Child Custody for Military Parents
With the strong presence of the U.S. military in the Fort Worth area, we’ve become familiar with just how child custody issues affect military families. We have handled numerous military divorce cases, as well as child custody disputes that happen outside of marriage or years after a divorce has occurred. Here are some key things that military parents should know about child custody.
Determining Child Custody During Deployment
Child custody can be tricky for military parents because relocations and deployment can interfere with parenting time. The process of determining child custody and a parenting plan may be especially complicated if one parent is deployed overseas.
When a parent is on active duty, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects them. If a parent attempts to change the child custody status while the other parent is deployed, the deployed parent can invoke their rights under the SCRA to postpone the hearing.
When the primary parent is deployed, courts can’t permanently change child custody. However, they can change it temporarily. Courts can order that temporary child custody is with someone else while the primary parent is deployed.
The law states that the first choice for custody should be the other parent unless other circumstances keep the arrangement from being in the child’s best interest. If the other parent isn’t given custody, the law says the second choice must be someone of the primary parent’s choosing.
Interstate and International Custody Disputes
For military families, child custody disputes can often reach across Texas borders—and sometimes even international borders. When a child custody dispute spans multiple states, state law determines the child custody dispute. It takes an experienced lawyer to make sure that the parent-child relationship is properly protected.
When a child custody dispute spans multiple countries, international law comes into play. The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction aims to protect children from the harmful effects of parental abduction.
The convention provides a process for a parent to get a child back when the other parent has taken the child out of the country. Countries that have signed on to the convention promise to cooperate to make sure a child is returned to the custodial parent. This law interacts with other important laws, like the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act (IPKCA) and the UCCJEA to protect the parent-child relationship.
Contact Us for Help With Military Child Custody Matters
If you need help with child custody matters, talking with a lawyer is a good way to get real information. For a confidential consultation, call our Fort Worth office at 817-755-1852 or send us a message. At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we have extensive experience helping military families in matters affecting their children.