Child Custody and Military Service

Dan and child plane

Child Custody and Military Service

Information and guidance about navigating family life while in the military.
Photo credit: Benjamin Manley. A woman sits on a bench, back to the camera, with her arms around two small children

Military Service can have an obvious impact on child custody plans, creating stress on parents and children.

Military OneSource has a “Family & Relationships” section with helpful information and guidance about navigating family life while in the military. The site explains that each state has at least one provision to protect the rights of servicemembers in child custody cases, and each state differs in terms of what is in place. If you need help figuring out what protections your state offers, it is best to consult with an attorney. 

Two very helpful pages at the site include, Be Proactive with Child Custody and Child Custody Considerations for Members of the Military

The Project keeps track of states that have passed laws that take military service into account in making child custody and visitation decisions.  At present, it rates 36 states as 'green' for addressing some aspect of the difficulties facing parents who temporarily must give up custody of their children or who must forgo visitation because of military service.  

If you need help in a custody or parental rights dispute as a result of your military service, use the "Find Legal Help" page and search your state and type of organization for possible resources in your state.