Military Child Custody

Military Divorce: Deployments, Transfers And Complications With Custody

Going through a divorce as or with a military spouse can bring additional challenges to an already stressful situation, especially when it comes to visitation and custody concerns. At Lutz & Associates, P.S., we handle all kinds of divorce matters, including military divorces. With offices in Tacoma, Kent and Fircrest, we help clients in Washington navigate military divorces and the unique issues that arise with military service and child custody or visitation.

Know Your Parental Rights During Deployment

A deployment or military transfer can have a significant impact on the ability to effectively co-parent. It can also affect custody arrangements. Whether you are the one being deployed, or you are co-parenting with a service member, it is important to know and understand your parental rights.

While the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protects the rights of military service men and women, family law issues are governed by state law. In Washington, the law does not allow a deployment or relocation to be the only consideration for a change in custody or granting a Petition to Change Parenting Plan.

Under Washington laws, military service members can:

  • Grant temporary custody: A custodial military service member can temporarily grant the other parent custody during deployment and get the child back upon return.
  • Expect expedited hearings and special accommodations: A military service member has the right to an expedited hearing or special accommodations for an already-scheduled hearing, or special accommodations for submitting evidence if a deployment interferes with the ability to show up for court.
  • Delegate residential time: A servicemember can delegate their parenting time to a relative for the duration of the military absence, if it is in the child’s best interests.

Military divorces present unique challenges for parents. A military deployment or transfer can drastically affect your ability to effectively co-parent. But at the end of the day, the court will always consider the best interests of the child above all else.

If you or your co-parent is a military servicemember facing a potential deployment or military transfer, it is important to know and understand your parental rights. Whether you are contemplating divorce or considering a Petition to Change Parenting Plan because of a military deployment or transfer, a lawyer who understands how Washington law protects service members can help you navigate the next steps.

Call Today To Schedule Your Consultation

Every family and divorce situation is unique. We know that divorce, and the custody and parenting issues that arise, can be stressful and take an emotional toll. Let us help you. Call us today at 253-471-7774 or email us to schedule your initial consultation. We will listen to you and help you determine the best course of action for you and your case.


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