Divorce is rarely simple, but when one or both parties are members of the armed forces, it can make creating determining child support and creating a plan for child custody even more difficult. In many cases, the traditional family law guidelines will still apply, but there may be circumstances that require both the courts and the parties involved to make some adjustments outside of the norm.
Child support is usually determined through a fairly cut and dried formula that takes into consideration how much time each parent spends with the children, how much each parent makes and any special needs the children may have. However, the mobile nature of military families often means that only one person is working consistently in the household, which can impact the child support numbers. A deployment can also be a possible reason for a deviation due to one parent having to take on 100 percent of the time with the children.
Deployments and long hours are also responsible for many child custody disputes within military divorce cases. When one parent has been the primary caretaker for months while the other parent is deployed, it can be a very difficult adjustment on everyone for the other parent to start taking on a large amount of time with the child.
However, just because a parent is a service member does not mean that they have any fewer parental rights or should be denied the opportunity to care for and bond with their children. Service members or spouses of service members who are unsure about custody or child support in their divorce can get more information from an attorney.
Source: Divorce Magazine, “Family Law Issues Faced by Members of the Armed Forces,” Hossein Berenji, June 07, 2016