployed to Iraq to ensure the rest of us stateside get to continue on with our freedoms and rights. It is imperative that we protect those who protect us!

Kevin Higgins

July 14, 2008, 3:39pm (report abuse)

My Nephew is currently being hurt by the courts using his time away after he was called up for 2 tours in Iraq as a determining factor in child custody. He can give his sone a better home and a stable life where he can grow, have friends and live a normal life as compared to that with his mother. One of the main deciding things the judge has used is time away from home deployed. Please pass this soon and make this type of prejudice to our armed forces illegal.

Katherine Buck

July 14, 2008, 4:48pm (report abuse)

Please pass this bill as soon as possible. I know a wonderful family that may lose their son and grandson to an unstable mother because of his deployment to Iraq. What kind of country are we living in that puts the safety of small children at risk because their mother or father (was or is) serving and protecting our country? These courageous men and women deserve to have the same protection from the court systems as the parent who is seeking sole custody because they spent more time with the child. This is ludicrous and the court sytems knows this and should be held accountable. Will it take the death of an innocent child placed with an unstable parent for the government to wake up and smell the coffee??? We need to speak up for the innocent children that are not able to speak for themselves.

Claudia Kroeck

July 14, 2008, 6:11pm (report abuse)

Please pass this bill as soon as possible. It is terribly unfair to count any servicepersons' overseas deployment time against them in a child custody determination. These people have given our country too much to be treated this way by our court system. PASS THE BILL NOW!

Jerry Osmonson

July 14, 2008, 6:22pm (report abuse)

I am appalled to learn that the law treats the very people that defend our country and our rights in such a subjectively prejudicial manner. It is unjust, shocking and morally unacceptable to penalize service men and women by denying parental rights that would otherwise not be in jeopardy! Please pass this bill without delay.

Bonnie Russell

September 3, 2008, 4:14pm (report abuse)


Or check portions of this article:

Oklahoma Judge gives Tinker mom a chance.

March 27, 2008

"From the bottom of my heart ... I tell you I'm sorry,” Oklahoma County District Judge Don Deason said to Michelle Thorson.

The ruling means she now is the widow, not the ex-wife, of Tech Sgt. Dustin Thorson, who fatally shot their son and daughter before killing himself.

On Feb. 25, the airman shot the boy, Dylan, 4, and girl, Jourdain, 9, in an upstairs bedroom inside their base home after a scuffle with their mother, officials said.

Dustin Thorson, 35, a decorated technical sergeant who served in Iraq, then shot himself. Michelle Thorson was fleeing for help when she heard the shots that killed Dylan and Jourdain.

The airman had threatened last year to kill the children after a divorce, once saying to his son, "Tell Mommy you love her and don't want Daddy to hurt you,” according to court papers.

They need counseling after returning.

Bonnie Russell

September 3, 2008, 4:22pm (report abuse)

What's notable is that Congress passed this as an EXCEPTION to the best interests of the child. Why is Congress playing popular politics instead of not holding the needs of our most vulernable to the highest standard? Returning Vets, especially Vets who have served more than one term, need counseling. Children do not need to be exposed to vets with PTSD but no treatment. That's beyond irresponsible. It's deadly. See www.FamilyLawCourts.com/domestic.html

Andrew Smith

September 4, 2008, 1:51pm (report abuse)

I agree that some do need counseling after returning, but what about the servicemembers that have no choice but to deploy? They have an obligation as a parent and to their careers. Why should they have to risk losing the very thing they are sworn to protect-their family because they have to go and serve. I have had my child for 6 years in a loving, consistant enviroment. Now I risk losing him because of a deployment. We have enought to worry about by leaving our families for a year. We shouldn't have to worry about losing them.

Glen Smalley

September 11, 2008, 8:41am (report abuse)

I am currently on deployment and in the near future it looks like I will be going through a trial that I will most likely lose due to being overseas. Needless to say I plan to fight it the best I can but it doesn't look good. My ex wife voluntarily gave me custody of my two sons and now since I had to leave it is being used against me. I have already seen two dedicated fathers who are with me lose custody of their children. Please pass this bill. Yes I do agree that there are some circumstances where a child should not go back to a parent. But there are many single parents who are just doing their jobs who are losing their children because we answer our nations call. It is time to protect our vets.

Robin Higgins

November 4, 2008, 4:33pm (report abuse)

Please pass this bill as soon as possible. My husband and I have been going through 3+ years of a tremendously difficult custody battle for his 6 year old son. My husband is the clear choice: we have a stable home environment, can provide him with the love and attention he needs, we live in a young, suburban, child-friendly neighborhood where he has several neighboring friends that he sees often, and we are close to several very good schools and after-school child-care providers. I am stunned and baffled by the court's decision to leave my step-son in his unstable mother's care partly because of my husband's past two involuntary deployments to Iraq. My husband was in the US Marine Corps long before his son was born and is now being punished for serving our country and working toward the greater-good of our nation. Please pass this bill. Give our vets a fair chance to parent their own children!

Military Mom

November 14, 2008, 1:50am (report abuse)

Please DO NOT pass this bill. Parents have the CHOICE to join the military. You know this when you join and the other parent and child have NO choice about you being in the military. If you don't want to be deployed, then don't join. Ultimately, it's about the kid and what is best for them, not the parents. That being said, I'm part of a military family and greatly appreciate what every service person is doing for this country. Seriously though, if you want what is best for your child, put them with the parent that won't move them all over the country or leave at the drop of a hat. Kids need stability and cooperation between their parents.


January 3, 2009, 6:10am (report abuse)

Here is some interesting information about Bonnie Russell. From http://www.newsmakingnews.com/krausedailyjournal6,6,02.htm:

“Since her custody case began in 1990, Russell has filed more than 45 motions with family courts in Marin and San Diego Counties. She has been arrested twice for violating a restraining order and interfering with court business and has served a total of eight days in jail. Nearly all of her motions were filed pro per, and only five have been granted. Opposed by some of the state's top divorce attorneys, Russell has been frustrated at every turn. She has also been haunted by a negative psychological evaluation that diagnosed her as suffering from borderline personality disorder, susceptible to ‘impulsivity’ and ‘lack of control.’”


January 3, 2009, 6:11am (report abuse)

“Two years after she'd been ordered to Real Solutions, Russell was in court again. As Judge Thomas Ashworth attempted to deny Russell's latest petition to change her visitation schedule, Russell repeatedly interrupted him. "My daughter has rights which this court absolutely refuses to address," Russell interjected. "This court is just as guilty of child abuse as [her ex-husband]." Fed up, Ashworth ordered the bailiff to escort her from the courtroom, and as she was gathering her belongings, Russell continued: "I am going to talk plenty," she said, and announced the launching that very night of familylawcourts.com.”


January 3, 2009, 6:12am (report abuse)

“These days Russell spends almost twelve hours a day in cyberspace, waking up at 4:30 a.m. to scan newspapers from around the country for family court horror stories. She lives alone, in a two-room apartment near the beach in Del Mar. Her front door is glass, tinted so she can see out but visitors can't see in. Using one of her numerous email aliases, she spends much of the day doing a lot of what she calls "snooping"-logging on to message boards for family court professionals and other divorce- and custody-related sites.”

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