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Child Custody Considerations in a Military Divorce


Divorce involving children is almost always difficult, but the issues can become more complex when one parent is a servicemember in the United States military. For a servicemember who has custody or visitation rights to their child, it is critical that a detailed and comprehensive parenting plan is created that specifically addresses your unique family situation. At the law office of Blair H. Chan, III in Tampa, our office can help you navigate all issues involving child custody in a military divorce to help you avoid disruptions or stress for you and your child. Call the office or contact us today to schedule an initial consultation of your case.

Child Custody and Military Relocation

Your child custody arrangement should contain a provision relating to any type of military relation for the servicemember parent. For a Florida military divorce, this includes arrangements that are in line with the state and federal relocation laws for a parent and child. If the servicemember is the custodial parent, you may need permission from the court before moving more than fifty miles away. If you are the noncustodial parent, this may involve modifying the existing custody arrangement to allow for your child to stay with you out of state for a period of time.

Child Custody Rights under the Servicemembers Relief Act

If a parent servicemember is called to active duty, the Florida Uniformed Servicemembers Protection Act provides some additional protections when it comes to child custody. This Act applies to active duty members in the regular force, National Guard members called to active duty, reserve members called to active duty, and Coast Guard members serving on active duty. Under this law, a servicemember parent is allowed to postpone court proceedings if the military service affects the ability to participate in your child custody case or if the other parent attempts to alter the child custody agreement while the servicemember parent is on active duty.

Florida Laws Protecting Servicemember Parents

Under Florida law, if a servicemember parent is deployed for more than ninety days, they may designate a third party to take over their time sharing schedule with their child. This person must be a family member, step-parent, or relative of the child by marriage. However, notice must be given to the other parent at least ten days prior to deployment in order to give the non-servicemember parent an opportunity to object. If a dispute arises over the temporary arrangements made during deployment, the servicemember is allowed to participate via phone or videoconferencing in that proceeding. If you would like to learn more about your rights as a servicemember parent in a Florida military divorce, talk to an attorney today.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

Navigating a Florida divorce with one parent as an active servicemember can be difficult but not impossible. To speak with a skilled Tampa military divorce attorney, including about matters of child custody, call the office or contact Blair H. Chan, III now to schedule an evaluation of your case.



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