Family Law Quarterly
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Volume 43, No. 2 (Summer 2009) — Table of Contents

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Symposium on Military Law

Editor's Note      
Linda D. Elrod (Cricket)

A Guide for Assisting Military Families with the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA)
Joseph W. Booth

This article provides an overview of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), providing military families and their counsel with practical assistance in using the Act to deal with inter-jurisdictional issues for support establishment, support enforcement, and establishment of parentage. Many fine resources are available for scholarly review of the Act and its application; thus, the author tailors his comments for the "boots on the ground," practitioners assisting military families with a support issue.

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Health Care Options for Former Military Spouses: Tricare and the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP)
William J. Camp

This article explores Tricare and the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP). The author explains how to maneuver through the maze of federal statutes and Department of Defense (DoD) regulations, and the paths and options to provides some type of health-care coverage for every former military spouse. In almost every case, where at the time of divorce the former military spouse was then covered under a DoD health-care plan, at least 36 months of transitional health coverage is available. In many other cases, a long-term health-care option will exist or can be created if the attorney representing the former spouse knows what to obtain in the settlement or trial of the case.

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The Military Report Card Concerning Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Including Compliance with the Lautenberg Amendment
Kathlene J. Somerville

This article examines the great strides DoD has made in its strategic plan to educate the military community in the area of domestic violence and sexual assault. However, a May 2006 GAO report to Congress indicates that the DoD has a lot of work to do before it can give Congress a positive report of substantial compliance with the recommendations of the DTFDV. A huge problem is the DoD's inability to accurately record incidences of domestic violence and sexual assault in the military when victims do not want to "go public" to the command or to other authorities. The author explains the steps DoD has taken in response and why its ability to collect accurate metrics to properly budget for the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Education and Intervention programs may be severely hampered.

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The SCRA and Family Law: More Than Just Stays and Delays
Kristen MH Coyne, Darren Myers, and Susan H. Witting

This article reviews the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The authors review the Act as well as 2003 changes to the Act and advise family lawyers that provisions of the Act provide more than just "stays" and "delays" in family law cases. The authors advise how best to use the Act on behalf of servicemembers and their divorcing spouses in a way that does not disadvantage, either legally or financially, the servicemember who is called to active duty in service of the country.

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Avoiding Conflict at Home When There Is Conflict Abroad: Military Child Custody and Visitation
Lauren S. Douglass

This article examines the problem facing a servicemember who is called to active duty and wants to entrust a child to the care of a grandparent or stepparent, rather than the other legal parent. While the servicemember is away on active duty, the other parent seeks custody of the child. If the custody arrangement is altered, the servicemember often faces a complicated legal battle to regain custody upon return, in spite of her previous role as primary caregiver. This article examines one legislative effort to deal with this issue, Kansas, Kan. Stat. Ann. § 60-1630. In addition to tracking the evolution of this statute, the author looks at the problem the statute was meant to address, the proposed solution it encompasses, its potential impact, and the possibility that the Kansas legislature will need to take further steps to protect the parental rights of servicemembers. Finally, it shows that while legislation can be helpful, especially if it further defines the rights of servicemembers and gives judges the discretion to weigh the best interests of the child, the most effective measures include continuing education on the issue with an emphasis on preventing custody battles in the first place.

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Publication Date: October 2009