United States Department of Justice: Protect soldiers from being legally sued for child custody while deployed
  • Petitioned United States Department of Justice
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

United States Department of Justice
Presidente de la Comisión de lo Jurídico, Seguridad y Veteranos,
Hon. Miguel Pereira.
See response
Presidenta Comisión de Asuntos de la Mujer
HON. MARIA T. GONZALEZ LOPEZ
Presidente de la Comisión de Asuntos Federales E Internacionales y Asuntos del Veterano
Hon. Eduardo Ferrer Ríos
HON. RAMON L. NIEVES PEREZ
HON. JOSE R. NADAL POWER
HON. LUIS D. RIVERA FILOMENO
HON. ANGEL R. ROSA RODRIGUEZ
Senador distrito II Bayamon
HON. CARMELO J. RIOS SANTIAGO
Senadora distrito II Bayamon
HON. MIGDALIA PADILLA ALVELO
Presidente Comisión de Asuntos Federales E Internacionales y Asuntos del Veterano
Hon.Eduardo Ferrer Ríos
Vice Presidente Comisión de Asuntos Federales E Internacionales y Asuntos del Veterano
Angel Matos Garcia
Secretario Comisión de Asuntos Federales E Internacionales y Asuntos del Veterano
Rafael Hernández Montañez
Miembros Mayoría Comisión de Asuntos Federales E Internacionales y Asuntos del Veterano
Jose L Baez Rivera
Miembros Mayoría Comisión de Asuntos Federales E Internacionales y Asuntos del Veterano
Brenda López de Arrarás
Miembros MinoriaComisión de Asuntos Federales E Internacionales y Asuntos del Veterano
Luis G. León Rodríguez
Comisión de Asuntos Federales E Internacionales y Asuntos del Veterano / Comisión de lo Jurídico
Jose E. Melendez Ortiz
Miembros Minoria Comisión de Asuntos Federales E Internacionales y Asuntos del Veterano
Gabriel Rodríguez Aguiló
Presidente Comisión de lo Jurídico
Luis R. Vega Ramos
secretario Comisión de lo Jurídico
Efrain De Jesus Rodriguez
Miembros Mayoría Comisión de lo Jurídico
Brenda López de Arrarás
Miembros Mayoría Comisión de lo Jurídico
José M. Varela Fernández
Miembros Mayoría Comisión de lo Jurídico
Carlos J. Vargas Ferrer
Miembros Minoria Comisión de lo Jurídico
Luis G. León Rodríguez
Miembros Minoria Comisión de lo Jurídico
Ricardo J. Llerandi Cruz
vice presidenta Comisión de Asuntos de la Mujer y Equidad
Hon. Sonia Pacheco Irigoyen
Secretaria comision Asuntos de la mujer y Equidad
Lydia Méndez Silva
Comisión de Asuntos de la Mujer y Equidad
María de Lourdes Ramos Rivera
Vice Presidente Comisión de lo Jurídico
Nelson Torres Yordan
Periodista El Nuevo Dia
Benjamín Torres Gotay
Periodista El Nuevo Dia
Mario Alegre Barrios
periodista primera hora
Soraida Asad Sánchez
Periodista Nuevo Dia
Yaritza Santiago
Periodico Primera Hora
Rosita Marrero
Periodico Primera Hora
Alba Y Muniz Garcia
Comisión de Asuntos de la Mujer y Equidad
Maria M. Charbonier Laureano
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community, Family Policy
Charles E. Milam
Asuntos Federales E Internacionalesy Asuntos del Veterano
Luisa Gándara Menéndez
Under Secretary of Defense Personnel and Readiness
Jessica L. Wright
Presidente senado de Puerto Rico
HON. EDUARDO BHATIA GAUTIER
President of the United States
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives
Colorado
Sen. Mark Udall
Maine
Sen. Angus King
Missouri
Sen. Claire McCaskill
South Carolina
Sen. Lindsey Graham
Texas
Sen. Ted Cruz
Virginia
Sen. Tim Kaine
Oklahoma
Sen. James Inhofe
Nebraska
Sen. Deb Fischer
Indiana
Sen. Joe Donnelly
North Carolina
Sen. Kay Hagan
New Hampshire
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
California-25
Rep. Buck McKeon
New York
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Utah
Sen. Mike Lee
Connecticut
Sen. Richard Blumenthal
New Hampshire
Sen. Kelly Ayotte
Hawaii
Sen. Mazie Hirono
Georgia
Sen. Saxby Chambliss
Missouri
Sen. Roy Blunt

