Child custody determinations are among the most contested aspects of a divorce or separation. While these issues are difficult for nearly everyone, the unique circumstances of military service members can make child custody disputes particularly complicated. While child custody matters are determined by state courts, there are certain issues that arise in military divorces that may not arise in divorces in which both parents are civilians.
Military members are subject to lengthy deployments as well as being reassigned to different locations, situations which may significantly impact the ability of divorced or separated parents to share parenting rights and responsibilities. As a result, all of the branches of the military require single parents or dual-member households to have a family care plan to deal with the issues that may be raised in the event of a deployment or relocation. Because of the complicated legal issues that can be raised in a military divorce where child custody is an issue, any military member or military spouse considering a divorce should consult with a Virginia military divorce lawyer as soon as possible.
What is in a Family Care Plan?
A family care plan details what happens to any children a service member may have in the event the service member is absent for a period of time. It is a collection of documents that determines the following:
- Who shall provide care for a service member’s children in the event of his or her absence
- Who shall provide for a service member’s other dependents in the event of his or her absence
- Who shall have short term custody in the event of a no-notice deployment
- Who shall have long term custody if it becomes necessary
- Information about how any children will be supported financially during the service member’s absence
It is important to note that while a family care plan does not create or deny any rights, it can be an effective tool in establishing evidence of responsible parenting in the event of a child custody dispute.
Contact a Virginia military divorce lawyer today
If you are a military member or military spouse considering a divorce, you should discuss your situation with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a consultation with Raymond B. Benzinger, call our office today at (703) 312-0410.