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Child Custody Cases And Military Parents

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Child Custody And Visitation |

Child custody cases in Tennessee can be challenging for civilians. However, when one or both parents serve in the military, things can take on an additional level of complication.

Permanent Parenting Plan Order

In divorce cases in Tennessee where child custody questions are involved, the court requires the signing of a Permanent Parenting Plan Order. This document outlines how divorcing spouses plan to care for their children. The court is interested in the best interests of the children. Once the plan gets created and presented to the court, the judge reviews the plan, questions the parents and then determines if the plan is in the children’s best interests.

Unique challenges exist with military families. For example, creating a standard parenting schedule can be difficult if one parent is a service member and on active duty. In these cases, language may be included in the parenting agreement that provides the active-duty service member with access to the children while on leave. It could require the service member to give reasonable notice to the other parent.

Primary Custody When Deployed

Another challenge is a servicemember who is granted primary custody but gets deployed. In these cases, the other parent may arrange to take physical custody from the deployed parent. The parties could draft an agreement before the servicemember’s deployment. The order outlines the circumstances of the child custody transfer, date of departure and expected date of return. It will also outline additional custodial arrangements, including educational care. An order of this type clearly states that the children will be returned to the parent with primary care upon their return. There is no need to go to the court to request relief.

Child custody issues related to military parents can be a challenge. Fortunately, Tennessee enacted the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA) a few years back. This act can help clarify parents’ questions related to child custody and military parent deployment.

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