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Child custody and military divorce require extra planning

Those who elect to serve their country make many personal sacrifices. Unfortunately, the pressures that come with this service often result in the end of marital relationships. Service personnel who are located in California may seek out the assistance of a family law professional who is well-versed in the intricacies that differentiate a military divorce from a civilian one.

When someone is an active member of the Armed Forces and faces a divorce, one of the most difficult aspects to resolve is the issue of child custody. The different branches generally do not permit a single parent to enlist, however. There are many occasions when a dissolution will mean that a single parent is serving as an active duty member. This makes determining custody more difficult than in most other situations due to possible last minute deployments and relocation. In these circumstances, it is often helpful to have a child custody plan in effect so that the continuity of  care is not disrupted more than necessary.

Many military parents may feel that they will not qualify for custody due to what the family courts may see as instability for a child. In the majority of cases, the court considers a child's best interest, which may mean the military parent is more capable of providing a stable home life. Parents who are in the military are required to file a care plan that outlines what provisions are in place for a minor child in the event of a  deployment or other change in living arrangements.  These plans require agreement from both parents and review by the service member's superior officer.

Care plans need to be updated on an annual basis for as long as the child remains in the care of a military member as well as whenever there are other significant life changes. There are other aspects that make the filing of a military divorce more involved than the typical civilian divorce. California residents may experience the outcomes they seek with the guidance of an attorney who is skilled in this particular type of dissolution.

Source: Findlaw, "Military Child Custody: Key Legal Issues", Accessed on Jan. 24, 2018

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