Texas military personnel may feel frustrated when it comes to child custody battles and their jobs. In some instances, the military member’s position could be held against them if a judge steps in to decide custody. Such is the case for an Air National Guard member currently fighting to keep custody of her two children. The woman filed for divorce from her husband in 2010.
The couple agreed on most issues in their divorce, but could not agree on child custody. This caused a court battle, and a judge in the case ruled that the woman’s military membership caused the family situation to be atypical. The woman’s service caused difficulty in their marriage. Another point of contention in the custody case is the fact the woman could be deployed. Her legal representation filed paperwork showing she had deployed a few times since her children were born, but none of those deployments were lengthy.
However, the judge claimed the possibility of deployment at any given time would amplify the difficulty of providing stability for her kids. As such, he ruled the father would be more qualified to provide the type of stable environment the children needed. She will have visitation rights, but has been ordered to begin paying child support. The mother has since appealed the ruling because she believes the court ruled solely on her service and did not use other factors to weigh the decision. Such an action could be in violation of one of the state’s statutes that claims someone’s membership in the military, or the possibility of deployment is not enough to modify someone’s custody order.
Military parents may struggle to win child custody battles, simply because of the unpredictability of one’s schedule. Texas parents in a situation like this may want to ensure they understand the rights under the state law. Doing so could help them prevail in a situation that makes them otherwise feel helpless.
Source: Starherald.com, “Military mom fights for custody under new law,” Sarah Schulz, Dec. 26, 2012