Text: H.R.4201 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)
Referred in Senate (06/04/2012)
[Congressional Bills 112th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4201 Referred in Senate (RFS)]
H. R. 4201
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
June 4, 2012
Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs
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.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Servicemember Family Protection
SEC. 2. PROTECTION OF CHILD CUSTODY ARRANGEMENTS FOR PARENTS WHO ARE
MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES.
(a) Child Custody Protection.--Title II of the Servicemembers Civil
Relief Act (50 U.S.C. App. 521 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end
the following new section:
``SEC. 208. CHILD CUSTODY PROTECTION.
``(a) Restriction on Temporary Custody Order.--If a court renders a
temporary order for custodial responsibility for a child based solely
on a deployment or anticipated deployment of a parent who is a
servicemember, then the court shall require that upon the return of the
servicemember from deployment, the custody order that was in effect
immediately preceding the temporary order shall be reinstated, unless
the court finds that such a reinstatement is not in the best interest
of the child, except that any such finding shall be subject to
``(b) Exclusion of Military Service From Determination of Child's
Best Interest.--If a motion or a petition is filed seeking a permanent
order to modify the custody of the child of a servicemember, no court
may consider the absence of the servicemember by reason of deployment,
or the possibility of deployment, in determining the best interest of
``(c) No Federal Right of Action.--Nothing in this section shall
create a Federal right of action.
``(d) Preemption.--In any case where State law applicable to a
child custody proceeding involving a temporary order as contemplated in
this section provides a higher standard of protection to the rights of
the parent who is a deploying servicemember than the rights provided
under this section with respect to such temporary order, the
appropriate court shall apply the higher State standard.
``(e) Deployment Defined.--In this section, the term `deployment'
means the movement or mobilization of a servicemember for a period of
longer than 60 days and not longer than 18 months pursuant to temporary
or permanent official orders--
``(1) that are designated as unaccompanied;
``(2) for which dependent travel is not authorized; or
``(3) that otherwise do not permit the movement of family
members to that location.''.
(b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents in section 1(b) of
such Act is amended by adding at the end of the items relating to title
II the following new item:
``208. Child custody protection.''.
Passed the House of Representatives May 30, 2012.
KAREN L. HAAS,