The military lifestyle is one of constant change. Frequently, servicemembers are asked to be ready to deploy with little notice or time to prepare. That’s why there is a big focus on deployment readiness, which indicates your ability to move out under orders.
A military family care plan is an essential aspect of deployment readiness. Suppose you’re going through a divorce as a servicemember. In that case, a family care plan will help you dictate who will care for your dependents and how.
What the plan should include
A major benefit of a family care plan is outlining who, how, and where your dependents will be cared for during deployment. If your dependents are old enough to have a say in these aspects, ask them what would help keep things normal for them. Consider the following:
- Who: Identify someone who is already an essential part of their lives. If the non-custodial parent fits into this category, they might be a consideration.
- How: Provide legal documents (such as a power of attorney) that allow the identified caregiver to execute caregiver decisions such as school enrollment, medical decisions, and necessary financial support.
- Where: Consider where the caregiver will provide care during your absence. Will the child stay in their home or travel to where the identified caregiver resides?
Can a family care plan affect custody?
The purpose of creating a family care plan is to highlight the specifics of how your children will be cared for during your absence. While the plan is intended to protect your child’s regular routine and environment during your absence, this doesn’t mean that the noncustodial parent can’t file for a change in custody.
If you’re going through a divorce, you might want to become more aware of the laws regarding military divorces to protect your parental rights and custody agreement.