As a military parent, you may have concerns about how your divorce will affect your ability to spend time with your children. However, the courts recognize that it is in the children’s best interests to maintain a healthy relationship with you.
Here are some ideas to help you keep up the bond you have with your children after divorce.
1. Create a military parenting plan
You and the other parent will create a parenting plan, just as any divorcing parents would. Within this plan, though, you should also include a temporary plan to follow during a deployment or in case of a transfer. The visitations during those times would focus on how the children will visit you when you have leave, as well as the travel details.
When your deployment or transfer ends, the conditions in your parenting plan should detail the restoration of your original custody rights. The Texas Attorney General’s guide for divorced military parents suggests that you also include makeup visitation time to allow you and your children time to reconnect.
2. Keep in touch with your children
Writing letters and postcards may seem old-fashioned when you can talk to your kids on the phone, send emails or texts, and see them on the computer screen. Getting snail mail can be an extra treat, though, and give them a tangible reminder of your love for them when you are not available to chat.
3. Communicate with your ex-spouse
Your children will probably want to tell you about their day, their favorite activities or the shows and movies they have recently watched, but their other parent is more likely to tell you about school report cards, and doctor and dentist visits. He or she is also the one who should be including you in important decisions as they come up. Putting aside your own hard feelings about the divorce and staying pleasant may go a long way toward encouraging these interactions.
Because of the many factors that could affect your relationship with your children during your military service, you may want to speak to an attorney before your divorce is final or if you need a modification.