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Military Divorce and Child Custody: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Provisions

On Behalf of | Jan 16, 2020 | Family Law, Firm News

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Filing a Divorce as an Active Duty Member

Determining the best interests of the children is one of the most difficult parts of a divorce. Regardless of how amicable the divorce is, the children will experience a change in their lives. However, when one or both of the parents is also a military member, it can complicate the case even further. One parent may not be able to be present for custody hearings or have the ability to provide full-time caregiving.

Determining Parental Rights

In most divorce cases, the court will look at the lifestyle of each parent to determine who the child should reside with. There can be multiple court dates and typically, both parents are required to attend. Military parents, however, may not always be able to attend court dates, especially if they are stationed overseas. Fortunately, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Provisions protects military parents.

What is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Provisions?

Because military members cannot always control or predict their schedule, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Provisions was put into place to protect them.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Provisions covers all active military members from certain things like:

  • Rental disagreements
  • Eviction notices
  • Foreclosures
  • Civil judicial proceedings

This provision protects active military members from the day they go on active duty to 30-90 days after they return. If one of the parents filed a child custody case during this protection period, the case will be moved until they can realistically attend.

The Importance of a Family Care Plan

Along with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Provisions, it is also important to determine a family care plan ahead of time. This plan provides caregiving directions for military children. The family care plan should include details like:

  • Who will care for the children short-term
  • Who will care for the children long-term
  • Contact information of the other parent
  • An alternate caregiver
  • Details on how the children will be cared for financially
  • Transportation of children if needed

While a family care plan provides directions to the caregiver while the active military parents are away, this plan can also provide valuable information on how to act in the event of a divorce.

Child Custody Laws for Non-Active Members

Even if one of the parents is not actively serving overseas, their situation can be complicated by moving from one U.S. station to another. Child custody cases can be complicated and are often determined by the state. Military members who are required to relocate due to the military requirements may want to consider the representation of a lawyer.

Why Work With a Divorce Lawyer

Serving overseas, it can be difficult to manage your daily life back home. If you are also going through a divorce, it can add a lot of stress and leave you worried about the wellbeing of your children. When you work with a New Jersey divorce lawyer who is familiar with the laws, you can focus on your role, while knowing that your rights are protected.

Contact a Pemberton Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Military Divorce in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of property, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at The Law Office of Stephen R. Piper, L.L.C. represent clients throughout the state, including Mount Laurel, Pemberton, Willingboro, and Burlington Township. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at 856-333-3586 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.