Getting divorced when you and your spouse still have children will require a lot of work and patience. Couples have to either negotiate their own custody arrangements despite their relationship falling apart or wait for a judge to make a ruling about the best way to split custody.
Sometimes, the career path of one parent will have a strong impact on the custody proceedings for the family. If you or your ex are a military service number, there will be issues that could come up in your custody negotiations or court proceedings that most civilian families won’t have to consider.
What happens if the military parent must move to another base?
Being a military family means everyone already knows how unpredictable your family circumstances can be. You may have already moved multiple times in recent years.
While married, it’s easy to make arrangements for spouses and children to relocate along with a service member. That may not be an option after your divorce, especially if the spouse not in the military has ties to the community or can’t afford to relocate. Your family needs to address what would happen in that situation.
Will military service affect parental responsibilities?
The branch of the military somebody serves in and the nature of their position will directly influence how demanding their job is. Some people work long shifts and don’t know their schedules ahead of time, making it very hard for them to have overnight parenting responsibilities. Your family needs to be realistic about how you can reliably divide parental responsibilities with an active service member in the family.
Don’t forget virtual visitation
If a distance deployment is a possibility while the children are still minors, you probably need to include virtual or digital visitation rights in your custody plan. When a military parent leaves on deployment, it could be weeks or months before they get to physically spend time with the children again. While they are away, having rules in the custody order that allow for virtual visitation over teleconferencing apps can help the family maintain its relationships.
Whether you would like to settle your divorce issues outside of court or will need to ask the courts for support with the process, identifying the unique concerns stemming from your family’s military involvement can certainly help.