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Military service doesn’t preclude you from child custody

Members of the military have a hard job to do. The hours are sometimes crazy and the frequent moves make it hard to put down roots. That doesn’t mean that military members can’t enjoy having custody of their children. In fact, there is nothing that would preclude someone from seeking and even receiving primary custody of his or her children just because he or she is in the military.

People who are serving our country can raise their children. In fact, many members of the military have full or primary custody of their children. A parenting plan is one essential tool for parents who are serving in the military. This plan must spell out who will care for the child if the military member is deployed on a billet that won’t allow the child to go with them.

If a military member doesn’t have primary custody of their children, they can be required to pay child support. This is done through a garnishment that must be served to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. The child support is then taken directly out of the service member’s check and sent to the appropriate agency for disbursement to the recipient. Once DFAS receives the order, it will be applied to the paychecks as ordered by the court and can’t be changed without a court order.

It is crucial that service members understand how their parenting plans and child support orders are handled by the military. If you are in the military and facing a child custody battle, you should work to understand your options and the ways you can proceed.

Source: National Military Family Association, “Custody Child Support,” accessed June 14, 2016

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