Parenting Plans That Work For Members Of The Military


In previous posts, we discussed the unique considerations of a military divorce. Though the process is no different than a civilian one, it is important to recognize there are hurdles to overcome. Previously, we have discussed how to divide your assets, such as your pension. Today, we will explain some ways a parenting plan works despite the unpredictability and demands of an active-duty servicemember. 

Before we take a closer look at this issue, we should go over the function and purpose of a parenting plan. Think of it as a contract with your former spouse that outlines

  • How you will share custody of your children
  • Child support
  • Pick up/drop off locations and times
  • Potential ways to resolve future conflict
  • How additional expenses such as medical bills are handled 
  • Deviations to the custody schedule during holidays and school vacations

You and your spouse’s attorney will work through each one to arrive at a solution that is right for your family. In standard parenting plans, the parents may mutually agree to stay within a 25-50 radius of one another so that their children have access to both of them. 


Unique Problems, Innovative Solutions

The above scenario would probably not work for a military family. Given the nature of the job, an active-duty member always faces the possibility of deploying. Marines, for example, usually take B billets or secondary assignments every three years, which may require them to relocate from North Carolina to California. Though they may wish to stay in the same location, they must go where needed. How can you address something that may happen? 


One solution (there are several) is to create a provisional parenting plan that outlines what happens during a relocation. If one parent has to leave NC and move to CA, the custody schedule will look significantly different. Although you can discuss different plans with your attorney, one solution is to allow one parent to have the child during summer vacations (and perhaps winter and spring breaks too). The other parent would have them during the remainder of the year. 

Another option to think about is deployments. Although the deployed parent will not be able to see the child physically, you can include phone numbers and windows for the child and parent to speak to one another. Depending on the servicemember’s MOS, they may have access to phones, the internet, and video conferencing. You may also want to include times when the deployed person’s parents can visit with the child. 


Speak with an Experienced Family Law Attorney 

Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there is one that meets your family’s needs. The attorneys at The Grey Legal Group, APC, have significant experience working alongside military families like yours. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Because the law is not black and white®

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The Grey Legal Group

At The Grey Legal Group, we believe in helping all families with their legal needs so they can be protected on your journey back to a calmer, happier place of stability. Whether it is divorce, child custody, guardianship, domestic violence, or adoption, we have seen it all before and we can help you through it. With the legal knowledge and experience we bring to the table, we will be certain to find the best and most efficient solution to your situation.

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