Child Custody for Military Families

Woods, May and Matlock ,P.C1

What happens with parenting responsibilities when you’re going through a divorce and are a member of the US Military? Child custody is already a stressful process and wondering about deployment and different assignments can complicate issues for members of the military. When you need an attorney for child custody in Southlake, TX, our legal team has the experience that can help, even in these complex situations.

A parenting plan

In any divorce, a parenting plan is the first step to child custody agreements. Together with your spouse and your attorney(s) you will come up with an agreement for how to divide joint custody of your children. Holidays, summers, and general week and weekend arrangements are all outlined specifically in these plans. You’ll also want to include sections describing decisions about the children’s education, medical care, and extracurricular activities.

Special considerations for military families

When you’re in the military and don’t know where you’ll be and for how long, it’s important to have some alternate plans for different situations you might face with deployments and assignments. For example, during a time that your children live near the base, you should make a visitation arrangement that works with your free time.

Make additional plans for deployment and transfers about who will be in charge of the children’s needs. You should outline how you and your spouse will communicate about the kids when these arrangements are needed.

Custody for service members

Usually, when only one spouse is in the military, the civilian parent will take care of the kids when the servicemember is out of the area. But when the military parent has sole custody, a judge may allow for the servicemember’s new spouse or another close relative like a grandparent to also be the child’s legal guardian during deployment.

Woods, May and Matlock ,P.C

Military rules around custody

The military requires a “Family Care Plan” when:

  • A member of the military is the sole parent for a child under age 19.
  • A service member shares custody of a child under age 19.
  • Both parents are members of the military and have custody of a child under 19. (Both parents must sign the agreement.

If you are a member of the military you must notify the military immediately of the situation. Active duty members have 60 days from the notification time to give a commanding officer a copy of their Family Care Plan. Reserve members receive a 90-day notification period.

Making Your Family Care Plan

Your attorney can help you negotiate and complete a custody agreement under Texas state law. Woods, May & Matlock has plenty of experience to make this process go smoothly. We’ll start with a free consultation to discuss your specific needs and collect information to start your family care plan. When it comes to advocating for you in arrangements with your spouse, we will help make your case clearly and come to agreements quickly.
Make a call to Woods, May & Matlock for a brief free phone consultation for an attorney for child custody in Southlake, TX at 972-387-9955.