Military Child Custody And Visitation

Because of deployment, relocation and other matters, military parents often face child custody issues that many civilians do not encounter. At Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC, in San Antonio, our attorneys understand the unique attributes of military child custody and visitation cases. We will put our more than 30 years of combined experience to work to protect your relationship with your child, whether you are going through a divorce, paternity action or child custody case.

Courts Always Favor The Parents

Despite the often stressful and hectic nature of military life, courts always favor placing a child with a parent over a grandparent or other relative, as long as the parent is able to provide good care and a safe environment. Ultimately, the goal is to do what is in the child's best interest, and in most cases that means creating child custody arrangements that allow both parents to remain involved in the child's upbringing.

Legal Guidelines For Military Service Members

Under the Texas Family Code, individuals serving in the military can designate another person to exercise certain rights for them during periods of deployment that:

  • Last more than six months
  • Are in locations where the service member cannot reasonably visit the child
  • Are in locations where the child cannot accompany the custodial parent

A service member's parents are often the designated conservators. If they live out of town or out of state, they would have to travel for visitation. Courts allow this visitation, but also can rule against it if the court deems it is not in the child's best interest. Once the service member completes a period of deployment, another option is to petition the court to compensate for the time lost during deployment by awarding additional visitation.

We understand all of the variations of child custody arrangements available in military cases and can help you pursue an outcome that works for your situation.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

This is a law that protects service members against default judgments in child custody proceedings in which the service member is the defendant and cannot make an appearance due to deployment. The SCRA requires that the plaintiff enter an affidavit stating whether or not the defendant is in the military service. In addition, if the military service member does not have a lawyer, the court may appoint one to handle the service member's case. We are willing to further educate you about if and how the SCRA may play a role in your case.

Free Consultation About Military Child Custody Issues

Call 210-764-3468 or send an email for more information from an experienced attorney.