Missourians who are in the military or are the spouse of a military member will face concerns that civilian families do not. This is especially true when there is a military divorce and the issues that accompany it are addressed. One that is concerning and complex is how child custody and visitation is dealt with during deployment. A deploying parent compounds any custody and visitation issue and can cause emotional stress and disputes. Having legal assistance from a law firm that understands the challenges that confront military families is critical from any perspective.

When there is an agreement for child custody and visitation and it will be impacted by a deploying parent, it can be modified on a temporary basis. The temporary order will give the deploying parent child custody or visitation based on the original order while he or she is on leave. If it is deemed to be not in the child’s best interests, this will not be the case. When the court modifies a previous order because of deployment, it will detail that the deployment is why the order is being modified. It will then be entered as a temporary order.

If there is a temporary order, the parent who is not deploying will give the court and the deploying parent written notice of their contact information and update it within seven days if there will be a change. If there is an order of protection, there will be no such information given. The temporary modification will end within 30 days after the deploying parent has returned. If there is immediate danger to the child, it will be done within 10 days. The non-deploying parent must provide the deploying parent with reasonable availability of the child when the deploying parent is on leave. There will be email and telephone opportunities to communicate with the child. Timely information will be given as to when the deploying parent will be on leave.

Military divorce can be hard and parents who are thinking about child custody and visitation during deployment will deal with a litany of issues that are not in place for civilian divorces. Whether it is the military member or a civilian spouse, having legal advice to adequately modify an order to account for the difficulties in these circumstances is essential. A law firm that handles all aspects of military divorce can help.