Child custody in military divorce and civilian divorce settings is the same in the senses that child custody decisions are always based on what is in the best interests of the child. During a military divorce, a couple of additional or unique considerations may be taken into account that divorcing couples in the military should be familiar with.
In Alabama, child custody is generally determined based on what is in the best interests of the child. Several factors are looked at to determine what child custody arrangement is best for the child. The family law court will consider factors relevant to what is in the child’s best interests and will give priority to factors that impact the child’s safety and wellbeing.
Factors the family law court may consider can include the importance of maintaining continuity in the child’s family life, education and community; the child’s relationships with their siblings; which parent is more likely to be able to take care of the child’s physical, emotional, development and educational needs and any special needs; and which parent is more likely to maintain a loving, stable and nurturing relationship with the child.
Unique considerations for child custody for military members
For military parents, possible deployments and reassignments may also need to be factored in. In most civilian settings, parents are prohibited from relocating great distances, such as to another state, with the child. Military parents may be required to relocate to another state or overseas with little to no notice whatsoever. It is important that a child custody arrangement when the child has one or both parents in the military takes this into account. If both parents are in the military, a family care plan may be required.
Child custody can be a challenging issue for any divorcing couple and the complexities of a military divorce can make child custody even more difficult to navigate. Trained guidance and family law tools and resources can help divorcing military couples sort these concerns out and develop a child custody plan that is best for their child.