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Military life and child custody can work together

Military members have a lot of work-related duties that they can't just shirk off. They have to appear for their scheduled shifts unless they have a valid reason to miss them. Sadly, this means that taking the day off for no reason isn't something that is possible. Some spouses can't handle this aspect of military life and opt to end the marriage.

When there are children in the marriage, a child custody agreement has to be worked out so that both parents can stay involved in the child's life. Coming to the agreement can be rather difficult when you are a military service member. Here are a few points for you to consider:

You don't have to give away custody

If you feel that you are the best parent to care for your children, you don't have to give up custody. In the past, members of the military might not have been viewed as a parent who could have physical custody. Now, courts don't consider a service member's military career as a factor in custody cases as long as the serviceperson can make plans for the child. This is where the family care plan comes into the picture.

The family care plan is essential

Your commanding officer will require you to have a family care plan in place if you have custody of a child. Even if you are the non-custodial parent, you will need a family care plan if the child will spend long periods of time in your case. The family care plan has two primary instructions -- who, nearby, can care for your child if you are deployed up to 30 days and who, in any area, can care for your child if you are deployed more than 30 days. The people you name must also sign the document, so make sure you plan accordingly.

Visits while you are deployed or away can happen

You can still visit with your child even when a physical visit isn't possible. Virtual visitations, which occur though video chats, emails, text messages and other similar manners, can help you to stay in contact with your child. As a military member, you might find yourself in another time zone. If this occurs, remember that your visits should be planned on what time will be convenient for the child. Of course, this might mean that you have to plan middle-of-the-night visits if you are halfway around the world.

Everything about your child custody case needs to be covered in your child custody paperwork. As you work on the agreement, make sure that you take steps to protect yourself and your children.

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