Addressing Military Family Care Plans In A Divorce

Military service members with children going through a divorce must create or amend a family care plan. All branches of the military require these plans to ensure that the children of military parents will be properly cared for, particularly in the event of sudden deployment.

What Does A Military Family Care Plan Do?

According to an article from The Balance Careers, a family care plan designates one or more individuals to provide short-term, 24/7 care for the child of a military service member, potentially with no notice. The designated party or parties must not be in the military and must agree in writing to provide the necessary care. Similarly, a plan also designates one or more individuals to provide long-term care in the event of a lengthy deployment.

In addition to naming caregivers, a plan should also include details about transportation, medical care, and provisions for the financial well-being of the child. This may include designating power of attorney to the caregiver or another party.

Changing Or Creating A Family Care Plan

Often, a family care plan has been established prior to a military family’s contemplation of divorce. In these cases, military members or spouses should revisit the plan now that the parents are separating or considering divorce. The plan may need to be updated. If a family care plan was not previously established because one of the spouses was nonmilitary, creating a plan is vital.

Failure to follow the military’s rules regarding military family care plans can result in disciplinary action such as involuntary discharge, so it is critical that you work with an attorney who understands your obligations and the importance such a plan has in relation to custody and visitation issues during your separation and divorce.