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Military service and child custody considerations

Rulings regarding child custody matters may vary, but courts will always try to keep in mind what is best for the children. However, one woman's decision to join the Air National Guard may have prevented her from gaining custody of her children after divorcing from her husband.

Her two children are now 7-years old and 4-years old. She joined the National Guard in 2000, and she married her husband in 2003. Upon filing for divorce, the couple amicably resolved all issues pertaining to divorce with the exception of child custody.

The judge that tried the child custody matter found both parents to be fit. However, the judge also ruled that the uncertainty of the woman's deployment made the possibility of a stable home more difficult, so the husband was awarded custody of the children. The woman plans on appealing this matter.

In the jurisdiction where the children reside, there is a state law that limits the degree to which military service can be used against a parent in a child custody or visitation matter. Her attorney also argued that involvement in the military service causing instability was not supported by the evidence.

These types of cases will likely become more common in the future as the professional opportunities for women increase. Not every fit parent need be required to stay at home and give up their career. As in all child custody circumstances, these matters should be conducted on a case-by-case basis. What may be considered a detriment in one circumstance cannot necessarily be considered an obstacle in all circumstances as to who should be granted custody.

Raising children should not be equated with meaning the end of one's professional dreams.

Source:, "Military mom's career figured in custody decision; she's filed appeal," by Sarah Schulz, Dec. 27, 2012

  • For Florida parents interested in more information regarding child custody and information regarding parenting plans, please feel free to visit our webpage.

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