What happens to your custody plan when you deploy?

As a military servicemember in North Carolina, your mind turns to preparing for the mission ahead when you learn of a pending deployment. As a divorced parent, your mind also likely darts to concerns about who will care for your child while you are away, how you will stay connected while you are away and if you will be able to resume your parental responsibilities when you return from your duty tour.

If you share custody with your child’s other parent, he or she will likely take over the full responsibility of providing and caring for your child during your deployment. According to North Carolina state law, you and your child’s other parent may create a temporary custodial agreement to modify your existing custody arrangement when you get a deployment notice. This agreement may designate the non-deploying parent as your child’s primary custodian, any limitations on contact with nonparents, and the frequency and means for which you will be able to have contact with your child while you are away.

The court may also issue temporary custody orders in anticipation of your upcoming deployment or while you are away granting custodial responsibility for your child to his or her other parent. It is important to keep in mind, however, that such orders are not permanent. Federal law prohibits courts from issuing permanent custody orders while a parent is deployed unless that parent gives permission.

Upon your return, you and your child’s other parent may sign an agreement to terminate the temporary order; effectually reinstating your original child custody order. If you do not sign such an agreement, the temporary order terminates within 60 days of the date you gave your child’s other parent notice of your return.

This post contains information meant only for general purposes. It should in no way be taken as legal advice.