Divorce Issues Faced By Military Families
Military families face particular challenges that other families don't encounter. With one or more family members away on deployment or elsewhere on duty, being apart from each other is a reality that military parents and their children must endure. No matter how accustomed they may be to distance, most are not prepared to face a fissure in the family by way of divorce. Any divorce can be complicated, but the issues faced during a divorce in a military family can become compounded quickly. In this situation, it is important to take the right steps to work out issues in your case as well as seek ways to make this difficult situation easier on your kids. To facilitate parent in the process of working out divorce issues as well as creating lines of communication between each other and their children, military families should consider using a secure communication resource that keeps everyone in the loop regardless of distance.
Issues Affecting Military Families During a Divorce
By and large, the military considers divorce to be a civil issue. As always, divorce laws will vary from state to state, so it will still be important to get to know these laws in your state. Even so, certain rules solely apply to service members going through a divorce. One unique legal issue that a military family in the midst of a divorce must face deals with their family care plan. A family care plan will lay out procedures for how children and other dependent family members should receive financial support, health care, and other forms of assistance while the military member is away on duty. All service members are encouraged to have this plan in place, as it can be a great help in an emergency situation. Nonetheless, a military family in the midst of a divorce may find their custody plans thrown for a loop. Your family care plan may include provisions as far as how to handle custody while away on military duty, but a divorce could affect the validity of those plans. As custody laws vary from state to state, a parent may face issues in retaining custody if they must relocate to a new state.
As a military service member going through a divorce, you should develop at least one parenting plan, but you may consider working out a few alternate plans in case of anything that could derail the original. This is particularly important if you may face deployment or transfer to locations far from where your children live. In case you are stationed far from your family, your plans should also include details concerning how you will communicate with each other about divorce issues and how you will stay in touch with your children.
Communication Resources for Military Families Apart
It can be hard for service members living far from home to stay informed about the day-to-day lives of their kids, but technology has made it easier over the years for families to maintain connection while apart. Where letters, packages, and phone calls were once the only ways that military service members could communicate with their families back home, web tools and mobile applications available online have opened the door to new forms of staying connected while apart. In a divorce situation, merely calling each other or even sending letters always aren't suitable options, particularly when conflict between parents is a serious issue. In these cases, military families should consider utilizing a resource that will keep lines of both parent-to-parent and parent-to-child communication open and secure.
The OurFamilyWizard website was launched to help families apart to maintain communication even in high conflict situations. OFW® offers exceptional access to family information from parenting schedules and notes on activities to medical details and family photos. For a military parent, being able to access this information can make all the difference when away from home. The website also offers special account types for children and other family members to use so that they can send and receive messages with their family members away from home.
For divorcing parents, OFW® can be a big help in high conflict situations because it helps to focus their communication on the topics that matter in regards to their kids. It also can contribute to opening up lines of communication where they might have otherwise been closed due to conflict or simply not being able to access a phone or time differences. On top of opening lines of communication, family law and mental health practitioners can oversee family communication on OFW®. Their access to monitor activity can be useful if a parent's contact with their children has been obstructed due to parental conflict or other issues.
Understanding the distinct issues that military families face, the OurFamilyWizard website strives to make its tools more accessible to them. OFW® offers a special rate on subscriptions for families with one or two active duty or retired military service members. When one parent purchases an OFW® subscription, the other parent will receive one at no cost. Learn more about OFW®'s military discount program here.
NOTE: Many state and federal laws use terms like ‘custody’ when referring to arrangements regarding parenting time and decision-making for a child. While this has been the case for many years, these are not the only terms currently used to refer to these topics.
Today, many family law practitioners and even laws within certain states use terms such as ‘parenting arrangements’ or ‘parenting responsibility,’ among others, when referring to matters surrounding legal and physical child custody. You will find these terms as well as custody used on the OurFamilyWizard website.