Child custody and special considerations in a military divorce

There is no such thing as an easy divorce, but for Pennsylvania military families, divorce can be especially difficult. From the potential for deployment to outlining parenting plans, there is no easy solution to many of the issues facing these families. For this reason, a military service member or spouse contemplating a divorce would be wise to seek necessary help when navigating this process.

Understandably, child custody is one of the most sensitive issues that will affect a military divorce. It’s normal to have concerns over what will happen to your children and if they will be negatively impacted by the end of your marriage. Whether you are active duty or married to a person who is active duty, you would be wise to learn how to protect your interests and your parental rights.

What to consider in your parenting plan

There are many factors that could influence how your parenting plan works. Some of the things that could impact the final details of your custody plan include the following:

  • Potential future deployment for you or your spouse
  • Potential for parental relocations
  • Temporary duty assignments

Technically, a parent’s military service should not have a negative influence on custody or visitation plans, but it does not always work that way. The ultimate goal of any custody plan is to protect the best interests of the children, which often means stability and continuity of lifestyle, yet this can seem like an impossible task when one or both parents are in the military.

Planning for the future when the future is uncertain

It is almost impossible for military service members and families to know what is in the future regarding deployment and other matters. However, when a potential temporary or long-term deployment could affect your custody or visitation rights, you may need to include provisions for the following in your parenting plan in case of a deployment:

  • Name of short-term caretaker in case of deployment
  • Name of long-term caretaker
  • Details of provision plan for kids during deployment

All divorces are difficult, but there are unique factors that could make a military divorce even more complex. When dealing with issues that will affect your kids and your ability to have a strong role in their lives, you would be wise not to face it alone.

You have the right to seek an outcome to your custody order that both protects the best interests of your kids and your rights as a parent, regardless of whether you are a member of the United States military or married to one.


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