There are several key issues in military child custody cases. For instance, both parents have to consider what happens during deployment or if a parent has to move to a new base. They have to consider the child’s current living environment and how changing it could affect him or her.
Custody agreements still work in the same way as they would for civilian couples. They face many of the same concerns about visitation and decision-making.
As a military parent, one thing you need to add to your parenting plan is the ability to move with your child or accommodate sudden requests to move to new bases in the same or other states. In a normal situation, it would take time to seek a release to take a child to a new state or home. For military members, it’s possible to make arrangements ahead of time. For instance, if you and your child’s mother or father currently live in Virginia, you could indicate that if you’re asked to move to another state, the child could stay with the other parent or move with you. You could include visitation guidelines in those cases and get the other parent to agree, so you’re both prepared for what happens in the sometimes suddenly shifting arrangements of being in the military.
Your military status should have no particular consequences when you’re seeking custody. It should not be seen negatively to be in the military. Children need to be placed in the best home for them, whether that’s with you, the other parent or both. Our site has more on what to expect if you go to court for child custody.