Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Understanding a Father’s Rights in a Military Divorce

Military Divorce
If you are a father going through a military divorce it is important for you to understand your rights.  Many couples make the false assumption that the mother always gets the kids and has the right to do whatever she wants with them.  Do to this misconception, many fathers don’t even try to fight for custody even if they do want to spend time with their children.  If you are in this situation, here are facts that you need to know:

Most courts believe kids should spend time with both parents.
This is unlike the common belief that used to be prevalent in the court system.  No longer is it thought that kids only need their mother.  To the contrary, the court will try to ensure that kids grow up with the influence of both parents.  This is beneficial to fathers because even if the mother attempts to maintain full custody with limited visitation rights if you fight, the court will probably rule in your favor to some degree.  The key is that you have to present a parenting plan that you want so that the court can decide between them. 

Things you need to prove.
If you are going after full or partial custody of your children, it is important to establish several things.  This is true if you are going through a military divorce or civilian divorce.  You will want to prove that you have stable employment and can provide for the needs of the children financially.  If you are in the military, this becomes easier to do but in both cases, pay stubs are typically enough to demonstrate employment.  You will also want to demonstrate that you have stable housing for the children within their current school district.  If you want to take them out of their school district, it becomes a relocation case.  

As a father trying to keep custody of the children, it is best if you can remain in the house you have been living in as a family or can find something in the same neighborhood.  While the natural reaction may be to move far away from your ex, moving creates a less stable environment in the courts eyes and could work against you.
It also helps if you can demonstrate a solid support system.  This could be family, friends, your church group, etc.  A support system is important when raising children and if your ex has it, but you don’t, this could make it more difficult to gain full custody.  It shouldn’t, however, influence your ability to maintain joint custody. 

Child support
When representing clients going through a military divorce, we also work to ensure that any child support agreements are fair and can be lived with.  This could be challenging if one spouse wasn’t working during the marriage.  In these instances, you may have one child support agreement at the beginning of the divorce and go back to have it renegotiated at a later date to reflect a lesser amount, once they become employed.  
Remember that if you are a father going through a military divorce, you have just as many rights as the mother does.  To learn more, call and schedule your consultation.