How your military status can affect child custody

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Arizona military members who are going through a divorce may find themselves at a disadvantage. While military status should not affect a person’s ability to gain custody of their children, in some cases, it can. The possibility of future deployment can be detrimental to the health and well-being of a child.

What’s in the best interest of the child?

Child custody courts will always rule in favor of what’s in the best interest of the child. Since each child custody situation is going to be different from the next, it’s hard to tell whether or not a military parent will be granted custodial custody or not. A judge will always take into consideration the possibility that the military service member will be deployed in the future.

Service members can delay court actions

For military members who do gain custody of their child, they may end up facing a court order for modification of that agreement if they are deployed. There are current laws in place that allow service members who are on active duty to delay court actions for up to 90 days. If the service member is not able to return to undergo the court proceedings within 90 days, the judge may grant the service member additional time before they take any court action. This is not guaranteed as it’s up to the individual judge and the circumstances surrounding the case.

A family care plan can help

The military requires families that are comprised of two service members or a single parent who is a service member to create a family care plan. This plan addresses issues of short-term care, long-term care and any care provisions regarding their children in the event that they are deployed. Any military member undergoing the child custody process should construct a family care plan and submit it to the judge.

Child custody battles can be complex for everybody. When you’re a military service member, the possibility of your future deployment can really throw a wrench in your plans. By understanding how this will affect your ability to gain custody, you can work to create things like the family care plan to help show the court that you’re able to handle the situation if it arises.