Can a single father obtain joint custody if he is in the military?

Singlemommy1213 - posted on 06/14/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I'm a single mother who has custody of my son. We've never had a custody agreement in place because I always let him come and get his son when ever he want.His father is in the military and is considering custody (joint) because he don't get a chance to see him often. He often go on deployments at least once a year. He live in a different state, but pays child support. I'm a good mother, don't drink or do drugs. My son has been on the A/B honor since he started school and is in the academically advanced classes in school. He also participate in a variety of sports. Is it possilbe for my son's father to obtain joint custody for our son. Also, will courts deduct the amount i get in child support if he was to get joint custody of our son? What kind of custody agreement would the court award him?

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I am going to give you GENERAL answers - because things vary from state to state and even county to county. What you REALLY need to do is go see a lawyer! many do a free or low cost consultation and can give you more specifics.

IN GENERAL - if the father has shown regular contact/interest with the child and there is no reason to suspect he would harm the child (such as a drug or alcohol problem) there is no reason for him to not get joint custody. now joint custody doesn't necessarily mean 50/50 - it could be 70/30, or any variation.
What kind of agreement the courts would award him depends on his schedule, location, your son's schedule (aka not taking him out of school) and so on. The courts won't make your child switch schools halfway through the year just to go be with another parent. but it is possible that your son will be spending most of his vacations with his dad.
Courts tend to think very highly of military personal, they are afterall protecting our country. Visits may be suspended during deployment, but it is generally viewed that we should work around the deployment schedule.

As for the money, yes - he probably will have to pay less money if he has more custodial time with your son. this makes sense though, he is responsible for a portion of the expenses regarding your son and when your son is with him, he can pay for it directly.

Once again, I really urge you to speak with a lawyer who can talk about this with you with more specifics. I can only give some generalities. ALSO I urge you to try and work this out amicably. just because you are a good mother and your son is thriving is no reason/excuse to keep custody from the father. awarding the father joint custody is not punishment for you. or saying you did your job poorly.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 06/15/2011

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I have to laugh about courts thinking highly of the military. My ex is career military and the judge in my county's family court considers him to be a pompous ass.
Before you go into a joint agreement do your homework on the subject- I just went through this because I'm moving out of the country with my daughter and I have full custody.
Joint means that both parties have to be agreeable to the raising of the child and neither party has a final say. Joint also has no bearing over where the child lives. For that you should request sole residency since your ex is in the military and gets deployed and transfered to different parts of the country. The courts would most likely award you sole residency since they like to focus on the stability of the child's living arrangements.
Since you two seem to get along okay I don't see where joint would be a problem. But you should also start talking about visitation since he does move around and live in another state. In my custody (I have sole custody/residency of my daughter) and visitation papers we originally wrote out that our daughter would visit for 2 weeks in the summer.
I hope this helped.

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Jennifer - posted on 06/18/2011

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yes millitary parents can get joint custody as long as they show interest in there child and doesnt seem to have harmed them the judge will allow joint custody unless he shows your unfit the judge will not remove your son from your home and since he sees him and pays support i would assume that he would get custody like summer vacations and some school and holidays stuff like that

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