United States Department of Justice: Protect soldiers from being legally sued for child custody while deployed

    1. Joseline Armistead
    2. Petition by

      Joseline Armistead

      Columbia, SC

 

We are requesting a Federal Law or an amendment to the Service member Civil Relief Act to include a protection for soldiers against been sued for child custody while they are on or about to be deployed on deployment status. to  include the territory of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Service Member Civil Relief Act does not cover any legalese regarding the custody rights of service members. This leaves Soldiers defenseless against situations where the legal guardian or other family member can take advantage of the Soldier being overseas to gain full custody of a child. Many times the Soldier is unaware of the custody case against him or her due to the lack of communication between the two parts. The normal course of action taken by the courts is to assign custody to whichever parent is present at the time of the hearing. To fix this problem, some states have enacted specific laws and regulations to protect service members, but there are still many states that do not provide any kind of protection to those service members currently serving on overseas assignments. This leaves the stability of these families in the hands of individual courts. 146,000 single military parents in 2008 accounting for about 6.6 percentof the total for the total force strength.


The percentage of single military parents was higher in the Reserve Component (8.7 percent) thanin the Active dutyComponent (5.3 percent). Over the past ten years, the number of single parents in theActive duty component has declined, while the number of single parents in the selectedReserve members has increased over the last decade by 60 percent (ODUSD (MC&FP),in press). Though the gender difference is not as evident as the civilian population, asshown in Figure 4, female Service members were at least twice as likely to be single parents, compared with male Service members, in both Active Duty and Reserve components. Of Service members who ever deployed to OEF/OIF, single parents make up 17 percent

The Family Care Plan, a plan put together by the Soldier’s command to ensure the well-being of the child in case of an emergency, is not a court order which means it is not legally binding in civilian court. This means that should a Soldier leave their child with an ex-spouse or family member, the ex can sue for custody regardless of the plan laid out by the soldier and his or her chain of command. In certain cases where joint custody is awarded to both parents, judges will often mandate in the case decision that in the event of a deployment, the child will be left with the remaining spouse. Many soldiers deploy and discover that in their absence, things have changed dramatically. Deployed parents have received legal notices mandating child support increases, changes in custody, and in some cases outright refusal by the custodial parent to allow the returning soldier to see their children. Army-wide statistics are not available on parents losing the custody of their children because the Army does not track these cases. Unless both parents are service members, the military justice system is unable to effectively engage in mediation on behalf of parents who are fighting court battles to regain custody of their kids. As a result, there may be a very high number of parents who lose the custody of their kids in civilian courts. The US Department of Defense does not grant legal representation to soldiers and since redeploying to attend court is up to command discretion many times there is little to no support for these custody battles. Courts should not be able to find soldiers unfit because of the multiple duty station moves and deployments that are a part of any military orders expected of a Soldier.


It is the responsibility of the United States Department of Defense address this issue and find permanent answers to it. To make sure every soldier family is been taking care of before and during every deployment so every soldier can concentrate in performing on the battle ground. That would reduce the number of soldiers suffering from PTSD, desertion, depression, anxiety, and other stressors due to the added trauma that this situation can cause on out troops.

Unfortunately  as a Puertorrican this is my story and unless the federal government create an amendment to the servicemember civil act none of the soldiers from Puerto Rico like many other places in the United States are protected from situations like this. There is only 36 states in the US who have created amendments to their laws to protect soldiers from being permanently separated from their kids while they are on combat zone.  There is bonds and family ties that are permanently broken between the deployed soldier and the kids creating a permanent damage in both and destroying a family that was already established.  Our legal system can’t criminalize the role of our soldiers /parents duty once they go overseas to fight for their country by taking away their kids and permanently marking them with feelings of abandonment.  

 

There is no Active duty post in Puerto Rico where kids and family members of active duty service members can receive the adequate support once the parent is deployed.  Even medical services are received through Tricare remote in private doctor offices where is inconsistent the method on how the billing and services are performed because they are used to receive patients that are members of the National Guard or Reserve. 

