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What deployment means for custody in a Texas divorce

Marrying and having children when you serve in the military is a common decision. Service members receive housing support and even more pay when they have a spouse and children. You can expect support to keep your family close by, at least until you have to deploy.

If you believe you and your spouse will soon divorce, your military service will impact what happens during your custody proceedings. Especially if you will likely have to deploy after your divorce, your service will have an impact on what happens with custody in your divorce.

How do the Texas family courts allocate custody in a divorce?

Like most states, Texas tries to focus on the children when establishing rules for shared custody between divorcing parents. The judge presiding over your case probably understands that your kids need a good relationship with you and with the other parent. They will try to set terms in your custody order that will give both parents frequent access to and involvement with the children.

Those who are current active-duty service members may receive less parenting time than their spouses, especially if they work long hours. Judges will still give service members, but an even split of parenting time could be hard to manage with their service-related obligations. Thankfully, when the demands of your service change in the future, you can always ask for a modification to secure more parenting time.

You need to plan ahead for what happens during deployment

For as long as you live close to one another, shared custody will be realistic. However, during deployment, it will be much harder for you to parent or even communicate with your children.

Requesting language in your parenting plan or custody order that allows for virtual visitation will help ensure that you can maintain the bond with your children even if you are halfway around the planet from them. You may also need to update your Family Care Plan to reflect your changed marital status.

If you and your spouse can’t agree on how to share custody during your divorce, then you will have to turn to the courts. Understanding how your military service can impact custody proceedings can help you plan for your future divorce.