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Child custody disputes can arise at any time

We've previously discussed some of the challenges divorcing military moms and dads face when it comes to child custody. Due to active-duty status and deployment, many military mothers and fathers are forced to give up or make concessions when it comes to child custody. Even in custody cases that favor a military parent, disputes may arise.

One case in another state illustrates the problems that can occur in child custody cases where sole custody is granted and later contested. During 2010, a Navy serviceman was awarded sole custody of his daughter after, amid allegations of abuse; the girl was removed from her mother's home. 

Last June, while the father was deployed and the girl was living with her stepmother, the girl's mother petitioned for custody of her daughter. At that time, the case made headlines as the judge appeared reticent to award the mother custody despite her father's deployment and protections afforded to active-duty members of the military under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

The judge later conceded to abide by the SCRA and stay the child custody proceedings. More recently, with the father back in the states, the ex-spouses headed to court in an attempt to resolve the child custody dispute and avoid going to trial.

Thankfully, and for the sake of all involved parties, the ex-spouses were able to resolve the matter and agree upon a revised parenting time order. The new order provides the girl's mother more time with her daughter. Speaking to the parents, the judge commented that, for the sake of their daughter, each has "a responsibility to facilitate a meaningful relationship with the other parent.”

Divorced parents will always be tied to one another by a shared child. Therefore, whenever possible, it’s often best for all involved parties that child custody disputes are resolved outside of court. An attorney who handles family law and child custody matters can provide advice and assist in helping procure a child custody agreement that is agreeable to both parents.  

Source: Daily Telegram, "Parenting deal avoids trial in Navy dad’s custody case,” Dennis Pelham, Oct. 25, 2014

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