Overseas Tours Cost Soldiers Child Custody

Deployment often means troops have rough time in court
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 15, 2008 3:35 PM CST
Advocates for military families report that a growing number of soldiers are losing custody of their children in response to deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.   (Shutterstock.com)
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(Newser) – In what the Pentagon and parent-advocacy groups agree is a growing trend, troops serving overseas are unable to maintain custody of their children upon their return, NPR reports. One National Guardswoman raised her son until her unit deployed to Iraq, when his father took temporary custody. AFter she returned home, a court granted her ex-husband’s request to make the situation permanent.

A bill passed last month aims to help parents like Tanya Towne, but her ex retained custody on appeal, partly because the court ruled Towne’s deployment contributed to instability. “I don't care how they word it—it's a punishment to the soldier," Towne said. “The whole reason I'm in this situation is because I did a job for the military.”