HONOLULU - Governor Linda Lingle signed into law HB2061, June 25, which establishes a process by which family court can resolve matters related to custody and visitation for active duty service members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves and National Guard when deployed.

The issue is the military-readiness of parents who are faced with child custody and visitation matters when deployed, and also the well-being of affected children.

The measure provides the court with a legal process to address custody and visitation matters.

"This new law reflects the changing needs of our military families, and I'm pleased we are now able to have a positive impact on the children of active members of the Armed Forces," said Rep. Cindy Evans, who introduced the bill.

Some of the provisions include the following:

Aca,!AcAllowing an already deployed parent to participate in a custody hearing through electronic means such as telephone, video conference or other means that the court deems reliable.
Aca,!AcClarifying that deployment shall not be the sole factor in determining custody and that awarding custody shall be in relation to all factors.
Aca,!AcRequirements related to visitation and contact.
Aca,!AcDelegation of the deployed parent's contact rights.

The new law goes into effect Aug. 1.

The purpose of this act is to require special consideration in custody matters involving deploying parents.

Hawaii has approximately 50,000 active duty military personnel, 61,000 associated family members and 12,000 Reserve and National Guard members.

Hawaii has the highest percentage of people ages 16-64 in the armed forces.

View the legislation at <a href="http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2010/lists/measure_indiv.aspx'billtype=HB&billnumber=2061">www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2010/lists/measure_indiv.aspx'billtype=HB&billnumber=2061</a> or call 808-586-8510.

Page last updated Thu July 15th, 2010 at 18:42