Can My Military Service Affect Child Custody?
A military career can be exciting, educational, and fulfilling. Most people who enlist look forward to serving their country, learning new skills, and traveling the world. But while life in the military has its benefits, it can also take a physical and emotional toll.
Unfortunately, enlisted service members are more likely than average citizens to suffer from depression. They are also more likely to get divorced.
For military women, the average rate of divorce is 7%. For military men, the average rate is 2.5%. Divorce is complicated on its own. When either spouse is on active or reserve duty, the process becomes even more complex.
If you have questions about divorce and family law as a member of the military, you’ve come to the right place. The Gucciardo Law Firm has years of experience in this area of law and we are happy to offer whatever support you need.
Keep reading to learn more about how your military service might affect your child’s custody arrangement.
Determining What Is Best for the Child
Like you, the legal system wants what is best for your child. If you have the need to relocate or travel overseas often, that can complicate things. Still, the courts will make every effort to settle on an arrangement that supports your relationship with the child.
For service members in a custody dispute, it may help to sit down with the other parent to create a Family Care Plan. If both parties are willing to set aside egos and focus on the child, a healthy compromise is possible and even likely.
Remember, you can still be given primary custody as a military parent. In fact, the courts are required to consider your appeal for custody in the same way it would for a civilian. But you must be willing to work with the other parent or custodian as you navigate the demands of your profession and what those might mean for the child.
Navigating Arrangements and Relocations
If you are given primary or joint custody, there will need to be answers to questions like, “Where does the child live when you are overseas?” or “What happens if you are relocated?” The judge will work with you and the other parent to make arrangements.
You may worry that your ex-spouse could attempt to change the custody arrangement while you are deployed. Fortunately, there are protections that help military parents avoid these scenarios.
Because of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, no civil legal proceedings that involve you can take place until your return.
Understanding Your Rights
By nature, custody agreements for military parents are complicated, even when both parents are willing to negotiate. The best step you can take to protect your rights and the rights of your child is to hire an experienced family lawyer.
You can trust The Gucciardo Law Firm to help you work through any custody issues. If you would like to schedule a free, 30-minute consultation with a member of our team, visit our contact page or give us a call today.
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