Fathers and Families has named Assemblyman Paul Cook its “California Assemblyman of the Year” for 2010. On our plaque (see above) we praised Cook for his “fine leadership in the fight for family court reform” and also noted:
We applaud your fine efforts and leadership on behalf of military parents and Native American families, as well as your work to improve the quality of life for all parents and their children.
We worked closely with Assemblyman Cook on AB 2416–Child Custody Protection for Military Parents. The bill creates a rebuttable presumption that upon a servicemember”s return from deployment, child custody and visitation orders will revert to the original order. It also allows judges to award a deployed parent”s parenting time to grandparents or stepparents so that deployed parents can”t have their contact with their children severed by the custodial parent. This also helps to maintain and nurture children”s bonds with their deployed parent”s family.
AB 2416 is arguably the strongest military parent protection bill in the country. The bill was signed into law by former Governor Schwarzenegger last fall.