Many military members in Florida are undergoing a divorce and dealing with child custody orders. While creating and following child custody orders can be a difficult process for anyone, active military members face extra challenges due to their transient nature. As an active military member, it’s important to understand the rights that the government has granted you regarding child custody.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act was passed to help active military members deal with difficult child custody battles. It grants any active member the ability to obtain a postponement of any administrative or court proceeding regarding child custody for 90 days. This may be done in the event that an active-duty military professional is unable to attend the proceedings due to his or her military service. If an active military member needs a postponement of more than 90 days, it’s up to the judge to determine whether or not to grant the additional time.
State laws that help
All states have at least one provision that helps to protect the rights of military service members in terms of child custody issues. While the wording of actual provisions varies by the individual state that your hearing will be in, most states offer similar rights.
The first right is that military divorce and child custody decisions may not be based solely on past, current or future absences of the active service member due to military service. The second right is that child custody arrangements may not be permanently altered when a custodial parent is unavailable due to active military service.
Child custody orders can be frustrating and highly emotional for all the parties involved. When you’re on active duty in the military, you may be worried that your absence now or in the future will impact your ability to have custody of your child. The reality is that there are various laws out there to protect your rights to the custody of your children. If you have questions about your specific situation regarding child custody, an attorney may be able to help.