Divorce is a harrowing experience for all who are involved. While divorcing couples must navigate the legal complexities of divorce and the often emotionally fueled process of forming agreements, the process can profoundly impact children. As the family initiates the divorce process and begins to adjust to their new routine, it will be imperative to keep the children’s needs at the forefront of all decisions that are being made. Service members who are deployed or have pending deployments may be especially concerned over how their position within the military could affect agreements surrounding child support and child custody.
As a military divorce lawyer from Robinson & Hadeed will share, several considerations must be made in divorces involving those in the military. State laws can vary when enduring divorce and making child custody arrangements, which is why it may be in the parties’ best interest to discuss their case with a legal professional who has experience in this area of practice.
Family Care Plans
For any person serving in the armed forces who has a family, developing a family care plan is a crucial part of the process. It’s essential to be aware that the requirements for a family care plan can vary depending on the military branch a person is serving. In some situations, a family care plan may be required. These plans are imperative because they ensure that the service person has developed a plan for how their families and children will be cared for in their absence. For example, should they be deployed or engaged in active duty, a family care plan is critical to ensure a designated guardian who can step in to care for children. Typically a family care plan is required in situations such as:
- Single, pregnant service members
- A service member with sole custody of a child
- Service members who are the primary caregiver for someone else (this may include a spouse who requires constant care)
- Couples in the military with children
Regardless of the above situations, anyone with children and spouses should consider developing a plan should the service member be deployed for duty. While families should update care plans yearly, it’s also important to note that these family care plans may be helpful during divorce negotiations because they may be included within child custody arrangements.
Considerations for Service Members
One of the most challenging topics of divorce is negotiating child custody arrangements. It can be difficult to agree on issues involving children that are shared. Despite this, keeping the children’s needs at the forefront is important to ensure that custody arrangements are developed that put them first. Service members may even be concerned that their military status will impact their ability to obtain custody of their children. While there are many intricacies to this, there are several considerations that should be made when determining child custody:
- Situations where a parent is deployed for active duty
- Accommodations for relocation due to military service
- Developing or updating a family care plan
While these can be challenging topics to face, there are plausible solutions that can work for the family. And while a typical custody arrangement may not be the best option, a lawyer can help work with parties to negotiate a child custody plan that is tailored to meet the child’s needs.
To learn more about child custody and divorce, consider reaching out to an experienced lawyer for guidance.