Understanding Custody and Relocation Lawyers in Virginia Consider the Best Interests of Children of Divorce
An experienced attorney can guide you through complex military divorce child custody issues
Any child custody issue should revolve around one consideration and one consideration only, and that is the best interests of the child. All courts must consider custody issues based on whatever serves the overall well-being of the children involved. Many factors may need to be considered when making this determination. And when one of the parents involved in the custody dispute serves in the military, those factors can become even more complex.
If you serve in the military and fear that your service may present special child custody issues for you, contact experienced military divorce attorneys like Harding, Harding & Harding Attorneys at Law.
Jurisdiction and relocation due to military service
When a child is relocated by a parent due to military service, jurisdiction can become complicated if custody issues arise. It is even possible that a foreign country could have proper jurisdiction in some cases. But in most cases, the courts of the state in which the parent and child reside permanently will maintain jurisdiction of custody disputes.
Military deployment and child custody
When military parents must serve in a foreign country, they often cede certain custody rights on a temporary basis. But when their overseas service is complete, they may face a difficult custody battle and stay of custody proceeding.
Many times, the other parent files for full custody of the child when the service member leaves a child with a step-parent or other relative during deployment. Since their service makes it difficult to attend or deal with a custody battle, The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows military personnel to stay a civil proceeding during their military activation. But many courts do not allow this law to be invoked in child custody cases, claiming that the best interests of the child outweigh federal legal protections provided to military parents.
However, many states find it unfair that military parents should, in effect, be penalized for their military service. These states have passed laws protecting the custody rights of military parents while they are deployed, and prevent any permanent custody changes due to military service. These laws also mandate that any temporary custody changes made due to deployment revert to their original state when the parent returns from a deployment.
Virginia military divorce lawyers ready to advise you today
Let Harding, Harding & Harding Attorneys at Law guide you through any matter of Virginia family law. Contact us online or at today to schedule a free consultation regarding your case. We serve clients in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and surrounding communities.