Jacobs legislation will aid military parents during custody hearings

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Senator Mike Jacobs (D-Moline) has unanimously passed legislation out of the Senate that will provide additional support for parents in the military who are currently deployed or waiting to be deployed.

“The general purpose of this bill is to facilitate fairness in modifying custody and visitation orders for those in the military,” stated Senator Jacobs.  “We are trying to make it easier for military families who are dealing with custody issues.  I believe this is the least we can do for those defending our freedom overseas.”

House Bill 1589 makes several changes concerning child custody and visitation proceedings in instances when one of the child’s parents has been deployed or has orders to be deployed.  First, the bill provides for an expedited hearing process for deployed parents.  This will also require a court to allow a deployed parent to testify by phone or other means during the custody or visitation proceeding.  

In addition, this legislation will allow a deployed parent to designate a person known to the child to act as a reasonable substitute for the deployed parent for visitation purposes, such as the child’s grandparent(s) if a court determines it is in the best interests of the child.  This new law will allow the court to provide temporary modifications to the custody or visitation agreement while a parent is deployed.  

“There have been issues in the past where absence of a parent due to their deployment was held against them when dealing with child custody,” stated Senator Jacobs.  “I do not believe this should be the case in Illinois.”