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Parenting Plans & Military Spouses


When one parent is in the military, it can sometimes be difficult to ensure that your children have the stability they need to thrive, especially because deployment can happen at any time. This is one of the major reasons that a parenting plan is so vital for military couples during a divorce, so that child custody only has to change when absolutely necessary, and so there is a plan that can be followed if such situations occur.

Joint vs Primary Custody

Custody and parenting time arrangements understandably differ somewhat when one parent has primary custody versus when the parents have joint custody. Most of the provisions of a military family’s parenting plan will be much the same as any other – for example, if the military parent is stationed nearby, the children should spend as much time with the parent as their commitments allow. It is actually the public policy of the state of Nevada to try to give children as much time as possible with each parents post-divorce, unless it has been deemed not to be in the child’s best interests to spend equal time with both parents.

While some parts of a military family’s parenting plan will be the same, others will markedly differ. If the military parent is deployed, they will have to fall back on what is referred to as a Family Care Plan, to determine who will look after the children, or on provisions specifically set forth in the parenting agreement for such situations.

Family Care Plans

The military generally advocates a Family Care Plan for all its servicemembers with children, but especially for those who are divorced, so as to ensure stability for the children in times of upheaval. While unit heads tend to suggest as comprehensive a plan as possible, including things like ensuring that insurance is up to date and arranging transportation, food and housing needs are met, perhaps the most critical suggestions are to update estate planning documents and to manage child custody or guardianship issues.

While specifics for a Family Care Plan will vary between branches of the military, custody arrangements must be included if the parent is a single parent or has sole or primary custody of their kids. If the children’s other parent is not in the picture, a guardian must be named, and given appropriate Power of Attorney to be able to act on the children’s behalf if the parent is unavailable or is incapacitated. Failure to do this may lead to the need for Court intervention to ensure there is never a time when the children are unsupervised or uncared for.

Seek Experienced Legal Assistance

Making sure your children are looked after if you are deployed is critical, but establishing a parenting plan or Family Care Plan can seem overwhelming, especially if you have sole or primary custody. The child custody lawyers at the Kainen Law Group may be able to assist. We handle military divorces, custody matters and many other types of cases in the area of family law, and we are happy to try and assist you with yours. Call our Las Vegas offices to set up an appointment today.


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