SB 117
Modifies provisions relating to military affairs
LR Number:
Last Action:
7/10/2013 - Signed by Governor
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2013
House Handler:

Current Bill Summary

CCS/HCS/SCS/SB 117 - This act modifies provisions relating to military affairs.

DISPLAY OF THE HONOR AND REMEMBER FLAG: This act requires the display of the Honor and Remember flag at all state buildings and state parks as an official recognition and in honor of fallen members of the Armed Forces of the United States.

These provisions are identical to SB 218 (2013) and HB 704 (2013) and are contained in CCS/SCS/SB 106 (2013). (Section 8.012 & Section 253.048)

RESIDENCY FOR PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS: This act allows any individual who is separating from the military forces of the United States with an honorable discharge or a general discharge to be considered a resident student for admission and in-state tuition purposes at an approved public four-year institution of higher education or in-state and in-district for admission and tuition at any approved public two-year institution of higher education. The separating military member must demonstrate presence and declare residency within Missouri and, if attending a community college, presence within the taxing district of the community college. The Coordinating Board for Higher Education must promulgate rules to implement this act.

This section is substantially similar to HCS/HB 168 (2013). (Section 173.1150)

CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION RIGHTS OF DEPLOYING MILITARY PARENTS: This act establishes the child custody and visitation rights of a deploying military parent. A deploying parent is a military parent who has received written orders to deploy with the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard, or any other reserve component.

This act provides that if a deploying parent is required to be separated from a child, a court shall not enter a final order modifying the terms of custody or visitation contained in an existing order until 90 days after the deployment ends unless there is a written agreement by both parties. Deployment or the potential for future deployment shall not be the sole factor supporting a change in circumstances or grounds sufficient to support a permanent modification of the custody or visitation terms established in an existing order.

EXISTING COURT ORDERS: This act provides that a custody or visitation order may be temporarily modified to make reasonable accommodation for the parties due to the deployment. Such temporary order shall also specify the terms of custody or visitation during the deployment and for when there is leave time for the deploying parent. Procedures are delineated for the deploying parent to obtain an expedited hearing in any custody or visitation matters.

This act requires the nondeploying parent to provide written notice to the court and to the deploying parent of any change of address and contact information within seven days of the change, except in instances where there is a valid order of protection in effect requiring the confidentiality of the nondeploying parent's contact information. In such instances the information shall only be given to the court. Nothing in the act shall be construed to eliminate current law requirements regarding relocation procedures.

AFTER DEPLOYMENT: A temporary modification shall automatically end no later than 30 days after the return of the deploying parent and the original terms of the custody or visitation order in place at the time of deployment are automatically reinstated.

The court may also conduct an expedited or emergency hearing within 10 days of the filing of a motion regarding custody or visitation upon return of the deploying parent in cases alleging an immediate danger or irreparable harm to the child. The nondeploying parent shall bear the burden of showing that reentry of the custody or visitation order in effect before the deployment is no longer in the child's best interests.

The court shall set any nonemergency motion by the nondeploying parent for hearing within 30 days of the filing of the motion.

DELEGATION OF VISITATION RIGHTS: Upon motion of the deploying parent or upon motion of a family member of the deploying parent with his or her consent, the court may delegate his or her visitation rights, or a portion of such rights, to a family member with a close and substantial relationship to the minor child or children for the duration of the deployment if it is in the best interest of the child. Such rights shall terminate by operation of law upon the end of the deployment, as set forth under the act. There is a rebuttable presumption that delegation of rights shall not be permitted in instances of domestic violence on the part of the family member seeking the delegated visitation rights.

ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS: This act specifies certain obligations the nondeploying and deploying parent have toward each other under any order entered. A deploying parent is required to provide a copy of his or her orders to the nondeploying parent promptly and without delay prior to the deployment.

This act prohibits a court from counting any time periods during which the deploying parent did not exercise visitation due to military duties when determining whether a parent failed to exercise such rights. This act also specifies that any absence of a child from the state during a deployment after an order for custody has been entered must be denominated as a temporary absence for the purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

This act specifies how the court may award attorney's fees and court costs. This section is identical to SCS/HB 148 (2013) and HCS/SB 110 (2013) and is also contained in CCS/SCS/SB 106 (2013). (Section 452.413)