The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows service members of the military to postpone, cancel or modify a wide range of civil obligations under certain circumstances, including such things as cell phone contracts, rental or mortgage contracts, credit card debts, and even legal proceedings and trial. The purpose of the act is to relieve members of civil obligations while deployed. As it relates to custody and parenting time proceedings and judgments, the act:
- Stays (pauses) domestic proceedings during periods of deployment,
- Requires members be given adequate time prepare for trial after deployment has ended,
- Allows for entry of temporary orders specifically tailored to accommodate the member’s schedule during deployment and approved leave;
- Allows for reinstatement of prior parenting schedules and judgments once deployment has ended, and
- Helps prevent entry of default judgments in the member’s absence.
While some relief provided by the Act applies regardless of timing or any specific action taken by the service member, the bulk of the Act’s value to members can only be utilized in advance of deployment. Oregon law specifically requires expedited hearings to resolve proceedings in advance of deployment at the member’s request, and authorizes telephonic or alternative testimony by the member when the member cannot personally appear. The goal is to ensure continued contact between a child and deployed parent regardless of deployment, in the best interests of the child. See ORS 107.145 and 107.146.
NOTICE: The above summary is meant for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal advice. It is meant merely as a broad overview of the rules applicable to the majority of cases, and does not diminish the need to consult with a professional regarding your specific circumstances.