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Recommendations for Military Families Facing Family Law Related Problems

Recommendations for Military Families Facing Family Law Related Problems

Military families often encounter unique complexities in family law problems. This guide offers practical recommendations to address these challenges, focusing on areas like custody, deployment, and legal support. Our aim is to provide clear, actionable advice to help military families manage these sensitive issues effectively.

Addressing Family Law Challenges Before Military Deployment and Relocation

Just because you are an enlisted member of a military branch does not mean that your life outside your commitment to our country does not continue. Unfortunately, you will need to deal with problems regarding your family at some point. From reading our past few blog posts on this subject, you can see that we recommend handling any issues related to child support or child custody before being re-stationed in another part of the country or being deployed abroad.

Doing so will ensure that you have less to think about outside of your duties serving our country.

To be sure, the challenges that you and other active-duty service members and veterans have to handle are unique and typically more complex than what civilians must endure as far as child custody, and child support cases are concerned.

You’re being relocated with frequency means that your pay rate may change just as often, which can cause problems in paying child support as you are obligated to do so in court orders. Once your obligation to the military runs out, finding working back in the United States can prove more complicated than it ought to. This also can be a problem when it comes to paying child support on time and in full.

In addition to the stress and anxiety from involvement in armed conflicts, servicemembers face difficulties when re-entering civilian life, including a loss of assistance. The Veterans Administration often delays the disbursement of earned benefits, sometimes taking a year or more. These issues compound the challenges faced by servicemembers during and after their service.

Distance From Children May Be the Most Significant Problem Facing Military Members

If frequent relocations due to your military service have become a part of your life, you’re not alone. Many servicemembers live far from their home states, often resulting in their children residing at a considerable distance. This scenario likely makes visitation more costly and challenging for you and your family. As the custodial parent, you face the risk of losing custody rights due to frequent moves.

As a noncustodial parent, you might struggle to utilize the limited visitation time granted by court orders, especially if the custodial parent is uncooperative and your military duties restrict your availability. Proactively addressing these issues is crucial for maintaining healthy family relationships.

Child Support Problems That Affect Military Members

Recommendations for Military Families Facing Family Law Related Problems

Your inability to meet your child support obligations can affect your performance in your job and your family as a whole. Unfortunately, military child support issues tend to be more time-consuming and challenging to sort through when compared to civilian child support issues.

This is because your case may involve out-of-state orders from when you and your family lived in another U.S. State. Having to reconcile multiple child support orders can be difficult and costly. Determining what court has jurisdiction over the case often causes problems from the start for many families.

How the State of Texas Can Help Military Families

In the sphere of family law, the unique challenges faced by military families often go unrecognized. Despite frequent discussions about improving support for servicemembers and veterans, specific policy measures are rarely outlined. It’s time to move beyond broad statements and focus on concrete changes that can significantly impact the lives of those who serve our country.

Modifying Child Support Regulations for Military Personnel

A critical area where the Texas Family Code could evolve is in recognizing a change in active duty status as a substantial reason for modifying child support obligations. Unlike most civilians, veterans often experience abrupt career transitions post-service, especially those with limited education. This adjustment period can lead to financial instability, making it challenging to meet existing child support commitments.

Currently, Texas law permits child support modifications only after three years of the original order. However, the transition from active military service to retirement often involves a delay in compensation, potentially leading to arrears in child support payments. This gap unfairly penalizes veterans, calling for an urgent legislative response to accommodate the unique circumstances of military retirees.

Training Judges on Military-Specific Issues

Moreover, there’s a pressing need for judicial training on issues like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other challenges specific to military families. Understanding the distinct context of military members’ lives is crucial for fair legal judgments, especially in matters of child support and custody.

Supporting Mental Health for Fair Judicial Outcomes

Finally, the mental health of servicemembers is paramount in ensuring their ability to fulfill child support and custody responsibilities. Judges must be equipped to recognize and account for mental health issues, ensuring that servicemembers receive fair treatment in court. Enhancing legal support and understanding for military families in Texas is not just a noble goal – it’s a necessary step towards honoring the sacrifices of those who serve.

Conclusion: The military can help you and your family, but you need to help yourself first

The military must actively address family law issues, particularly child custody and child support, recognizing them as potential hindrances to servicemembers’ performance. When deployed abroad in challenging environments, servicemembers should not have to worry about domestic issues like incorrect garnishment of their paychecks for child support.

Proactive management of these concerns is essential for their peace of mind and effective service. The military should do more to help service members and veterans in these areas.

However, the bottom line is that you need to be as educated as possible on these issues so that you can help yourself avoid problems down the road. However, you are at a good starting point if you are reading this article.

Continue to educate yourself on the issues, and do not assume that you have resources available to assist. Our office is available six days a week to ask our licensed family law attorneys questions. Most attorneys will go out of their way to help a veteran or active-duty servicemember.

Child custody and child support cases are like any other problem in your life- they will not get better on their own. Take steps to positively impact your life before transitioning into a new role within the military or civilian. Your children- and your future self will thank you.

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC

Recommendations for Military Families Facing Family Law Related Problems

If you have any questions about the subject matter that we have discussed today, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. As I mentioned a moment ago, we offer free of charge consultations to anyone with questions regarding family law in Texas. Our licensed family law attorneys are a great resource to ask questions about. We can discuss the services that we can provide to you as a client and how our experience can be put to good use in representing you.

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