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Can military service affect child custody?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2019 | Child Custody & Parenting Time

Being a member of the United States military, no matter in which branch you serve, is something of which to be proud. It is a job that not everyone can or is willing to do. Unfortunately, your willingness to enter this line of work has caused you to sacrifice several things, including your marriage. It may even cost you precious time with your children if you are not careful.

Many service members in Colorado and elsewhere end up getting divorced, so your situation is not unusual, but you want to make sure you do not lose more than you should because of your commitment to the armed forces. Technically, your job should not prevent you from gaining some level of custody of your children as part of your divorce agreement. However, it is not uncommon for non-military spouses to seek sole custody of their kids due to the service member’s unusual schedule.

The military challenge

Being in the military does create challenges when figuring out a custody schedule. Some service members are in positions where the government does not deploy them frequently or move them around too much. These individuals will have an easier time getting joint custody agreements approved. If deployments and relocations occur with great frequency, getting the custody arrangements one believes is best may prove more difficult.

Enter the family care plan

If you want a shared custody arrangement, you will need to set up a family care plan. This is simply a set of instructions for what is to happen should a deployment arise or relocation orders come in. It allows you to name a short-term caretaker. It can also include care provisions — details regarding the care of your children. It is possible to update the plan as you see fit.

Fight for a fair custody arrangement

Shared custody is the norm these days, even for military members. However, the courts will consider a number of factors before deciding if it is the best arrangement for your situation. Some of these factors include:

  • Ages of the children
  • Possibility of deployment or relocation
  • Needs of the children
  • Living arrangements

If a shared custody plan comes together and it will serve the best interests of the children, there is no reason why it should not receive approval. If down the line, your military service makes the plan harder to stick with, you can also seek to adjust the plan. If your request for shared custody is flat out denied, you may continue to fight for the custody arrangement you believe is best. No parent should receive denial to accessing their children because of a challenging work schedule.