Coming up with a parenting plan after you split with your spouse can be challenging. It’s even more so if one or both parents are in the military.
While many service member parents petition for joint custody of their child if they live in the same geographic area as their co-parent, this is often impossible for those who live in different states or when one parent is facing deployment.
Custody arrangements that work well with your military obligations
Military parents often aren’t able to make flexible custody schedules, such as those featuring rotating days or weeks, due to their demanding schedule. Service members are often better about adhering to a structured visitation schedule that features set pick-up or drop-off locations as well as predetermined tradeoffs. Parents must also have a contingency plan in place that they can implement should a last-minute change be warranted.
Many servicemember parents end up needing a custody or visitation schedule that involves them spending extended time with their children during the holidays and school breaks. That allows them uninterrupted bonding time with their kids. Parents must make arrangements to ensure that their children have consistent video or phone visitation time in between these in-person sessions. Substitute visitation may also be warranted in the event of an extended deployment. This generally involves a child spending time with their parent’s close relative, such as siblings or grandparents, instead of their absent parent.
If you’re looking for guidance in navigating custody or visitation, talk to someone who understands the ins and outs of military divorces. If you do find someone who has such experience, their insight may prove invaluable.