For parents with minor children, sharing custody is often the biggest challenge of getting a divorce. Although both parents have a right to time with the children and a say in their upbringing, they may disagree intensely about the best steps to take.
Sharing custody often means creating an in-depth parenting plan so that the two of you can cooperate while raising your children. For couples where one parent is in the military, there will be even more challenges when drafting a parenting plan.
What are some of the special concerns that military families need to address for shared custody scenarios?
The possibility of deployment or additional training
Depending on someone’s age and status oh, they may find themselves facing deployments during their service or required to undergo extensive training at a different facility. When a parent will relocate temporarily, that can have implications for the other parents and even for child support.
Your family should have different custody arrangements for when the parents are near one another and for when one faces deployment.
The need for virtual visitation
For most families, including rules about electronic communication is an afterthought. The main focus of the parenting plan will be to ensure that both parents have time with and physical access to the children.
When there is a big distance between parents or one has a deployment while sharing custody, physically seeing the children may not be possible. Virtual visitation that makes use of software and smart devices can be a good alternative.
Having rules about a specific amount of virtual visitation and the schedule for those visitation sessions in the event of deployment will help military families prepare for the uncertainties that come with divorce and a military career.
The complications of a parent living off-base
Depending on your current housing arrangements, there could be a major disruption to your family’s lives if one parent moves off-base and the other remains on military property. There could be timing complications that arise during custody exchanges because of that relocation, and the two of you should include rules for addressing those issues in your parenting plan.
Addressing the unique concerns that arise in a military divorce requires careful consideration but will help your family make the most of changing circumstances.