Parents who are serving in the military are in a tough spot. They have the duties to their country that they have to meet, but they also have the responsibilities of a parent.
When a parent is on active duty and the child's other parent decides that the relationship is over, the service member might have a moment of shock. If you are in this position, you will soon realize that you need to take action to protect your relationship with your child.
What special considerations are there for active duty parents?
One thing that you must know is that you don't have to just walk away from your child because of your active duty status. There are plenty of single parents in the military who are doing a fabulous job of keeping the kids safe, healthy and thriving.
Instead of thinking that you have to just give up and let your ex have the children, you should carefully explore your options. Of course, you do have to think about how your duties in the military might impact your child.
What types of arrangements do I need to make?
If you do have custody of your child or if you are trying to get custody of your child, you need a family care plan. This plan outlines what will happen to your child if you are called away on short-term or long-term deployments. You must have a plan for each type of deployment.
One thing you will have to do is talk to the person who will care for your children in each case because they must acknowledge their participation in the family care plan that you will have to turn into your commanding officer.
How can I handle the changing military schedule?
A child custody order for a person in the military must be flexible. One thing that you can consider is that you can appoint a family member to take your time with your child when you aren't able to do so because of your military duties. You should find a way that you can address the changing schedule so you can still see your child on a regular basis.
How can I spend time with my child during deployments?
When you are on a deployment, you can still have communication with your child. One option that you have is virtual visitation with your child. This option uses online methods, such as video chat, to have time with your child.
You should ensure that you take the child's schedule into consideration when you plan for these visits. This might mean that you have to sacrifice sleep, but it should be well worth it.