How Do Military Child Custody Laws Work? - Bineham & Gillen

custodyHow Do Military Child Custody Laws Work?

February 3, 2022by James Gillen

While military child custody cases resemble traditional ones, for the most part, situations like deployment and relocation make living arrangements, child care and custody even more complicated. In response to a growing need, laws are coming into play that ensure the rights of military parents are protected. For military families in South Texas, legal representation is paramount.

Keep in mind that while legal protections are in place in theory, these are still murky waters. It’s best to have a military divorce lawyer by your side who can help you navigate through often complicated proceedings. The team at Bineham & Gillen is here to help our clients with military custody issues in San Antonio. Read on to learn about a few things to be aware of as you embark on military child custody battles.

Military Custody Protections

The Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA) allows states to adopt a standard procedure for child custody cases in military divorces. While Texas isn’t part of the 10 states that have adopted the act thus far, the state has similar legislation in place. Some states either have adopted the act, something similar or their adoption of UDPCVA is pending.

Some of the considerations of this type of legislation include:

  • Ensuring the deploying parent notifies the other parent as soon as possible.
  • Prohibiting the courts from using past or future deployments as a factor in meeting the child’s best interest.
  • Setting the groundwork for out-of-court custody and visitation arrangements.
  • Allowing for expedited proceedings when one parent is facing deployment and prohibits a permanent ruling without the deploying parent’s consent.
  • Establishing a procedure for when a temporary custody arrangement must be terminated.

Military custody protections are in place to ensure you’re doing everything you can for your child while you fulfill your military obligations.

Family Care Plan

A common misconception is that you can’t have custody of your children because you’re on active duty. It will take more planning than civilian families, but it is completely possible to have full, shared or joint custody of your children while you are actively serving. Our team can help you navigate military child custody law in Texas.

If one or both parents are in the military, a Family Care Plan which outlines the details of care in the event of deployment is required. This agreement must be reviewed by the service member’s commanding officer and updated yearly.

Many families consider appointing a special power of attorney that assigns a guardian for their child. This agreement must be reviewed by the service member’s commanding officer and updated yearly. It’s always a good idea to have a military lawyer review these arrangements for potential issues.

Visitation During and After Deployment

Texas laws state that noncustodial parents may designate another person to have temporary visitation rights on his or her behalf during the deployment period. These visitations are based on the child’s best interest but are usually granted to the person chosen by the deployed parent. In many cases, this looks like visitation being granted to stepparents or grandparents.

Military parents in Texas can ask the court to award makeup visitation after coming back from deployment. Make sure your child receives the benefits, visitation hours and custody in their best interest by relying on a child support lawyer. Our team can handle all aspects of your legal disputes – from divorce and legal separation to military custody protections and visitations.

How We Can Help You

Our child support lawyers in San Antonio have helped military families for years. Our attorneys have an excellent history of representing members of the military and can advise parents about their rights and help them understand the law as it relates to their specific circumstances.

Have more questions about child custody issues in military divorces? Don’t hesitate to contact us over at Bineham & Gillen. We aim for same-day consultations and offer financing and payment plans. Contact us today so we can represent you and your family.