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New Texas bill could allow additional child custody time

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Texas representative is taking steps to help military parents receive more child custody time. He is sponsoring a bill that could allow children of service personnel the opportunity to receive excused absences from school for a period of up to 10 days if a military parent is preparing for deployment or has since returned from one. This bill could help military personnel who sometimes feel their careers are causing their child custody time to suffer.

While the bill is not specifically for divorced or separated military members, it has the potential to help those who are. Receiving excused absences may help parents feel more inclined to allow additional custody time with the other parent because their children won't suffer any ill effects that unexcused absences can bring. In the event the military parent has primary custody, it would allow them the opportunity to spend much needed time together before work and school come to call again. Right now, students in the state are required to be at school for a minimum of 90 percent during the year.

Although children can be excused for a variety of reasons, missing too much school could put a child behind in their learning, affect school funds and even force them to repeat a grade. At the present time, a school superintendent can authorize a student's absences if a parent has been or is returning from a deployment. The bill hopes to ensure those children have that time to spend with parents who may be absent for long periods of time.

Matters of child custody in Texas can be sensitive, especially for children of service personnel. Often required to work long hours and shouldered with the possibility of long absences from home, military parents often feel time with their children suffers. The new bill could help alleviate some of those issues by acting as a way for military parents to spend extra time with their kids without the possibility of repercussions. The bill may also soften the other parent's thoughts towards their child being absent from school as well.

Source: Star-Telegram, "Bill would give military families more time with kids," Anna M. Tinsley, Jan. 3, 2013

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