The military lifestyle lends itself to relocation. Most military families have trouble laying down roots or remaining in one place for very long. Not only do military couples suffer under the weight of stress and often drift apart, but it can become a bigger issue after the divorce when children are involved. How does military divorce affect child custody? Can servicemembers retain their rights to their children despite the movement that the military demands?
Military service does affect child custody issues, according to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Military OneSource. Whether you must leave on deployment or move bases, your job can interfere with existing arrangements. If you leave due to deployment, you should have a family care plan in place. This family care plan appoints another person to care for your children in your absence. You can choose another family member to care for your children medically, financially and logistically.
If you did not plan ahead, you can also discuss modifying the order. If you want to relocate with your child, it is crucial that you go through the court to modify any child support or child custody orders. In addition to providing you with the ability to modify the custody orders, you also cannot lose your rights when you are away due to your military service. There are protections in place to keep military members from losing their children due to their job.
If your spouse does attempt to change the custody order, you can seek a temporary halt if you are not in town due to work. Military servicemembers have special rules that can assist them through the custody process and beyond. Learn more about military divorce on our webpage.