Military Law

CCS/SCS/SB 106 – Modifies various provisions relating to veterans and members of the military including academic credit, professional licences and child custody rights of military members.  

MILITARY TRAINING AND ACADEMIC CREDIT – Requires public postsecondary institutions to accept credits for courses that the military awarded to personnel as part of their military training if the courses meet certain standards for academic credit.  

Military Member and Professional Licenses – Members of the armed forces with health–related professional licenses or certificates that are in good standing when entering active duty will remain in good standing while on active duty. Renewal of these licenses or certificates while the member is on active duty shall occur without the payment of dues. Continuing education will also not be required if certain requirements are met.  

Service, education, or training as a member of the armed forces, if satisfactory to the licensing board, may be applied towards qualifications to receive a license or certificate from a professional licensing board.  

Child Custody Rights of Deployed Military Members – Child custody and visitation rights of a deploying military parent are established. 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.  

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.  

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.  

The nondeploying parent is required 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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

The 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.  

The act specifies how the court may award attorney’s fees and court costs. (Signed 7/10/13)  

HCS/SB 110 – Establishes the child custody and visitation rights of a deploying military parent. Specifies how the court may award attorney’s fees and court costs. (See summary of similar provisions in SB 106, supra). (Vetoed 7/3/13)  

HCS/SS/SCS/SB 116 – Repeals current provisions related to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters and institutes the Uniformed Military and Overseas Voters Act to apply to all federal elections, statewide and state legislative elections or local elections where absentee ballots are authorized.  

The Secretary of State is required to establish an electronic transmission system through which a covered voter may apply and receive voter registration materials and military–overseas ballots.  

Allows uniformed services and overseas voters to use a federal postcard application or the declaration accompanying a federal write–in absentee ballot to apply to register to vote. Such voters who are registered to vote in Missouri may apply for a military–overseas ballot and those who are not registered may use a federal postcard application to simultaneously register and apply for a military–overseas ballot.  

Covered as defined in the bill voters may use a federal write– in absentee ballot to vote for all offices and ballot measures.  

Valid military–overseas ballots shall be counted if received before noon on the Friday after the election day.  

No election authority or verification board shall certify election results before noon on the Friday after the election day and a valid military–overseas ballots shall be counted if received before that time.  

The act shall take effect on July 1, 2014. (Signed 7/10/13)  

CCS/HCS/SCS/SB 117 – Modifies provisions relating to military affairs.  

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.  

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. Establishes the child custody and visitation rights of a deploying military parent. (See summary of similar provisions under SB 106, supra) (Signed 7/10/13)  

HCS/SCS/SB 118 – Authorizes circuit courts or a combination of circuits to create veterans treatment courts. These courts will handle cases involving substance abuse or mental illness of current or former military personnel (See Judicial Administration)  

HCS/SCS/SB 186 – Also provides that a funeral establishment or coroner in possession of cremated remains is authorized to release the required information to the Department of Veterans Affairs or a veterans’ service organization to obtain verification for eligibility of a military burial.  

A funeral establishment, coroner, or veterans’ service organization shall not be liable for actions stemming from final disposition of the remains when the establishment has followed proper notification procedures.  

This act authorizes the State Treasurer to release certain information contained in the holder report of abandoned military medals to the public in order to facilitate the identification of the original owner or the owner’s heirs or beneficiaries. The Treasurer may designate a veterans’ organization to assist in the identification of the original owner of the medal. (Signed 7/10/13)  

SCS/HB 148 – Establishes the child custody and visitation rights of a deploying military parent. (See summary of similar provisions in SB 106, supra). (Signed 7/3/13)  

HCS/HB 159 – Creates an exemption from the proof of residency and domicile for purposes of school registration when the family of a student living in Missouri co–locates to live with other family members or in a military family support community because one or both of the student’s parents are serving on specified military orders. (Signed 7/10/13)  

CCS/SS/SCS/HCS/HBs 374 & 434 – Authorizes circuit courts or a combination of circuits to create veterans treatment courts. (See summary of similar provisions under HCS/SCS/SB 118, supra). (See also Judicial Administration)  

HB 702
– Authorizes the State Treasurer to release certain information contained in the holder report of abandoned military medals to the public in order to facilitate the identification of the original owner or the owner’s heirs or beneficiaries. This act also allows the Treasurer to designate a veterans’ organization to assist in the identification of the original owner of the medal. (Signed 7/10/13)