Co-parenting after divorce is never without its challenges. However, military families often experience additional complications because of the unique lifestyle that comes with being a servicemember. Divorce can be particularly challenging for the non-military parent.
Developing a parenting plan when one parent is deployed overseas for months at a time can be especially challenging. Even if you have shared custody of your kids, the parent who's in the military may be unable to see, let alone care for, the kids for long stretches of time. You may need to modify your agreement from time to time based on the military parent's assignments.
Having a parent who's deployed may actually make the divorce seem like less of a change for children in military families than for kids in civilian families. On the other hand, not having both parents around to reassure them when they feel anxious can be difficult. That's why it's essential for the parent who's deployed to maintain as much communication with their children as possible -- by Skype, phone email and social media.
Non-military spouses will typically need to move off the base after a divorce. This is a big change -- particularly for the kids. Their whole life may have revolved around that base.
It's essential for both spouses to know their rights. Some non-military spouses have rights under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act. However, you must have been married for at least 20 years. Even if you haven't been, you may still qualify for military benefits. It's essential to know what benefits you and your children are entitled to.
If you're among the many divorced or divorcing Texas parents who serve in the military or have a spouse who does, all branches of the military offer a number of resources to help you. It's wise to take advantage of those. It's also wise to have a family law attorney who understands the unique challenges you're facing.