HARRISBURG – The PA House Judiciary Committee passed legislation to improve the state’s custody and visitation laws on behalf of parents on military deployment. Bill sponsor, Rep. Craig Williams of Chester & Delaware Counties said in some instances, deployment is used against service members for child custody and visitation determinations. Further, should a former spouse change states of residence in the middle of a military deployment, there begins another court battle over child custody jurisdiction. Williams’ measure would prevent any permanent custody changes while a service member is deployed for longer than 30 days. It will also ensure visitation rights are protected during the deployment. House Bill 2287 would also allow video and phone calls to be part of any temporary custody order, so deployed military parents are able to see and hear their children while away. The legislation was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense and the Uniform Law Commission. 16 other states have adopted the specific language in Williams’ bill, which now goes to the full state House for consideration.