Child custody is one of the most complex issues in any divorce, but it can be particularly difficult for Maryland military families. Service in the military can have a significant impact on how custody and visitation arrangements will work after the divorce is final. Families with one or two military members would be prudent to seek assistance as they address these sensitive issues.
As an active and loving parent, you have the right to play an important role in the life of your child. Children benefit when they have regular access to both parents after divorce. While military service can make custody and visitation difficult, it is possible to secure an arrangement that reflects both your rights as a parent and the best interests of your children.
Custody for military families
Like civilian couples, military families must address certain custody issues when ending their marriage. From visitation schedules to legal custody, the decisions that you make could have a significant impact on your family for years to come.
There are certain issues that are unique to military families, and you may have to draft a family care plan to address the potential for deployment and reassignment down the road. A family care plan must include provisions for the following:
- Details of care provision: You can include details regarding specific things that your children may need during your absence, as well as important information necessary for their care.
- Short-term care of your children: There must be a designated person who can care for your children on short notice, such as after an unexpected assignment.
- Long-term care of your children: This outlines your plans for taking care of your kids in case your military duties take you away from home for an extended amount of time.
It is prudent not to make emotionally charged decisions during a divorce, but to pursue an outcome that allows for a strong post-divorce future for you and your children.
Your rights as a parent
A strong custody and visitation agreement is a key to protecting your rights as a parent. Your military service does not diminish your right to be present and active in the lives of your children, and it is beneficial to seek help as you work to protect your rights as a parent. A complete evaluation of your case can help you understand your options regarding child custody and a visitation schedule.