It is difficult enough for civilian parents to maintain a productive child custody arrangement after a divorce or separation. Military servicemembers face additional challenges in the form of active deployment, drill weekends, training and other demands. No matter how many challenges they face, parents in the military deserve to play a meaningful role in the lives of their children. More importantly, those children deserve and need meaningful access to their parents even when military life intervenes.
The law supports military parents
State and federal laws protect the custody rights of parents in the military. Maryland family law statutes provide strong protections for parents who are on active duty. Key elements of these laws include:
- The non-deployed parent must accommodate the leave schedule of the parent who is deployed. Deployment can take a number of forms, from active combat to remote service operations.
- The non-deployed parent must help the child maintain meaningful communication with the deployed parent. When the deployed parent is far away, this may be achieved through virtual visitation technologies such as video calls, social media, instant messaging and texting.
- The deployed parent bears the responsibility for keeping the other parent updated on deployment details and schedules.
Whether you serve in the military or your child’s other parent does, the child deserves to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. The law supports this arrangement as well, placing the best interests of the child above all other considerations.
Making the most of a difficult situation
Nothing can replace in-person contact with a child, but when both parents work together they can work wonders. Something as simple as reading a bedtime story to a child over webcam can provide a lasting memory and meaningful contact that closes a gap that may be thousands of miles wide.
The nuances of military family law make these cases unique and difficult, but with skilled legal guidance, you can meet your professional obligations without sacrificing precious time with your child.