Divorce happens regardless of occupation. While a military career may play a part in many decisions, what is its impact on child custody?

When the court decides which parent should get custody, it always errs on the side of what is in the best interest of the child. Unless your ex can prove you are an unfit parent, a Massachusetts judge will likely grant legal custody to both parents. Parental visitation may become an area of contention, and your military service may come into play when negotiating it. Discover the extra steps you may want to prepare to take to ensure a court gives you a fair chance at parenting.

Build a timesharing agreement

In a custody proceeding, a parenting plan becomes the foundation upon which you will build a co-parenting relationship. It accounts for the time children reside with each parent. As Military One Source recommends, you should start with a general schedule for when you live in the same area. The plan should focus on what works best for the kids and their educational, emotional and developmental needs.

Account for time away

The court will want you to recognize that your military service may require you to leave home. As you build the parenting plan, insert provisions for the times when you cannot have your children. If you find yourself deployed for months, you may want to include scheduled times for video chats. If you have immediate family in your town, you may want to have them visit the children occasionally in your place.

Ultimately, you want to craft a solid parenting plan that covers all of the scenarios for your military career. If you do this effectively, the court will have no reason to deny you the custody rights you deserve.