The social services department in Puerto Rico have no base to evaluate military homes and families to give a recommendation to the court houses.  Inside every active duty post there is rules and regulations that categorize military families as a subculture. They move a lot base on military orders, kids are exposed to many languages and cultures, they are segregated on post and there is many other factors that have to be evaluated before a social worker decide to evaluate a military home.  Reality is that this have to be included as part of the law because there is many Puertorrican soldiers who doesn’t have family members in the US and when they move to combat zone they return their kids to the island on temporary custody agreements.  (loco parentis  “family care plan” )  wish the court houses do not obey for lacking of jurisdiction and legality. SOLDIERS ARE UNAWARE OF THIS PARTICULAR ONCE THEY ARE GONE.  That is when the family members take hands and legalize the custody petition with the court houses leaving the soldiers with no rights once he return.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 750 signatures
    2. Single mothers in the military service the silent battle for their childre

      Joseline Armistead
      Petition Organizer
      Single mothers in the military service the silent battle for their children

      How do you think a soldier feels that has served his or her nation for many years and suddenly loses custody of the child while she is on another continent? The number of suicides in the military has more than doubled since 9/11.

    3. Single mothers in the military service the silent battle for their children

      Joseline Armistead
      Petition Organizer
      Single mothers in the military service the silent battle for their children

      How do you think a soldier feels that has served his or her nation for many years and suddenly loses custody of the child while she is on another continent? The number of suicides in the military has more than doubled since 9/11.

    4. The story of Michelle Rotchadl a leader, a soldier, a mother.

      Joseline Armistead
      Petition Organizer
      Female Soldier lost custody of her son while she was in Iraq

      SFC Michelle Rotchadl lost custody of her son while she was on deployment to Iraq. All decisions were made without her being present to the proceedings. Upon her return from the battlefront another hearing was held and the Judge stated that he felt because she was in the military that made he less fit to care for her son.

    5. Decision-maker Hon. Miguel Pereira. responds:

      Hon. Miguel Pereira.

      Yes I agree


    6. Decision-maker Hon. Miguel Pereira. responds:

    7. Decision-maker Hon. Miguel Pereira. responds:

      Hon. Miguel Pereira.

      i agree


    8. Decision-maker Hon. Miguel Pereira. responds:

      Hon. Miguel Pereira.

      I agree


    9. Decision-maker Hon. Miguel Pereira. responds:

      Hon. Miguel Pereira.

      I agree and will submit legizlation about the subject


    10. 2010 REPORT TO THE CONGRESS ON HOW DEPLOYMENT HAVE AFFECTED OUR CHILDREN

      Joseline Armistead
      Petition Organizer

      146,000 single military parents on 2008 on 15 month deployments. Most of them came home to childs with emotional problems, young babies who didnt recognize their own parents, teen angers with depression, etc. The statistics between child abuse and deployed parents increase and the rate of single parents loosing custody of their kids just because they were deployed double. THIS IS WHY IM DOING THIS PETITION. THIS IS THE 2010 REPORT TO THE CONGRESS ON HOW THE IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN DEPLOYMENT HAVE AFFECTED OUR CHILDREN. READ IT.

      http://www.militaryonesource.mil/12038/MOS/Reports/Report_to_Congress_on_Impact_of_Deployment_on_Military_Children.pdf

    11. Reached 50 signatures
    12. Compromiso de el Presidente de la Comision de lo Juridico, Seguridad y Vet

      Joseline Armistead
      Petition Organizer

      Hon. Miguel Pereira.
      Presidente de la Comisión de lo Jurídico, Seguridad y Veteranos:

      I agree and will submit legizlation about the subject.

      Este fue el mensaje que envio atraves de change.org el cual promete que por lo menos hay interes de ayudar y hacer algo al respecto. Esto es un comienso que recibimos con mucha felicidad. Tenemos que esperar a escuchar que exactamente la legislacion va a cubrir y si la misma se realiza. Es muy distinto hacer una promesa a llevarla acabo. Como Presidente de la Comisión de lo Jurídico, Seguridad y Veteranos reconosco que el pais debe haber visto cualidades especiales en el para haber depositado un cargo de tal magnitud en su persona. Por lo tanto cuento con su palabra.
      Joseline Armistead

      Change.org - Start, Join, and Win Campaigns for Change

      Change.org is the web's leading platform for social change, empowering anyone, anywhere to start petitions that make a difference.

    13. Reached 25 signatures
    14. Decision-maker Hon. Miguel Pereira. responds:

      Hon. Miguel Pereira.

