Many Mississippi parents are in the U.S. military. Balancing the responsibilities of family life with military duties often presents challenges. This is especially true for servicemembers who are navigating divorce proceedings. If child custody issues arise, for instance, a servicemember will want to be aware of his or her rights and know where to seek additional support as needed to help resolve legal problems, particularly if they arise during deployment.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects military parents against child custody litigation during deployment. Even if the other parent is the primary caregiver and is merely requesting modification of a court order, it cannot be done while the military parent is unable to be present in court due to serving on active duty away from home – unless the servicemember formally waives his or her rights under the law.
A family care plan can help prevent child custody issues
Servicemembers can create a Family Care Plan (FCP) to help provide for their children during deployment. The more detailed an FCP is, the better. It can include instructions regarding child custody, health care, education, faith practices and daily routines. A well-written FCP helps maintain a sense of normalcy and minimizes the disruption a deployment can cause in children’s lives, especially when their parents are divorced.
The Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA) is another law that is helpful to Mississippi military parents who have been called to serve on active duty overseas or in another state. Article 3 states that proceedings should be expedited for parents who are currently seeking the court’s intervention for child custody issues when one of the parents is scheduled for a deployment. A concerned parent can turn to an experienced family law attorney for additional support regarding all aspects of child custody or divorce.