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Child custody during military deployment

Divorced parents who serve in the military face unique child custody challenges when they share children with an ex-spouse if there's a possibility that they could be deployed to active duty in a different location. For this reason, every divorced military servicemember who has children and could be deployed needs to create a military child custody plan that appropriately addresses the following concerns.

Your child custody plan should clearly state with whom your children will live during military deployment, temporary duty, mobilization and unaccompanied tours.

In most cases, the child custody plan will state that the non-military parent who shares joint custody will assume all responsibilities for the children while the other parent is deployed and unavailable.

If the non-military parent is unfit to care for the child or children and does not have physical or legal custody, then the parent who's in the military will usually indicate that a designated family member will assume responsibility for the children during deployment.

If both parents are serving in the military, then they will state who will care for the children in case both of them face simultaneous deployment.

Are you a military family? Are you or your ex-spouse currently facing deployment overseas? It's important to ensure that all child custody plans of military personnel appropriately address the possibility of deployment to protect the child custody rights of both parents, and to protect the well-being of the children who are affected by the child custody agreement. Learning more about your rights as a military parent will help you navigate this important legal issue.

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