February 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- When a person serves in the military, he or she may have special obligations that can complicate other life issues. For example, it may be difficult to address life problems while completing service responsibilities. Fortunately, as laws evolve, service persons are given more leeway and time, permitting them to focus on both military issues and other important life issues. One important issue is child custody and visitation, which can become a highly contested and messy topic subsequent to a military divorce
At one time, there was a strong presumption against service members obtaining custody of their children subsequent to divorce. This was particularly true when men dominated the ranks. However, under current reform, this is no longer the case. These days, the mere fact that one is addressing military duties is not sufficient enough to prevent an award of custody. In other words, a civilian spouse cannot argue that he or she should be awarded custody simply because his or her partner is in the military.
In awarding custody, courts consider the "best interest of the child." This is the case in both civilian and military cases. In making a custody decision, courts evaluate many factors, including the following:
- The ability of each parent to provide for a child's physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing
- The child's preference (if he or she can rationally make a decision)
- The willingness of a parent to provide contact between the child and noncustodial parent
These are just a few considerations. In the context of a military custody battle, a court may need to examine a service member's training schedule, too. This would help evaluate one's ability to make time for a child.
Nevertheless, one can make an excellent case for child custody as a military parent. The military has supportive services that could greatly benefit a child. For example, posts and bases have excellent school systems and many other opportunities. Furthermore, most military locations have daycare facilities. All are provided to service members at no cost. Additionally, the Post Exchange sells goods that can be purchased at reduced prices. Such deals can help a military parent financially support a child. If a person wants to make a good case for custody rights, these are valuable points.
The Department of Defense directive requires service members, military employees and their family who are outside the country to comply with court orders involving minor children who are subject to custody or vitiation orders. When one parent is in the military, this makes scheduled visitation difficult.
Fortunately, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is designed to protect military members from being sued or presented with new legal actions while deployed. This can allow the member to concentrate on the mission and deal with legal matters
upon return. Therefore, if new custody or visitation issues arise during active duty, a person can invoke this act easily with the help of a qualified attorney. However, this does not mean that a military person can avoid prior orders.
If you are a military member, you may want to retain the assistance of a qualified family law attorney. A lawyer can help you explore your options and develop arrangements that work for your personal family situation.
Article provided by Anthony C. Starks Law Office
Visit us at www.anthonystarkslaw.com---
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