Understanding Visitation Rights in a Military Divorce

A divorce with children is always going to be more complicated. It will require some effort to establish a visitation schedule that works for everyone involved. For military couples, this process can be even more difficult given it will likely involve deployments, unpredictable hours, and other issues. Whether one or both parents are in the military, it is important to know your rights when it comes to visitation after a divorce.

What Are Visitation Rights?

Visitation rights, also known as “parenting time,” are the rights of the non-custodial parent to spend time with their children. Practically speaking, visitation rights will impact both parents since when one parent isn’t assigned to care for the children, the other will be. There are many factors that go into establishing visitation rights in a military divorce. Whether the couple is able to come to an agreement on their own, or the courts have to assign the parenting plan, it is important for all parties to know and understand their rights.

Standard Rights

Courts will start off by taking the standard visitation and custody laws of the state, and then applying them to the couple’s situation. In California, the courts are instructed to try to provide each parent with significant visitation time so that they are able to bond and build a relationship with the children. Of course, additional factors such as school schedules, work schedules, and more will be factored in.

The Issue of Overseas Deployment

When creating a parenting plan that covers visitation, military families need to address what will happen when a parent is deployed overseas for long periods of time. Ideally, the couple would come to an agreement on how to handle this, but if they are unable to, the courts can step in with options such as:

  • Makeup time before & after deployment – Allowing the parent who is being deployed to spend extra time with their children before and after the deployment period. This can help with the transition for the child as well as the parents.
  • Close relative takes visitation time – If the children have a close relationship with a grandparent or other close relative, it may be possible to assign some or all of the parenting time to that individual while deployed.
  • Deployed parent loses time – If nothing can be worked out, the deployed parent will simply lose the time they were supposed to spend with the children. This can be difficult for everyone involved, but unfortunately is the only viable option in some cases.

Fighting for Your Rights

One of the most important things to remember when going through a divorce as a military member is that you have to fight for your rights. You can’t just assume that the courts will issue you a ruling that takes all military factors into account. Contact the Grey Legal Group to go over your situation, and receive representation by an attorney with experience working with military personnel and their family law matters.

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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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