One of the most contentious aspects of divorce is determining who gets the children and when. When parents cannot agree, the court makes the decision. As circumstances change, parents can petition for modifications of the child custody order.
The matter becomes even more complex when you are in the military. Serving your country comes with numerous benefits, but it also comes with the challenge of spending time with your children. How does this affect your child custody agreement?
Protections under the law
The state understands the importance of maintaining parent-child relationships, so it protects the opportunities for military parents to have fair custody and visitation of their children. Your military status is not enough reason for your children not to have time with you.
Florida law on how military service may affect child custody is as follows:
- If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, the court uses the same factors as it would for a nonmilitary family to determine child custody. The order can include provisions on how custody may change during an assignment.
- The court cannot act on your ex’s wishes to modify the agreement based on active duty or deployment. It can, however, grant a temporary amendment until you return if it would benefit the children.
- If you will be gone for more than 90 days, you can have a family member fulfill your parenting time for you.
Relocation can be more complex and requires the professional guidance of a qualified military family law attorney.
Things to consider
It is best to review all possible scenarios before you agree on a time-sharing schedule to avoid future conflict. Remember to do what is best for your children, even if it means you will have less time with them. However, take advantage of all opportunities to stay in contact with them while you are away to maintain a strong relationship.