Dealing with matters of custody already proves tricky even in an average civilian family. Unfortunately, adding one military spouse to the mix has the potential to throw in even more hurdles and complications.
How exactly do co-parents handle child custody matters if one parent happens to be a member of the military? Is there anything in state laws that allow for provisions?
The Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act
The National Conference of State Legislatures discusses matters of custody and visitation when a parent is also in the military. They start off by pointing out that many states have enacted legislation that allows for provisions when dealing with military families. In recent years, more and more family courts have dealt with these situations as divorced families struggle to overcome the large distances that military deployment or stationing may cause.
The Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA) serves as one of the most widespread ways to handle this situation. It contains five articles that address various issues related to custody in long-distance situations.
Articles in the Act
Article 1 includes general provisions and definitions. Article 2 includes setting a procedure by which parents can make custody and visitation changes outside of court during deployment. Article 3 expedites certain procedures and disallows a parent from making permanent changes while their co-parent handles deployment. Article 4 establishes procedures to terminate temporary custody changes. Article 5 outlines the act’s language and effective dates.
Thus, it is possible through UDPCVA and other similar legislation to gain exemptions for some of the biggest potential problems. This provides co-parents in the military with more support and less burden of stress, which is a huge benefit in an already stressful situation.