Military Custody Twists and Turns

For the custody practitioner, the SCRA is all about delay. It may be used by the SM’s lawyer to postpone indefinitely the “day of reckoning.” If you are on the other side, expect lots of dodging and weaving by opposing counsel to put off the hearing because of the SM’s nonavailability. The party who wants to move forward promptly must know the rules under the SCRA, the facts of the case, and the decisions that favor moving forward. The primary issues are whether the presence of the SM is necessary for the hearing and whether the court should make an interim custody ruling pending the full hearing.

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