Every year, the state of California decides thousands of child custody cases. Child custody cases can be especially stressful for parents and even worse for children. Even more complications can arise when one parent is a military service member. Many in the armed forces may wonder exactly how their service will impact their child custody rights.
The parenting plan
When one parent is in the military, a “parenting plan” is usually created together by both parents. This document should outline custody and visitation rights. However, as often is the case during divorce, there is a disagreement over the plan’s terms. Instead, the court will decide the parenting plan with the children’s best interests prioritized. The court will then enforce this plan as part of the divorce decree.
California military child custody law
You should also be aware that most family law is not decided at the federal level. Instead, each state has its own laws and systems in place that govern child custody and child custody for military members. In California, this law is California Family Code Section 3047. This law does the following:
- temporary custody orders can be made after a sudden deployment
- the orders will be subject to review once the tour of duty ends
- the court will attempt to ensure the military member is in frequent contact with the child if a temporary order is not made
Overall, California, and most other states, try to protect the parental rights of military members even after a divorce. Most courts will be very conscientious regarding the sacrifice that military members make for their country and will not act in a biased way against them or unfairly remove parental rights.