Serving in the military is a noble pursuit. Members of the Air Force, Navy, and Army put their lives on the line so that Texans and other Americans may enjoy the freedoms and privileges of living in this great country. However, living a military life has its challenges, including the requirement that military members move to keep their jobs can create strains when they are parents to children subject to court-ordered custodial arrangements.
Like non-military parents, parents going through a military divorce must weigh their children’s best interests when creating child custody agreements. This can be hard, though, as military parents consider upcoming deployments which may force them to move with their children if they have sole or primary physical custody of them. Rarely a parent may unilaterally move with a child without the consent of the other parent; this factor in the life of a military parent can cause considerable stress with regard to child custody.
Also, military parents should not be discriminated against by the courts simply because of their careers. While some courts may fear that a military parent’s potential unavailability should be used as a factor against them in child custody decisions such discrimination may work against protecting a child’s best interests and prevent a sound custody order from being created.
Due to the variability of a military parent’s schedule, a court may have them and the child’s other parent create different parenting and care plans that can be in effect during different periods of the year. For example, parents may have a plan for when the military parent is physically present and able to spend time with their child and they may have a plan for when the parent is deployed. Military parents do not lose their parental rights simply because of their chosen life paths and those who need help keeping their children in their lives may wish to consult with family law attorneys in their communities.