Child custody is divided into two forms: legal and physical. Legal custody is the parent’s ability to control the important life decisions of their child; physical custody is the parent’s right to provide housing for their child. Despite their inherent differences, both forms of child custody are crucial to parenting after a divorce, and both can be extremely difficult to obtain for active duty military members.
Many courts worry that a mother or father with a military career must focus 100% of their time and attention on their service to our great country. This concern creates a subconscious bias that leads judges to wrongfully believe that military members shouldn’t be given child custody rights. In order to be rewarded a differing ruling, a detailed and solid case must be created.
Possible Outcomes to Military Child Custody Disputes
While surely most parents, regardless of their occupation, would like to spend all their time with their children, this is clearly not always an option, especially if going to work means deploying overseas. For this reason, military members, whether they are in the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, and so on, may want to vie for joint physical custody of their children. The custody schedule can reflect their own deployment schedule, which is to say, as long as they are in the United States, they are the primary custodian. When they reach a point in their military careers that no longer includes deployment, modifications can be used to determine the best course of action.
Legal custody is a different matter. Being across an international border or an ocean doesn’t automatically create barriers between a parent and their child, especially if frequent video or email communications are permitted. If you want sole legal custody of your children because you don’t believe your ex-spouse is responsible enough to make tough decisions, this is something you should be willing to fight for.
Get a Legal Team That Understands You
The Edmunds Law Firm has decades of experience handling both family law disputes and complex military law cases. We know what you are going through and genuinely want to do all we can to keep yourself and your family happy and comfortable. Contact us today and ask about getting a free initial case review for being a military member.