Navy Sailor's Deployment Complicates Custody Battle

A Navy dad fighting to keep custody of his daughter was ordered to appear in court while currently stationed on a submarine in the Pacific.
2:32 | 06/19/14

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Transcript for Navy Sailor's Deployment Complicates Custody Battle
bitter custody battle between a member of the Navy and his ex-wife. He's fighting to keep his daughter and has been ordered to appear in court in Michigan on Monday. The only problem, he's currently deployed. Stationed on a submarine in the pacific. ABC's Ryan smith is here with this story and this one has us all scratching our heads. Reporter: Tough one. Sailor Matthew Hindes has had custody of Kaylee since 2010 and a federal law should delay a custody hearing challenging this arrangement hopefully until he can be there. In his absence serving his country could cost him dearly. This morning a sailor serving overseas locked in a fight a world away to keep custody of his little girl. Keep us safe while daddy is gone. Reporter: Navy submariner Matthew Hindes and his ex-wife Angela are battling over custody of their child. 6-year-old Kaylee. Matthew was given permanent custody of Kaylee in 2010 after she was reportedly removed from Angela's home by child protective services. Kaylee has been living with Matthew's wife beneath that-lynn, her stepmother in Washington state while he is deployed aboard a nuclear submarine. He is protecting the rights of other but who is protecting his rights. Reporter: A judge ordered Hindes to appear in court or hand over his daughter to her biological mother. Hindes' lawyers say he should be protected by the service members civil relief act which states courts in custody cases may grant a stay of proceedings for a minimum period of 90 days to defend in serving their country. The judge hearing the custody case disagreeing adding "If the child is not in the care and custody of the father, the child should be in the care and custody of the mother." Hindes is not only facing the possibility of losing his daughter, but also losing the chance to say good-bye. So I'm just trying my best to keep, you know, everything together. It's just hard. Reporter: We haven't been able to reach his ex-wife for comment but sailor Hindes says he can't be there and not allowed to appear by scope or phone and not being there to argue for custody could have a huge effect and we'll stay on top of the story. All anybody wants, you know, because we don't know all sides is for it to be fair and whatever the judge decides decides, but to let both sides have an opportunity. Tough without both sides in the courtroom. Horrible dilemma. Thanks. To a brave girl who was home

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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