How Deployed Texas Military Parents Can Care For Children

Parenting can be challenging for ex-spouses. It becomes even more difficult if one parent has been deemed the child's or children's sole managing conservator or one parent has the right to determine primary residence in a joint managing conservatorship. Those pressures only increase when that parent serves in the military and is deployed. Despite the special circumstances such parents face, there are remedies available under Texas law to allow them to effectively care for their children while they are on active duty.

Texas Courts Commonly Order Temporary Child Custody To One Parent Or The Other

The primary managing conservator-parent can seek a court order granting another person temporary custody over the child for the duration of his or her deployment. However, this relief cannot be granted by a military court and is not available under the Military Family Care Plan; rather, the order must be obtained from a Texas civil family law court or the court system that governs the military family residence. However, because Texas law prescribes a certain order of priority when granting temporary custody, the other parent who is a joint managing conservator will have a right to serve as the temporary primary managing conservator under Texas law, barring any orders to the contrary.

The noncustodial parent in a joint managing conservatorship is the court's first choice, but if that parent is not an option, then the primary managing conservator's choice for a temporary guardian is the court's next choice. Finally, if for some reason the court deems the person chosen by the parent to be inadequate, the court may appoint a temporary conservator as it sees fit. Once the primary parent returns from deployment, the order reverts to the original order and the child is returned without the need for court intervention.

Child Support And Medical Care During Deployment

Under Texas law, there are also provisions to ensure that children receive the benefits of child support to which they are entitled. Either parent in a joint managing conservatorship has the right to request a temporary order to modify a child support determination, including a modification to allocate those funds to the temporary custodian so that the child can receive the benefit of those funds.

Contact An Experienced Texas Family Lawyer

While Texas law makes substantial provisions for military parents with custody or conservatorship over children who are on active military duty, there are many nuances and details of these laws that should be understood before deployment. A Texas family lawyer can help you gain the necessary perspective to make the wisest decisions possible for yourself and your child or children.

Get in touch with the Law Office of Rebecca Anne Gonzalez. Call my office at 210-368-2608 or toll free at 800-823-6321 to set up your free 15 to 20 minute initial consultation. Alternately, use the email contact form to set up a consultation.