75-l. Military service by parent; effect on child custody orders pursuant to this article. 1. During the period of time that a parent is activated, deployed or temporarily assigned to military service, such that the parent's ability to continue as a joint caretaker or the primary caretaker of a minor child is materially affected by such military service, any orders issued pursuant to this article, based on the fact that the parent is activated, deployed or temporarily assigned to military service, which would materially affect or change a previous judgment or order regarding custody of that parent's child or children as such judgment or order existed on the date the parent was activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service shall be subject to review pursuant to subdivision three of this section. Any relevant provisions of the Service Member's Civil Relief Act shall apply to all proceedings governed by this section.
2. During such period the court may enter an order to modify custody if there is clear and convincing evidence that the modification is in the best interests of the child. An attorney for the child shall be appointed in all cases where a modification is sought during such military service. Such order shall be subject to review pursuant to subdivision three of this section. When entering an order under this section, the court shall consider and provide for, if feasible and if in the best interests of the child, contact between the military service member and his or her child including, but not limited to, electronic communication by e-mail, webcam, telephone, or other available means. During the period of the parent's leave from military service, the court shall consider the best interests of the child when establishing a parenting schedule, including visiting and other contact. For such purpose, a "leave from service" shall be a period of not more than three months.
3. Unless the parties have otherwise stipulated or agreed, if an order is issued under this section, the return of the parent from active military service, deployment or temporary assignment shall be considered a substantial change in circumstances. Upon the request of either parent, the court shall determine on the basis of the child's best interests whether the custody judgment or order previously in effect should be modified.
4. This section shall not apply to assignments to permanent duty stations or permanent changes of station.
Last modified: February 3, 2019