As a member of the U.S. military in Maryland who also happens to be a parent, you likely already have a military family care plan in place. If not, you’ll no doubt want to research the topic and execute a plan for instructions regarding financial care, medical care and other important aspects relating to your children for times that you must leave them while serving on active duty.
Life is generally somewhat more different for military families than it is for those in strictly civilian households. If you are contemplating filing or have recently filed for divorce (or received papers after your spouse has filed) you may want to think about how divorce may impact your existing family care plan. If you don’t have a care plan in place, now’s a good time to create one and incorporate various divorce-related matters into your plan.
Think about requiring free, downloadable apps
One of the benefits of a family care plan is that you can customize it to fit your family’s immediate needs and long-term goals with regard to your active duty service, as well as with your divorce or any other family matter. If you expect to be overseas for an extended period of time, it’s understandable you’ll want to make sure you have a way to keep in close contact with your kids.
Free apps, such as Skype, Tango, WeChat or Kik can really come in handy in such circumstances. As part of your parenting plan agreement with your former spouse, you can ensure that your children have a particular app and are able to keep the lines of communication as open as possible, given your military situation.
Protecting your rights while you’re away
Military service overseas (especially combat situations) is stressful enough without having to deal with a high-conflict divorce situation back home. The last thing you need is to face custody or visitation issues while you can’t even be there in person to state your opinion or needs.
There are laws to protect you from custody litigation while you’re serving a deployment outside the jurisdiction of your primary residence. If you’re worried about such matters, you can tap into various military parent advocacy resources to discuss your rights and what you can do if a problem arises while you’re away.
If you deploy in the midst of or shortly following divorce proceedings, you definitely won’t be alone in your struggle as other Maryland military service members likely have gone through or are currently navigating similar situations. The good news is that there are strong legal support networks in place for all parents in the military to help protect their rights and the best interests of their children whether those parents are serving at a home base or on deployment overseas.