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2005 House Bill 5100: Ban military duty absence as grounds for child custody decision

Public Act 328 of 2005

Introduced by Rep. Rick Jones (R) on August 24, 2005
To prohibit a court in a child custody dispute from considering a military reservist or national guard member’s absence while called to active duty when making the “best interest of the child” determination that is the basis on which custody decisions are made. A court could not make an initial child custody ruling or alter an existing one based on the active duty military parent’s separation from the child, and could not make a “permanent custodial environment” determination until the soldier has returned from duty. The bill was introduced in response to a mumber of child custody disputes like the one involving National Guard Spc. Joe McNeilly, an Iraq war veteran.   Official Text and Analysis.
Referred to the House Families and Childrens Services Committee on August 24, 2005
Reported in the House on September 27, 2005
With the recommendation that the substitute (H-2) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
Substitute offered in the House on October 5, 2005
To replace the previous version of the bill with one that revises details but does not change the main effect of the bill. See House-passed bill for details.
The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on October 5, 2005
Amendment offered by Rep. Dudley Spade (D) on October 5, 2005
To extend the same limitations on court-ordered custody decisions to a person injured in a federal disaster relief effort.
The amendment failed 55 to 35 in the House on October 5, 2005.
    See Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No".
Amendment offered by Rep. Rick Jones (R) on October 5, 2005
To eliminate the provision that applies to the “best interest of the child” determination that is the basis on which custody decisions are made, and limit the bill to only allowing a change in a custody arrangement during the parent's active duty if there is clear and convincing evidence that it is the best interest of the child. However, the parent's absence due to active military duty still could not be used as grounds for this "best interest" determination.
The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on October 5, 2005
To prohibit a court in a child custody dispute involving a parent who is a military reservist or national guard member from changing an established custodial environment while that parent has been called to active duty, unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the change is the best interest of the child. However, the parent's active duty absence could not be considered in making this "best interest" determination. The bill was introduced in response to a mumber of child custody disputes like the one involving National Guard Spc. Joe McNeilly, an Iraq war veteran.
Received in the Senate on October 6, 2005
Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 6, 2005
Reported in the Senate on November 2, 2005
With the recommendation that the substitute (S-2) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
Substitute offered in the Senate on November 3, 2005
To replace the previous version of the bill with one that revises details but does not change the substance of the bill as previously described.
The substitute passed by voice vote in the Senate on November 3, 2005
Received in the House on November 8, 2005
To concur with the Senate-passed version of the bill.
Signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm on December 22, 2005

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