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What happens if a divorcing parent is in the military?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2022 | Family Law

These days, divorce rates have risen among the population as a whole. Naturally, this means that the divorce rates in most sub-groups have also risen, which includes divorce rates among those in the military.

Some people may worry that the chance of deployment could make it harder for parents to co-parent successfully after a divorce. But is this actually the case? Or is it possible to joint parent even with potential temporary long-distance parenting issues?

Protecting custody and visitation rights

The National Conference of State Legislatures takes a look at divorcing parents and their position in the military. Due to the increased rate of military divorce, most states have enacted legislation that allows for military divorcees to gain exemptions or ways around potential hurdles they would have otherwise faced while following civilian-specific divorce proceedings.

For example, one of the most popular acts is the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA), which many states have adopted. Most of the states that have not still have their own version of the UDPCVA that serves a similar purpose, too.

How do these acts provide protection?

In Article 2 of this act, it allows for the formation of a procedure in which parents can make out-of-court agreements about temporary changes to visitation or custody in the event of deployment. This is important because deployment often happens without much notice or time to prepare. Going through the entire court process of officially changing a visitation plan to suit the deployment is not feasible or logical.

Article 3 also allows for some protections of the military parent, as it prevents the other parent from making any permanent custody changes without their deployed co-parent’s okay. For many military parents, these allowances can help alleviate a lot of stress.