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Child custody battles shouldn’t be affected by deployment status

Parenting a child when you are in the military isn’t something that is easy to do; however, many parents accomplish that mission on a daily basis. For some military members, going through child custody battles is rather stressful because of deployment orders. Readers in Texas who are in the military might be interested in learning about how military members can protect their interests in child custody cases while they are deployed.

By now, most people in the military have probably heard the story of the man who was serving on a submarine and ordered to attend a stateside court hearing during his deployment. In that case, the judge ordered him to appear or to hand his daughter over to the court. He was unable to comply since he was deployed. Finally, the judge realized that the man was covered under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and continued the case until October.

This story might have made some people gasp because of how the man was treated. Sadly, scenarios like that happen all the time. For people who are serving in the military, knowing about special provisions can help in child custody battles like that man’s.

One thing to know is that SCRA allows civil proceedings to be temporarily halted during a serviceman’s deployment. The act even contains a special provision for child custody hearings. It gives deployed servicemembers a 90-day window during which they can appear for child custody proceedings.

For those who are in the midst of their military career while fighting for child custody, acts like the SCRA and one that is before Congress that would increase the protections by disallowing deployments to be used in child custody decisions can give servicemen peace of mind so they can safely complete their deployment missions.

Source: Air Force Times, “Custody case highlights a dilemma of deployment” Lance M. Bacon, Jul. 05, 2014

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