Whether you and your spouse are both members of the U.S. military or one of you is the servicemember while the other keeps the home fires burning, it is a noble family lifestyle that often requires personal sacrifice. If you’ve decided to file for divorce, it means there will be a series of changes in your family’s daily life.
While your children are no doubt used to change, coping with their parents’ divorce may be especially challenging. Navigating divorce when one or both parents is in the militarymeans you’ll have certain issues to resolve that would not necessarily apply to civilian parents. For instance, you’ll want to make sure your family care plan is in order.
What is a family care plan?
The U.S. military wants to help its families as much as possible when it comes to caring for children when one or both parents is serving on active duty, particularly an overseas deployment. A family care plan helps ensure readiness, and it can be particularly helpful regarding child custody issues if you divorce. The following list includes various helpful topics you can incorporate into your plan:
- You can name a guardian for your children, especially if both you and your ex are active servicemembers.
- Your children will need someone to care for them if you and their other parent deploy. You can designate someone as a short-term and long-term caretaker as part of your family care plan.
- A power of attorney can be particularly helpful in a family care plan as well, as this gives another adult the authority to make important decisions on your children’s behalf if needed.
- You can also name a person or people who have your permission to transport your children to their legal guardian’s residence or to drive them to and from school, doctor’s appointments, etc.
- Your plan may include issues concerning medical care, education, faith and other important matters as well.
You’ll want to consider adding terms of agreement about how you and your ex will communicate regarding your children, as well as how each of you will keep in touch with the kids after divorce and while one or both of you are serving overseas or stateside at a location that is far from your children’s home.
The more you’re able to work out ahead of time, the less stressful it might be down the line, especially if a deployment occurs.