Child custody issues can be much more complex in a military divorce than a traditional divorce.
How is Child Custody Determined in a Military Divorce?
In all South Carolina divorces that involve children, child custody is based on the best interests of the child. This includes military divorces. The best interests of the child include factors such as the temperament and development needs of the child, the capacity of each parent to meet the needs of the child, and the manipulative behavior of the parents to involve their children in the dispute.
The above are just a few of the most important factors considered when child custody decisions are made by the courts. In total, there are 17 factors considered when child custody decisions are made. One of these is the preference of the child when they are of a certain age and maturity. This can change during a military divorce, though. For example, even when a child is mature enough to make a sound decision on which parent to live with, their preference may not be practical if the military parent is deployed in an active war zone.
Visitation During Deployment
Another time when deployment becomes an issue during a military divorce is when a parent is deployed during visitation time. Military parents are simply not in the same country as often as non-military parents. Even if the military parent is not deployed at the time of divorce, it is critical to include certain child custody arrangements. These should include what will happen if the military parent is suddenly deployed.
There are times when a military parent simply will not be able to see their child as much as if they were not in the military. When this is the case, it is still important that they Skype or Zoom with the child so the parent-child relationship does not suffer.
Paying for Transportation
It is not uncommon for military and non-military parents to live far apart from each other. One parent may need to live close to their military base, while the other moved after the divorce to be closer to family. This can make transportation arrangements difficult when it is time for the non-custodial parent to visit their child.
Any parenting plan or child custody order should always outline which parent will pay for the cost of transporting their child. If the child is still quite young and unable to travel by themselves, this should be reflected in the order or plan.
Questions About Child Custody in a Military Divorce?
If you are in the military, or your spouse is, and you are about to divorce, our South Carolina family lawyers at The Peck Law Firm can help with your case. Our skilled attorneys have the necessary experience these cases require. We will put that experience to work for you to ensure you obtain the fair settlement you deserve. Call us today at 843-631-7117 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.