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What Types of Child Custody Issues Are Covered Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act?


When in the military, your service should not interfere with your ability to obtain child custody and/or visitation. As a service member, your obligation to the country does not have to supersede your parental rights. You still have an entitlement to all the same parental rights as civilians

The U.S. Department of Defense has an explanation of the custody issues that might spring up and how the government protects you.

What are the issues involving child custody and military servicemembers?

When you are in the military, it affects your whole family. If you need to leave for deployment, what can you do if you already have a family care plan in place? The variety of issues that military members face includes:

  • Issues related to the family care plan
  • Issues related to individual state laws
  • Issues related to child relocation

If you do not have a provision in your family plan that includes your military service, then you can discuss with the courts how to insert provisions regarding relocation and other matters.

What is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act?

First, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act does not guarantee any child relocation. Without compelling evidence or if relocation is not in the best interests of the child, then this law will not change that. However, what it does provide you with is a postponement of any court proceedings if your military service affects your ability to be present. You can also receive an automatic stay for any proceedings if you request it. This stay would be for about 90 days. If you need an additional delay, you can request it from a judge, hearing officer, or magistrate.