Making Military Parenting Plans Work for Everyone
You can write up your own military parenting plan (on your own or with the other parent) or you can work with an attorney or legal professional and have them create it. If you don't want to pay the high cost of an attorney, and want to easily make your own agreement, you can use the Custody X Change software.
Custody X Change is software that creates parenting plans. You make each part of your agreement, and then you can print professional documents of your plan.
A military parenting plan is an agreement between divorced parents where one or both are serving in the military. When one or both of you serve in the military, then decide to divorce, your parenting plan must reflect the unique circumstances of your jobs.
Military parenting plans serve the same purpose as a more standard parenting plan, helping parents provide a stable and healthy environment for their children after divorce.
Military parents face several unique custody situations:
- Because active duty military members can be deployed, which means when troops and equipment are put at or near combat zones, emergency custody plans are vital for the well-being of children.
- Active duty parents face the possibility of being assigned to a location that doesn't support families. The duration of such assignments vary.
- A member of the military may be subject to frequent moves with little notice for an undetermined amount of time.
These are just a few of several complexities that might surround a military child custody case.
You can create a military parenting plan using Custody X Change software. It provides you with templates that you can customize to suit your unique situation when one or both of you are in the military.
A military parenting plan covers all the same issues that non-military divorcing parents must address. Children deserve quality time and interaction with both parents, and they also need a stable home and a positive environment. Every parenting plan should support those goals.
There are several long-term, life-changing possibilities that may occur when one or both parents are in the military. While you can't foresee every possibility, a military parenting plan also includes certain steps you and the other parent agree on that relate to military service.
Child custody is decided by the family court similarly to custody for non-military divorce proceedings. A judge is looking for evidence that the parenting plan you and the other parent are advocating will be in your children's best interests, especially which of you will best uphold the plan.
Because of the possibility of deployment and transferring to new stations exists, military parents must address these extra scenarios.
Custody X Change software can help you create a customized sample parenting plan to use in your divorce proceedings, including when one or both of you are in the military.
A military parenting plan should cover the same topics that a common parenting plan does, plus any topics directly related to military service. The parenting plan should provide financial, physical and emotional support for children.
Here are some of the general things a military parenting plan should cover:
- Details on custody, whether joint or sole
- Visitation schedule that includes holidays and vacations
- Communication methods and schedules between parents and children
- Travel arrangements and transportation costs if applicable
- Schooling agreements, including extracurricular participation
- Medical coverage and costs
- Child care arrangements and costs
Custody X Change can provide you with detailed templates that will guide you in creating a detailed military parenting plan. You can even print out the visitation calendar and upload it to your mobile device for easy reference.
Once you get the standard parenting plan topics sorted out, you can focus on how your military involvement will impact your children's lives once you are divorced.
A military parenting plan should cover some specialized topics that won't be found in a more standard parenting plan, including what happens if you or the other parent are deployed.
Among the specialized things your military parenting plan should cover include:
- Visitations planned around the military parent's leave, breaks or vacations that take priority over almost anything else
- Details on travel using military discounts or military transportation
- Steps to follow when and if one parent is deployed or transferred, such as creating a temporary parenting plan
- Conditions about restoring reasonable custody rights when the transfer or deployment ends
There are many more situations that relate to your military service that you may need to address in your parenting plan. Look at each scenario based on your current schedule and your children's ages and needs for guidance on how to make the best military parenting plan for your family.
Custody X Change software can help you and the other parent create a customized parenting plan together or on your own. Use the award-winning software to make a plan that will cover your children's needs no matter what happens.
Military personnel have protection from legal action while they are deployed, so one parent cannot make permanent custody changes while the other is gone. The Servicemember's Relief Act prevents those in the military from being subject to massive changes while they are serving their country.
Among other things, the Servicemember's Relief Act prevents the parent with temporary custody from going to court and enacting permanent custody changes. For example, a deployed parent should not come home to find that his or her previous custody status has completely changed without being present.
As you prepare your military parenting plan, you and the other parent can include language that references the Servicemember's Relief Act if one of you attempts to change child custody status while the other is deployed.
In the past, some family court judges have overlooked the Servicemember's Relief Act, so several states, like California and Mississippi, passed laws that provide additional support to the military parent.
Just as with a standard parenting plan, you can make changes to a military parenting plan so that it can adapt to your family's changing needs.
No parenting plan can anticipate all the changes you, the other parent or your children will encounter in life. A judge at a family court understands that parenting plans need to be revised as the children's best interests change. A military family is no different.
Keep a parenting journal to track issues, events, problems and successes where the parenting plan is concerned. These notes can help you detect patterns for problems or negative side effects of the current plan.
Among the things you can track include:
- Late or missed visitations by you or the other parent
- Symptoms of illness in children as they first appear
- Times and doses of medications given to children
- Children's positive or negative behavior before and after a transfer
- Slipping grades or behavior issues at school
- Trades or rearrangements in the visitation schedule made by you or the other parent
- Incidents of neglect or careless behavior by the other parent
- Threats made by the other parent
You can show your notes to the other parent and discuss solutions to the problems your children are facing. Custody X Change software offers an electronic parenting journal feature that links to specific days on the calendar. You can type in your notes, then print out all your entries into a report if you desire.