Your ex couldn’t handle your military service and opted to file for a divorce. Now, you are in a battle over your children. She wants to keep the children away from you, but you decided to fight for your children. Even though you are in the military, this doesn’t mean that you must give up on your children. You have rights and options that you can exercise in a military divorce and child custody case.
1. Consider creative custody
Creative child custody is one of the best things you can do if you are in the military. A creative child custody agreement is much different from the strictly structured plans that were once the norm. A creative child custody agreement can change to adapt to you and your ex’s schedules.
Virtual visitation is an option for you to spend time with your child if you can’t be there physically. Virtual visitation uses video chats, emails and other virtual means that allow you to communicate with your child. Of course, virtual visitation doesn’t do away with your in-person visits. They are just a supplemental form of visitation.
2. Plan for the future
Military life often requires moving. Planning now for how visitation and custody might change can save you some headaches later. If you have physical custody of your child, your child custody order should let you know what you must do if you have to move out of the current court’s jurisdiction. Be sure you understand how to handle the situation because you could face legal action if you don’t follow the proper procedures if you need to move.
You must also make a family care plan to present to your commanding officer if you have physical custody of your child.
3. Prepare to support your child
If the court orders you to pay child support, you will have an allotment come out of your paycheck through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. This allotment stays on your account until it expires, if there is an expiration date, or until the issuing court provides DFAS with an updated order. You should also have your child added to your TRICARE coverage if the court requires you to provide insurance.