Before coming to an agreement on child custody issues during a military divorce, you should know what your rights are in Texas. Some couples may have heated discussions over who should get custody when only one parent serves in the military. It’s important to know that the court cannot discriminate against military parents. You have just as much a right for custody as any other parent. Joint custody is usually the route a judicial system wants to take, but in some situations, one parent isn’t capable of providing care.
Fear of the military spouse having to relocate is a major concern during a military divorce. Parents want to spend as much time with their children as possible. When you have no choice but to relocate because of the military, the court is usually understanding. However, you should still write in your co-parenting plan that you can relocate if the military isn’t giving you a choice.
In fairness to both parents, you should also agree to create a new time schedule to ensure that each parent can spend time with the child. This should include guaranteed time for phone calls and communication over the internet. If you have joint physical custody, the child could stay with the other parent during summer vacation.
Military parents who aren’t on good terms with their ex-spouse worry about the spouse trying to gain sole custody over their child during their deployment. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects your right to custody during active-duty service. This includes reserve members of the military who end up having to serve active duty. If your spouse tries to gain custody while you are away, you can postpone the hearing.
In your co-parenting plan, clarify who the child will stay with during your deployment. If your ex-spouse isn’t a fit parent, you can arrange for the child to stay with a family member. It’s important to have this information in writing or the court will make the decision for you, and you might not be happy with their decision.
Although your co-parenting plan will be more complex than the standard co-parenting plan because of your status as a military member, the judicial system handles child custody issues mostly the same with some understanding of extenuating circumstances. There are laws in place to protect the right of a military parent to maintain custody of their child, so an attorney may help you understand your protections under the law.