Texas residents who have already experienced child custody issues know that these situations are difficult for everyone involved. The rules regarding child custody proceedings may present additional complications for military families.
In many ways, the procedures for handling family law issues like the creation of a custody agreement and disputing a custody order are the same for military personnel as for civilians. The goal in both situations is to make decisions that represent the best interests of all children involved.
Families that include one or more military parents must also consider the effect that a duty reassignment or deployment may have on their ability to co-parent a child. These changes in job status can happen quickly for military personnel and can include faraway travel. Military parents are aware of their unpredictable job situations and should account for them in any child custody agreement drafted.
How military status can influence the child custody process
Most people would agree that becoming an active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces should not become a strike against a parent during a child custody dispute. However, some lawmakers and members of the military express fears that courts sometimes view armed forces personnel unsuitable to become primary caregivers due to deployment possibilities.
Lawmakers who champion the cause of military parents have suggested the use of regulations that would protect military parents against a court ruling against them in a custody hearing because of their job. These efforts have so far proven unsuccessful. One reason is a concern that the laws may place the interest of the parent above those of the child.
Family law courts are usually willing to delay court proceedings related to child custody until deployed service members return home. But these service members may have an uphill battle if they wish to petition the court to appoint them as the primary custodian in a child custody dispute.
Parents serving their country through military service will need to present a strong case for themselves if they wish to benefit from a favorable court decision in a child custody dispute. Individuals with questions regarding the child custody process may find the answers they need by speaking with a family law attorney.