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Child custody and visitation issues faced by military parents

While the issues pertaining to child custody and visitation for military parents in Arkansas and the rest of the country are becoming more complicated with time in the United States, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has drafted the Uniform Deployment Parent Custody and Visitation Act, which is aimed to address custody and visitation issues confronted by the parents who are deployed while in military service.

Currently, only four states in the U.S. have adopted the UDPCVA. Since there has been increase in deployments over the past decade, the courts have also seen a significant increase in issues related to the military parent’s child custody and visitation. While some states do have statutes or court rulings to address these issues, due to some loopholes, these issues do not always get easily resolved.

The UDPCVA consists of five articles dealing with varying issues faced by military parents. Under Article 1, the deploying parent is required to inform the other parent about the deployment as soon as the deployment order is received. To ensure that the custody proceedings are in the best interests of the child, parents also can prohibit courts from considering past and future deployments. However, Article 2 allows parents to make agreements regarding custody and visitation during deployment out of court.

Under Article 3, permanent custody arrangement cannot be ordered without the consent of the deployed parent. Also, the deploying parent needs to ensure that the custody orders are entered prior to deployment. Article 4 gives the provision to dismiss the temporary custody arrangement if all parties agree. However, in case of any dispute or disagreement, the court must intervene. The technical effective date and uniform language is set out under Article 5.

If you as a military parent are facing child visitation and custody issues, it would be a prudent decision to seek advice from a family law attorney to resolve your issues at the earliest point possible. The lawyer would be able to provide you with vital information regarding changes and updates on child custody and visitation laws.

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, “Military Parent Custody and Visitation,” accessed March 13, 2015

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