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Child custody protections for parents on military deployment

There are many people in New York who are in the military. One of the requirements of being active in the military is that they will be deployed at some point in time. During these periods of time people will be stationed in different countries around the world and be separated from their families during that time. This can be difficult for anyone, but it may be very difficult for parents who must leave their children behind. If the parents are divorced or no longer with the other parent, it can also create child custody issues.

Clearly while people are deployed, they cannot bring their children and exercise any visitation rights they have or exercise their custody rights. However, there are custody protections for parents through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and other laws. These laws try to ensure that major custody decisions cannot be made while the parent is deployed. Hearings can be delayed or stayed for periods of time so the parent can attend.

In addition to delaying hearings, deployment cannot be the sole basis for changing a custody order. Temporary orders may be issued regarding custody while a parent is deployed, but no permanent orders or modifications can be ordered during that time. Once a parent returns from deployment, the old order could be reinstated as well. However, that order can be modified if the other parent can show that the old order is no longer in the best interests of the child.

Parents in New York who are in the military provide a great service for our country. However, this service can affect current child custody orders. So, to allow parents to provide this service without fearing repercussions for their custody and visitation orders, there are certain protections in place. These generally protect major changes being made to the custody orders due to the deployment. Experienced attorneys understand these laws and may be a useful resource.

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