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The SCRA is relevant to child custody issues

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2022 | Parenting Plans And Parenting Time

As a Nebraska father and member of U.S. armed forces, you no doubt can relate to other dads who have sometimes found it challenging to balance their military careers and family life. Perhaps you’re one of many who determined it best to file for divorce after being unable to resolve marital problems. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) may be helpful to you regarding child custody issues.

Getting a divorce doesn’t mean that you want to negate your responsibilities as a father. In fact, you can use your military family care plan and other valuable tools, such as the SCRA, to protect your parental rights, especially if you deploy during or after your divorce.

The SCRA was enacted in 2003

The SCRA is a revision and expansion of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940. The SCRA operates under federal law to protect you in numerous ways during active duty. If you are serving a deployment, you can request a stay on child custody proceedings since you’re unable to attend proceedings in person.

If necessary, the court can extend such a stay to be longer than the initial 90-day period that is typically set in place upon request. If your ex attempts to seek modification of a child custody order while you’re away, for instance, you may invoke your rights under the SCRA to postpone the hearing.

Separations caused by military duty do not determine child custody decisions

The court does not penalize you as a father for your military service. To the contrary, Nebraska and all other states have provisions in place to help protect the rights of military service members on active duty regarding child custody proceedings.

If you’re a parent with visitation rights, Nebraska also has laws in place that allow you to transfer your scheduled visitation to a non-parent of your choosing during deployment. Like all good parents, you know what’s best for your child, and it’s understandable that you want someone you trust to act as a proxy for you while you’re fulfilling military duties overseas.

Avoid legal problems by putting everything in writing ahead of time

Your military family care plan, the SCRA and other documents can help protect your rights as a military dad who is navigating or has recently finalized a divorce. It’s only natural for parents to worry about their children when they must separate from them for a time.

Facing child custody problems is stressful enough when you’re in the same state as your former spouse. Trying to deal with such matters long-distance merely intensifies stress; however, taking steps ahead of time to make sure there are instructions regarding care of your children while you’re away helps avoid stress. Knowing where to seek support regarding the SCRA and custody issues that arise while you’re serving deployment can help you have peace of mind while you’re carrying out your duties in service to your country.