Sharing Parenting Time and the Unique Needs of Military Parents

military-family-law-child-custodyAs a Knoxville, Tennessee family law firm, an important segment of our client base is military personnel. When a divorce case with children involves a member of the military, we do our best to be sensitive to their unique needs when it comes to working through issues involving parenting time sharing and relocation as it is common for military members to be required to move as part of their duty assignments and career growth. We understand how challenging it can be to balance the ever-changing needs and circumstances of military service members, their role as a parent and the best interests of the child involved.

When one member of a couple is a member of the military, the couple is prepared for deployments and assignments as part of the job. When the family is in intact, the service member may leave on an assignment and the civilian spouse remains and cares for the child until the other parent returns.

When that couple divorces and the non-military spouse wants to move on with their life, it is an incredible challenge to deal with the constant change in location and schedule of the military spouse. Now that there are two separate households, these disruptions can make it quite difficult for the military member to maintain a consistent parenting time schedule which allows for a healthy, bonded relationship with their child.

The importance of a solid parenting plan

The co-parents can work out a parenting plan that takes into consideration the needs and best interests of the child and then each parent’s schedule. Because service members do not usually know in advance where they will be assigned or when, this can make is quite difficult to adhere to a parenting time schedule with any kind of regularity. This places even more importance on the role of the parenting plan in keeping parenting time sharing on schedule as much as possible. When the military parent must relocate, the co-parents can revise the parenting plan to accommodate the move. Sometimes this will mean that the visits will not be as frequent, but may be longer in duration to give the parent and child enough time together.

Creating and using the parenting plan is the first step for the divorced couple towards learning to work together, communicate effectively and collaborate in order to make sure that their child’s needs are met. Our Knoxville family law team is here to help military families work through the challenges of figuring out how they can work together effectively to foster and maintain healthy, bonded relationships with their children, and how flexible they can be with regard to working around their military schedule. We are here to help parents work through the custody and parenting time challenges so that they can focus on giving their children all of the time and attention they need.

At LaFevor & Slaughter, we are ready to help you overcome the challenges of dealing with child custody issues in a military divorce. Please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation where we can discuss your case and offer our sound, legal advice.

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