Rights of active duty military in custody cases
Since the Omaha area is the home of a major Air Force base, it is not surprising that many dads who live here are on active duty in the service. Many other Nebraska dads in the area may be serving their country as a reservist or member of the National Guard.
Particularly if they are divorced or have children with a woman with whom they do not live, these men may have questions about their child custody or their visitation schedule. This is particularly true when it comes to balancing their relationship with their children against their obligations to the country as members of the military.
Generally speaking, custody arrangements are matters left to state law as opposed to military law or federal law. However, active duty military members do have some protection under federal law.
Specifically, they may be able to require a court to hold off on proceeding in a child custody or parenting time case, such as a modification request brought by the mother, for at least 90 days and possibly longer.
The point of this protection is to allow a solider, sailor or airman the opportunity to prepare for his case while remaining on active duty.
Nebraska and other states may also provide additional protection for members of the military facing child custody or related proceedings, and a serviceman stationed in the Omaha area should consider speaking to an attorney about such protections.
Men who are serving in the military no doubt love their children and want time with them, but they also have responsibilities to do a very important job for the United States. Thankfully, they do have rights that allow them to devote appropriate time to both family and country.