What Do Military Parents Need to Do to Ensure Their Children Are Cared for Prior to Deployment?

What Do Military Parents Need to Do to Ensure Their Children Are Cared for Prior to Deployment?

Military parents have a great deal on their minds, both before setting off for deployment and while overseas. If you count yourself among those people who serve in our armed forces I would like to first thank you for making that sacrifice for all us here in southeast Texas. We are indebted to you for your willingness to go above and beyond in protecting our country. The sacrifices that you make are especially difficult if you are a parent.

Today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is geared towards helping you to know what is recommended for you to take care of prior to your being deployed. Obviously, it will be very difficult for you to focus on anything other than your mission once you are overseas, so it is much wiser to start focusing on these issues now rather than later. Financial, medical and emotional support for your children is essential to their being able to grow up and become positive contributors to our country.

This is not the same question as asking whether or not your child has a father. If you are an unmarried mother, your child may not have a legally recognized father. Married couples automatically establish the mother’s husband as the legal father upon the child’s birth, requiring no additional legal action. This presumption does not apply to unmarried parents.

You and the other parent can complete a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity (AOP), an oath confirming the child’s biological parentage. Once you both fill out and file this form with the state, the child’s father becomes the legal father, requiring no further action. If you haven’t completed an AOP, a court order might have already legally recognized the father of your child.

Alternatively, you might find yourself in a situation where you haven’t voluntarily acknowledged fatherhood and haven’t pursued legal recognition through the court. Some people in your position find themselves not knowing at all what the situation actually is. Does your child have a legally established father or not? If this sounds like where you are, then you can choose to go one of the two routes I described above. You and your child’s father can voluntarily acknowledge paternity or you can file a paternity lawsuit and have paternity determined through a court case.

Are There Orders in Place From a Court That Deals With Custody, Visitation and Child Support?

This is another big issue that you need to attend to prior to going overseas. It is likely that you and your child’s other parent will share parental rights and responsibilities. A possession order will determine how much time you will be able to spend with your child and when. With your going overseas it is seven more important that you know what the visitation you will have with your child is going to be like once he returns from overseas.

Most parents who have gone through family law cases are joint managing conservators. You can ask a court to have your ex-spouse or child’s other parent to be able to determine the primary residence of your child while you are outside of the country.

Rights and Duties Relevant to the Possession of Your Child

In Texas, most parents share the rights and duties of raising their child almost equally, but only one parent, either you or your child’s other parent, individually holds the right to determine the children’s primary residence. This parent is the custodial parent, while the other is the non-custodial parent. The non-custodial parent has their time spelled out in the court orders under a possession order.

An important question to ask yourself is who will be able to have custody of your child while you are deployed overseas. As mentioned a moment ago, you can ask the court to be able to allow the other parent to be able to determine where your child lives while you are away overseas. Likewise, if you are the noncustodial parent to a child then you can ask the court to assign your visitation time with your child to another adult.

What Is the Parenting Plan Going to Look Like While You Are Deployed?

What Do Military Parents Need to Do to Ensure Their Children Are Cared for Prior to Deployment?

To streamline the content and maintain its informative essence, consider restructuring it into two focused sections:

A court order typically outlines various aspects of parental responsibilities but may not cover every possible scenario, especially in the event of a deployment. To address this, parents can create a detailed agreement or roadmap. This document will clarify responsibilities during periods such as deployment, ensuring that there’s no uncertainty about parenting duties when one parent is overseas.

Child Support Considerations for Deployed Parents

Child support orders encompass two primary obligations: financial and medical support for the child. For noncustodial parents, the amount is based on net monthly resources. Deployment can lead to changes in income, warranting a modification of the current court orders to reflect these shifts. If a parent faces deployment, they should arrange for a trusted relative to access their bank accounts. This step ensures the child receives continuous support.

This structure maintains the original tone and level of detail while dividing the content into two digestible sections, each focusing on a key aspect of parenting during deployment.

Setting Up Child Support Before Overseas Deployment

If you and your child’s other parent can’t agree on child support, it’s wise to have a court establish the amount before your deployment. Parents often agree on child support with the other parent, only to face unexpected increases. To prevent this while deployed, secure a court order before leaving the country. Since child support cases also address custody and visitation, establishing a fixed amount before deployment is even more crucial.

Designating a Proxy for Child Support Details During Deployment

You are able to designate another person to receive information about your child support case by filling out a form and sending it into your local child support office. You can go to the Office of the Attorney General’s website for more information on this. Likewise, you can also revoke this form when you return from deployment.

What Happens if You Are Already Deployed and Your Child Is Born?

Logistically, having your child before deploying to another country simplifies matters. However, you often cannot control the timing of these events. If you are overseas during your child’s birth and not married to the child’s mother, you can still establish paternity by completing an Acknowledgment of Paternity.

You may not be sure if you are the child’s father. If that is the case you should not sign any paperwork until you can have genetic testing administered. Free DNA testing is offered through the Office of the Attorney General.

If you are beyond the point of establishing paternity, you should do whatever you can to maintain a relationship with your child when you are overseas. Technology has made this task much easier given that phone calls, email, Skype, social media and text messaging are all prevalent. It is true that you will not have as much of an opportunity to take advantage of these methods of communication but you should seek them out when you have the available time. You can have a profound impact on your child even when you are thousands of miles away.

You can also check in with your child’s other parent so you can maintain a sense of decision-making capabilities when it comes to the daily life of your child. School activities, extracurricular events, doctor’s visits, and many other occurrences will go on in your absence. You can feel less homesick and distant from your child by keeping up to date with what is going on in their life as best you can.

What Should You Do When You Get Back Home From Deployment?

What Do Military Parents Need to Do to Ensure Their Children Are Cared for Prior to Deployment?

You should get in touch with the Office of the Attorney General’ child support division in order to re-establish who is to receive child support on behalf of your child and who can access information about your child now that you are back home.

Noncustodial parents should ask the OAG to review your case if your income has increased or decreased as a result of being deployed. The child support that you pay no longer be correct based on those changed circumstances.

Finally, you should spend as much time with your child as possible. While he or she is likely very happy to have you back home, it may take some time for him or her to adjust to your being home instead of overseas. You can learn about your child’s life and how it has changed. This will help you to make decisions with your child’s other parent about your child’s well-being.

Questions about family law issues in Texas? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

Do you have any questions about the content in today’s blog post? If so, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week. These consultations are a great opportunity for you to ask questions and receive direct feedback about your particular circumstances.

Our attorneys and staff take a great deal of pride in being able to help the people that live in our community. We practice in all of the family courts of southeast Texas and work every day to help our clients achieve their goals. If you are facing challenging circumstances related to your family, you need to look no further than the Law Office of Bryan Fagan to assist you in whatever capacity you need.


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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Texas Military Divorce Lawyer

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it’s important to speak with ar Texas military Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.

military divorce lawyer in Spring TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Spring, TexasCypressSpringKleinHumble,KingwoodTomballThe WoodlandsHouston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris CountyMontgomery CountyLiberty County, Chambers CountyGalveston CountyBrazoria CountyFort Bend County and Waller County.

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