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Military service may complicate custody agreements

Divorcing and figuring out child custody agreements are seldom simple processes, but they may be even more complex if you or your spouse is a military service member. In divorce cases involving military service, you may need to figure out exactly how Washington's child custody laws address situations such as overseas deployments. At the Clement Law Center, we understand how military service influences child custody terms, and we have helped many parents come to satisfactory agreements.

Military service often puts strain on a marriage, especially when overseas deployments or frequent reassignments occur. If you decide to divorce, it is important to understand that military service may factor into the divorce proceedings. Establishing custody terms may be especially vital if your divorce occurs around the time of a military relocation. Divorcing during an overseas assignment or while you are living on a military base may make it harder to determine legal jurisdiction. In some cases, federal law may intersect with Washington state law to determine how custody discussions occur.

There are several federal laws that may apply to custody issues during a military divorce. The U.S. Department of Justice provides information on one such law, the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. The UCCJEA is one of a series of laws designed to help prevent parental kidnapping and enforce visitation rights in divorce cases that include military members. This law and others, such as the Service Members Civil Relief Act, may help ensure fairness in divorce and custody agreements.

Before beginning divorce proceedings, it is important to understand how military service may affect child custody arrangements. More information about this topic is available on our web page.

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