These days, more families are going through divorce. This also means there is a higher rate of military parents going through splits as well. This poses unique hurdles, such as the possibility of having to co-parent at a distance when the military parent ends up relocated or deployed.
In these situations, is it still possible to make joint custody work?
Dealing with deployment
The National Conference of State Legislatures looks into the parental and custody rights of divorcing parents who serve the military. The Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA) serves as just one of many legal provisions that addresses the potential hurdles that divorced military parents may face. Many states have adopted this, while others have their own similar forms of legislation addressing the same issues.
It allows for workarounds of things that would otherwise pose a potential problem. For example, Article 2 of the UDPCVA allows for parents to work out out-of-court temporary arrangements for visitation and custody in the event that a military co-parent ends up deployed. This is a huge boon, as having to go through the entire court process is not feasible with the military lifestyle, which often involves quick and sudden location changes without much time to prepare.
Protecting custody rights
It also includes other important caveats, such as Article 3 which disallows one parent from making permanent custody arrangement changes without the okay of their co-parent when that co-parent gets deployed. This prevents unfair decisions from happening when a military parent has no awareness of it or ability to intervene.
Thus, it is possible to make long-distance parenting work with a military parent. It just requires a little extra finagling in some cases.