Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC

Military parents: work with experienced attorney to effectively address custody, visitation issues

In our last post, we briefly mentioned the challenges and decisions that military parents face with regard to child custody in divorce. As we noted, sorting out child custody matters is almost always difficult, but it can be especially difficult for military parents facing deployment and frequent relocation.

Planning around deployment, for both custodial and noncustodial parents, is as important as it can be challenging. Custodial parents in the armed services must, first of all, make sure that they make arrangements for a temporary custody change. Military Family Care Plans, as useful as they are, are not enforceable in court, so a temporary custody court order must be obtained. When no such order is in place, the noncustodial parent generally is going to have the right to primary custody during deployment.

As in any child custody case, the primary concern of the courts is the best interests of the child. If the noncustodial parent is deemed not to be the best person to take custody during the deployment period, courts will give high preference to another adult of the custodial parent's choosing. If that person doesn't work either, the court will have to appoint another adult.

Noncustodial parents who are deployed, for their part, are able to designate a person to exercise visitation during deployment. Again, though, the court will only order the appointment when it is in the best interests of the child. In addition, a noncustodial parent is able to petition the court to make up for lost visitation time upon return from deployment.

For custodial parents, one of the risks of being deployed is that the noncustodial parent will petition for a change in custody while the other parent is unable to effectively defend himself or herself. When this happens, there are certain protections in place to allow the deployed custodial parent to address the issue, and it is important for these parents to work with an experienced advocate to make sure they have strong advocacy in their case.

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At Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC, we have received a variety of honors and awards for our family law services. Members of our team have been listed as Top Lawyers in San Antonio Scene magazine. We take pride in the number of positive reviews we have received from satisfied clients. On AVVO, a lawyer rating website, we have received an 8.9 rating overall and many positive ratings from clients and colleagues.

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Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC
310 South St. Mary's Street
Suite 2500
San Antonio, TX 78205

Phone: 210-272-7034
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