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Terms of divorce can be incorporated into family care plan

As a member of the U.S. military in California, you no doubt understand the challenges many military families face when trying to balance military duties with family obligations. If you have recently deployed or are expecting your unit to serve active duty overseas in the near future, you may worry about certain issues pertaining to your children's well-being, especially if you are going through divorce.  

If you don't already have a military family care plan in place, now is a good time to create one. The military family care plan can help you alleviate many of your concerns regarding your children's care while you are away and help you protect your rights. If you are in the process of negotiating terms for divorce settlement, or the court recently issued an order regarding child custody or visitation, you can incorporate those terms into your family care plan where warranted.  

Most family care plans include several key factors 

One of the most difficult aspects of coping with family life in the military is the uncertainty involved in never knowing when or to where you might deploy. Like most good parents in Texas and throughout the nation, you want to make sure your children are safe and in good hands while you're gone. The following issues are often part of family care plans: 

Short-term care providers: Who is willing to be on-hand to step in and care for your children when you are away on military duty for short periods of time?  

Long-term care providers: This is typically a different person from your short-term care provider. If this person is someone other than your child's other biological parent, the other parent may have to expressly agree to the arrangement.  

Transportation: You may write specific instructions as to whom your children are allowed to travel with while you are unable to drive them places. Who will pick them up from school? How will they transfer from their short-term care provider to their long-term care provider if such care is not taking place in their home residence? Who is allowed to drive them to sporting or social events? Such permissions can be in your plan. 

Medical information: You'll want to include contact information for your child's medical teams as well as any special instructions regarding allergies or other particular health concerns your child may have.  

Financial information: You may designate someone to make financial decisions on behalf of your child while you are serving a deployment. 

You can customize your military family care plan to fit your family's particular needs and long-term goals related to balancing military life with family obligations. If you have an existing court order governing child custody, visitation or child support, you, of course, must adhere to its terms. You can include any and all information from your court order in your family care plan as it intersects with your children's lives and providing for them while you're away.  

Outside support available       

Your base hopefully has support groups available to help military families going through divorce as well as groups designed to assist families during deployments. If problems arise regarding your family care plan, divorce settlement or deployment, you can do what many other California service members do and seek experienced guidance in the matter to help protect your rights and your children's best interests. 

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