How Military Status Affects Child Custody

Decisions relating to child custody and shared parenting are the most important considerations in any divorce. When one of the spouses is an active member in the military, matters become much more complicated. The consequences of making a procedural mistake are amplified.

That's why we're here. Based in Dayton and serving throughout western Ohio, the legal team at Hartley Law Office, LLC, offers experienced support to service members and their spouses in all aspects of divorce proceedings. We understand how to ensure that parent-child bonds remain intact and work hard to protect children's best interests at every step.

Why Parenting Plans Are Complicated For Military Personnel

Parents who are separating or divorcing must develop a parenting plan that sets out how their parental responsibilities will be shared. These documents delineate where the child will live and how much time each parent will spend with their child. Not surprisingly, deployment and other military obligations make such planning difficult.

Communication is key. Service members don't — can't — always know what the future holds for them. They may be called upon to leave their homes with little warning. As such, it is crucial to account for the unpredictable. When devising a parenting plan, it is advisable to have one set of guidelines for 'normal' circumstances, but also to develop contingency plans for when life takes unexpected turns.

It is no longer impossible for military members to retain sole custody of their children or be granted the same amount of parenting time as their spouse. But making it work still requires a great deal of forethought.

Family Care Plans

When a service member is a single parent or when both divorcing spouses are in the military, a family care plan must be established. Yet, as with many aspects of divorce, these plans are often overlooked.

A family care plan will delineate who, in the case of a parent's deployment, will care for the child in the short and long term. It will also provide instructions on how best to care for the child — how to approach schooling, health care and other concerns. Needless to say, such plans are key to establishing continuity for the child and enabling the smoothest possible upbringing.

We're Here To Answer Your Questions

To learn more or to speak with a lawyer, reach out to our firm. You can call us at 937-684-9271 or schedule an appointment online. Founding attorney Aaron Hartley has been selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers' Rising Stars list each year since 2013 — a distinction conferred upon less than 2.5 percent of practicing attorneys.