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Will my military service create a child custody issue?

You work hard as a member of our country's Armed Forces. You have given up time with the ones you love to protect the freedoms of everyone else. Unfortunately, your military service put such a strain on your marriage that now your spouse is seeking a divorce and is requesting sole custody of your children. What can you do if you would prefer more of a shared custody arrangement?

Many military service members in California and elsewhere have marriages end in divorce. The level of stress put on these couples is difficult for most civilians to understand. The thought of being denied access to your children because of your service is likely more than you can bear. Guess what? Your ex cannot deny you access to your children just because of your job.

The military challenge

While the other parent can't deny you access to your children because of your military service, it does not mean that you will get the shared custody arrangement you are looking for either. How often you remain home and where your job takes you will be determining factors when it comes to putting together a custody arrangement.

The simple truth of the matter is, you never know when deployments will occur or how long you will be asked to be gone from home. You never know if you will be permanently or temporarily reassigned stations. For these reasons, your custody order will need to include things that a normal custody order would not. For instance, if granted shared custody, you may need to include instructions in the form of a family care plan for what happens in the event a deployment arises.

Purpose of a family care plan

A family care plan will assign people as short-term and long-term caretakers for your children. You must provide detailed instructions for how to care for children with the plan. Some also suggest including a Power of Attorney should the caretaker ever need to act on your behalf. A family care plan is generally only required if both parents are service members and subject to deployments.

Fight for a fair custody arrangement

While you and your ex are still living in the same area, you may seek to have shared custody of your kids. If you need to move for your job or experience a job change that keeps you away from home more often, it is always possible to seek a modification to the custody order.

The possibility of deployment does not mean you are unfit to have equal access to your children. With legal assistance, you can take the steps necessary to fight for a fair custody arrangement that honors your parental rights and respects the hardships associated with your job.

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