      Yes I agree


    15. Decision-maker Hon. Miguel Pereira. responds:

      Hon. Miguel Pereira.

      I agree and will submit legizlation about the subject.


    16. Decision-maker Hon. Miguel Pereira. responds:

      Hon. Miguel Pereira.

      I agree and will submit legizlation about the subject.


    17. Reached 10 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Magaly Ortiz BAY SHORE, UNITED STATES
      • 7 months ago

      the soldiers are protecting us..the parents here should protect the child here.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • May Myer HUNTSVILLE, AL
      • 8 months ago

      It is just wrong to take children from someone serving our country!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • A PITT COLUMBIA, SC
      • 9 months ago

      Hello!

      I've started the petition "Barack Obama and Aaron Schock and U.S. Senate: Eradicate US Army Toxic Leadership" and need your help to get it off the ground.

      Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link:

      http://www.change.org/petitions/barack-obama-and-aaron-schock-and-u-s-senate-eradicate-us-army-toxic-leadership

      Here's why it's important:

      To Whom It May Concern,

      I was the immediate supervisor for SPC Annzala Pitt at C.Co 225 BSB. In the time that SPC Pitt was part of my squad she encountered numerous difficulties which I believe were entirely due to being mistreated by her senior leadership. When SPC Pitt arrived at 225 BSB she had a medical situation that required attention prior to her deployment to Iraq. When she voiced her concerns to 1LT Riglick not only were her concerns dismissed but her private health information was erroneously released to multiple parties. SPC Pitt filed a complaint for the HIPPA violation against the offending party, 1LT Riglick. A few months later 1LT Riglick was assigned to C.Co as our Platoon Leader. This is undoubtedly the situation that caused SPC Pitt to be labeled as a problem soldier by C.Co leadership. SPC Pitt was not protected from reprisal and was treated badly for the duration of her time with C.Co 225 BSB.

      The result of filing her HIPPA complaint against 1LT Riglick was having a stigma placed on her by the very leadership that was supposed to be protecting her. She endured rumors, attacks on her character, and even attempts at discrediting her intellectual capacities. She was even accused of having inappropriate relationships with multiple senior Non-Commissioned Officers by our Platoon Leader 1LT Riglick. SPC Pitt continuously sought only to do her job as a mental health specialist and as her first line supervisor I pushed for her to be moved from the company to the Troop Medical Clinic. When SPC Pitt was sent to the Troop Medical Clinic to preform her duties as a mental health specialist C.Co leadership made sure to let the incoming social worker know what their impression of her was. SPC Pitt then worked with Major Ball, who had already been told she was a problem soldier, and was subsequently treated horribly to include having to undergo a mental health evaluation without provocation.

      SPC Pitt requested on numerous occasions to be moved from C.Co 225 BSB to another company, battalion, or division to get out from underneath the stigma placed on her. These requests were heard by our Company Commander, 1SG, Platoon Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Command Sergeant Major, and even Division Command team but nothing was done. Instead of helping the soldier 1LT Riglick and Major Ball ordered me to counsel her for their perceived insubordination. When I disagreed with these orders it was made clear that my military career was also in jeopardy. I was ordered by 1LT Riglick to counsel SPC Pitt for not properly using her chain of command to which, I informed the command that she had done exactly what procedures are outlined. The result of my not counseling her for this was to have my MEDPROS status changed to non-deployable by 1LT Riglick. This retaliation against me for defending SPC Pitt would have ended my career if I had not already been found deployable and fit for duty by the Medical Review Board in 2008.

      Despite her outburst which finally concluded her time in C.Co I would still recommend that she be retained by the United States Army. SPC Pitt endured being mistreated for months and still maintained a positive attitude. Her intellectual prowess combined with her willingness to work make her a viable asset. I believe that if SPC Pitt had been able to move to another command away from the toxic leadership of C.Co 225 BSB her military career would have flourished.

      SGT David Trapolsi

      You can sign my petition by clicking here.

      Thanks!

      A PITT

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jennifer Fanning GERMANTOWN, MD
      • about 1 year ago

      I was a soldier, I am a mother. I want to join the military again to get ahead of my circumstances so I can provide a better future for my daughter but can not risk losing custody to her drug addicted father.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sharon Eddy E. FALMOUTH, MA
      • about 1 year ago

      A single mom of three grown children and wouldn't stand for this in a heart beat!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.