How being in the military affects custody

Although military divorce is not common in North Carolina, such divorce cases are on the rise. For military service members deciding on the future, parenting is not easy. Many service members relocate or get deployed, which makes the situation even more complicated. A service member who’s on the verge of divorce might have a lot of queries concerning the whole process.

Will your military status influence the case?

The federal laws note that a military divorce is not very different from civilian cases of divorce. However, divorce laws differ among states, and some give special treatment toward service members, but it’s never guaranteed.

Most military members worry that the judge may not view them as the primary caretaker to the kids. Although this is mostly the case due to future deployment and relocation, the children’s interests are put first. Deployment can negatively affect a child’s life. Thus, it is often difficult to predict the judgment given.

Can your ex-spouse change the custody agreement?

Once you are deployed, many service members worry that their ex-spouse could change the custody agreement to their favor. However, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects military parents. The act freezes any civil lawsuits against a military parent. Thus, while you are deployed and your children are in the custody of your ex-spouse, they cannot change the custody agreement. Although any lawsuits are frozen during this period, the court might consider the child’s best interests in case of a compelling argument. You are required to notify your ex-spouse of any deployment within seven days, which will help protect you from further claims.

Do you worry that your spouse might get custody of the children while you’re deployed? An attorney may help you understand your options for child custody.

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