If you or your spouse is a U.S. military service member, your family has made many sacrifices to serve your country. Navigating family life in the military is challenging, especially if you or your spouse has served or is preparing to leave Maryland and serve overseas. Deployment is stressful. Beyond that, military families face all the typical ups and downs that civilian families do, which can weigh heavily upon a marriage.
Perhaps, you and your partner have decided that your relationship is no longer sustainable. While divorce will no doubt prompt many changes in your life and the lives of your children, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never be happy again. By taking one step at a time and being proactive to protect your children’s best interests, you can accomplish your goals and learn how to adapt to a new lifestyle.
Your family care plan is a key factor
Whether you’re living on or off base, there are available military resources to help you execute a family care plan, if you haven’t already done so. The good thing about such plans is that you can customize them to fit your family’s needs and your ultimate goals as related to your pending divorce regarding child custody and other issues.
If you implement a family care plan, it might include names of people you have designated as short-term or long-term care providers for your children. As you prepare for divorce, it’s a good idea to discuss issues related to child custody, especially if the parent who is serving in the military should be deployed on active duty.
While you can expect to encounter several challenges as you create a family care plan that works for you, it’s often possible to overcome such obstacles in a peaceful, amicable manner. Another key factor toward successful co-parenting after a military divorce is that you can keep stress to a minimum by agreeing to compromise and cooperate as necessary.
When your children’s best interests are your top priority, all else stems from there. The more thorough and clear the terms of your family care plan and co-parenting agreement are, the less likely disputes will arise down the line. It’s not uncommon for parents to disagree about a child custody issue; however, that doesn’t necessarily have to lead to a long, drawn-out court battle.
Know where to seek support
In addition to child custody issues, you may also have to resolve issues regarding military benefits such as access to a commissary. You can speak with family advocates on base to help you better understand what to expect during property division proceedings or if you or your spouse requests alimony.
If your children are having trouble adjusting to their new routines, you may benefit from family counseling as well. Many Maryland spouses also discuss issues regarding military divorce with an attorney who is well versed in divorce laws as they relate to circumstances involving members of the armed forces.