Parents divorcing while in the military have some special considerations that others don’t have. Making sure you have everything covered can help you protect your right to be a parent to your children and your career. The fact that you’re serving in the military can’t be held against you for custody matters, but it might be a factor in how some terms of the parenting plan are handled.
Think about these three points if you’re currently in the military while going through a divorce and have children. Coming up with the plan now but remembering that you may need to modify it in the future can help to make the situation less stressful for everyone.
#1: Plan for parenting time
Parenting time is your chance to build and maintain a bond with your children. Ideally, you’ll be able to have this time in person; however, that might not be possible if you’re on deployment or participating in training exercises. In those cases, you may be able to have virtual visits with your child. It’s also possible to transfer visitation time to a trusted family member, such as your parents.
#2: Submit a family care plan
All military branches require a family care plan for single parents and dual-military-parent households. This outlines what happens with the children if the active-duty parent is called up to serve in a manner that doesn’t allow them to have their children with them. In most cases, the family care plan stipulates that the children go with their other parent.
#3: Adjust as necessary
You’ll learn quickly that you must adapt and overcome as things change with the military. This will often impact the children, so you need to have a clause in the parenting plan that covers how necessary adjustments will be handled. Mediation might help in these instances.
Going through a divorce when you’re serving your country isn’t easy, especially if you have children. Making sure that you have a parenting plan that protects your rights to parent your children is important. This might be a bit easier if you work with someone familiar with these situations.