Dealing with distance in co-parenting situations is not ideal for anyone involved, but sometimes, it is unavoidable. This is often the case with divorced families that have one parent serving in the military.
How do divorced military parents handle matters like visitation and child custody? Is it possible to make cooperative co-parenting work when one parent might not be physically around?
Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act
As the National Conference of State Legislatures discusses, there are many parents who go through divorce while also maintaining their position as members of the military. Due to the increase in divorce cases in general, many states have also enacted laws and acts that help provide relief to people in this situation.
Many states have adopted the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA), while many more have their own version of it that serves the same purposes. The UDPCVA has five articles, each of which aids divorced military parents.
How does this act provide support?
For example, Article 3 disallows the non-military parent from making any permanent custody or visitation changes while the military parent is away on deployment. This keeps them from suffering through the unfair situation of their co-parent having all of the power and ability to make decisions while they work within the constraints of their deployment.
Article 2, on the other hand, allows for parents to set a procedure by which they can make temporary visitation or custody arrangement changes without having to go to court. This is a life saver for military parents, due to the sudden nature of deployment.
It is not perfect, but things like the UDPCVA allows for military parents to enjoy a measure of control and comfort previously unknown.