Many Arizonans serve in our nation's military. These individuals sacrifice a lot for our country, but one thing they may not, and should not, expect to give up simply by serving is child custody. However, that almost happened to one man, and it has the nation talking about the difficulties of divorce within the military.
The sailor in that case, who, along with his current wife, has custody of his six-year-old daughter, was deployed on a submarine in the Pacific Ocean when he received notice that his ex-wife was seeking child custody modification. The judge in the case ordered the father to appear in court or to present the child to the court, but he was unable to do so because of his deployment. At that hearing, the judge said she had no choice but to issue a bench warrant for the sailor's arrest, and that if he did not appear, then the child should be in the custody of her biological mother. Fortunately, the sailor was able to utilize the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which gives a military member 90 days to appear before a judge overseeing a child custody case.
This case shows just how different each family law case can be. While some involve divorces that are pretty cut and dry, others are very complex, requiring extensive legal research and aggressive negotiation and argument before a judge. When it comes to child custody, parents should remember that the ultimate determination will be made in the best interests of the child. This may result is sole custody with the other parent receiving visitation rights, joint custody, or some other arrangement.
With many legal issues to consider, those considering a divorce should seek out all the help they can find. An experienced Tucson attorney may be able to inform and advise an individual as to his or her legal rights and how best to act to protect them.
Source: The Army Times, "Custody case highlights a dilemma of deployment," Lance M. Bacon, July 5, 2014