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Common questions about deployment and child custody

Dealing with child custody issues is complicated. It becomes even more complicated when you have physical custody of your child and you have received orders to deploy.

You have already spent a lot of time and money gaining custody from your ex-husband and now you are concerned about the consequences of your impending deployment. Will your ex get custody while you're gone? What happens when you return? Will it be difficult to get your son back when you return from active duty?

Below are the types of questions you have as a single mother and a soldier. Since custody issues can be challenging, be sure to find out everything you can concerning your parental rights in North Carolina.

Will my ex get automatic custody?

Unless there is a good reason why your ex-husband shouldn't have custody, you will not be a ble to deny it to your ex.

However, if he has waived his parental rights, the court has restricted his access, or if he has been declared unfit then you may transfer custody to another individual, such as a grandparent, during your deployment.

Do I need a family care plan?

A family care plan is important to have in place during your deployment. The plan will allow your son to stay with another family member or members during your service. It will cover medical care permissions, potential travel, and visitation schedules while you are away.

A family care plan is not a court order. Your ex can still petition the court for custody and the court can override your plan. Even if your ex-husband is in agreement with the plan, be sure to obtain a court order that is consistent with your family care plan.

Be sure to have any agreements between you and your ex in writing, including what will happen when your deployment comes to an end.

Will it be difficult to get custody back?

Having a court order in place and a custody agreement that addresses your return will help you in regaining custody once you get back.

Remember that the court will take multiple factors into consideration when deciding custody. They will look at your son's current living situation and environment, his academic performance, and even how well he has integrated into his new community.

The court will make a decision that it considers to be in your son's best interests.

Due to the complexity of child custody laws, it is important to know the proper procedures when you petition the court. Reach out to a local North Carolina attorney with family law experience for advice on handling your son's custody and your deployment.

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