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Military divorce, child custody and deployment

By its very nature, being a member of the United States Armed Forces means that there will more than likely be changes in how service men and women live. For many military couples here in Texas and around the globe, change could include a military divorce. When children are involved, the service member could feel slighted when it comes to child custody because being deployed to another state, or even another country, is part of the commitment.

The popularity of shared parenting that is sweeping the civilian population can also apply to those in the military. Despite being deployed, a soldier deserves to have as much time with the children as possible. As long as there is no evidence of domestic violence, shared parenting is the preferred custody arrangement.

The more researchers gather data, the more evidence there is that allowing children as close to equal access as possible to each parent is in the best interests of the children. They are healthier, happier and tend to do better in school when compared to children in traditional custody arrangements in which one parent is the primary custodian. A bill was introduced in the U. S. Senate to prevent state judges, including those here in Texas, from making changes to custody agreements while a soldier is deployed. Not only is the aim to ensure that the deployed parent will know where his or her children are upon returning home, but it is also to keep judges from penalizing soldiers for not being able to appear in court.

Going through a divorce is never easy, but the complications that tend to accompany a military divorce often make the process even more of a challenge. Child custody is just one of those issues. Attorneys who handle divorces for the country’s service members will more than likely be tracking this bill and any other changes that might occur that could affect the brave souls who serve this country.

Source: detroitnews.com, “How to keep military families together“, Ned Holstein, Nov. 25, 2016

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