Marriage to a member of the military in Texas brings with it certain benefits as well as unique challenges. Seeing your spouse deployed for military service is usually the most significant of the latter. Despite what you may expect, that does not cease to become a challenge even after your divorce.
A deployment can be as brief as 90 days, in which case its impact on you may be minimal. Yet if it is a standard deployment of 12-15 months, however, accommodations will likely need to happen in regards to both your custody and financial support arrangements.
Temporary custody modifications during deployment
Your ex-spouse’s military obligations override those related to their custody of your kids, meaning that there will likely be no possibility of them returning during their deployment to fulfill their custodial or visitation obligations. Per Section 153.702 of the Texas Family Code, the court having jurisdiction over your case can issue a temporary modification regarding custody while your ex-spouse completes their deployment. Such a modification can include you retaining full custody of the kids while they are away, with their normal custody or visitation schedule resuming upon their return.
Another option is for a non-parent to step in and fulfill their custody obligations in their stead. This can include a grandparent, step-parent, extended family member or any responsible person the court deems fit to do so.
Changes to support obligations
The law also allows the court to make temporary modifications to child support obligations. This may include suspending your ex-spouse’s obligation to pay during their active service. The court cannot require that a non-parent make payments during your ex-spouse’s military deployment.