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Handling Military Relocation And Custody Issues Post-Divorce In Virginia Beach

Handling Military Relocation and Custody Issues Post-Divorce in Virginia Beach

Navigating the complexities of relocation and child custody after a divorce is a daunting challenge for any family. Military families in Virginia Beach face a unique set of circumstances due to the demanding nature of service life. From understanding the intricate legal landscape to devising sustainable custody arrangements, there’s a lot to consider. In this guide, we’ll explore the specific laws and regulations in Virginia Beach that pertain to military families, share tips for a smooth transition, and offer insights into the legal process.

Understanding Military Custody Laws Specific to Virginia Beach

When it comes to custody laws, Virginia Beach stands out with its specific considerations for military service members. The state has legislation in place that recognizes the transient nature of military service and the impact it can have on families. For instance, the Virginia Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act, enacted in 2018, addresses the unique circumstances encountered during deployment and ensures that meaningful contact with minor children is maintained.

The Virginia Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act

The act provides crucial guidelines for custody and visitation when a service member is deployed. It includes provisions for:

Custody Structure During Deployment

The act encourages the creation of a specific visitation schedule during deployment periods, which considers the age of the child, the duration of deployment, and other factors.

Assignment of Temporary Custody

When a service member is deployed, they can designate a person of their choice to have temporary custody of their child. The agreement is more flexible and distinct for military members than that of civilians.

Clear Lines of Communication

Legal procedures are in place to ensure that service members maintain telephone and digital contact with their children, even if physical visitation is not feasible.

Expedited Court Hearings

Upon return from deployment, service members are entitled to expedited court hearings to address any custody issues that may have arisen during their absence.

For military families, understanding and utilizing these laws is crucial in creating a custody agreement that not only adheres to the legal standards but also respects the unique demands of service.

Challenges and Solutions in Military Relocations

Relocations are a common occurrence in military life, and they present significant challenges in custody arrangements. There are various strategies and options available to minimize the disruptions and maintain family relationships.

Addressing Frequent Moves

The unpredictable nature of military life, with its frequent relocations, can interfere with established custody schedules. To manage this, custody arrangements should be as specific as possible about how moves will be handled, taking into account proximity and accessibility.

Deployments and Custody Impact

Deployments can impose long periods of separation. It’s imperative to have comprehensive plans in place that detail the child’s living arrangements, schooling, and contact with the non-serving parent during these times.

Co-Parenting Across the Miles

With advancements in technology, co-parenting is now possible even across continents. Utilizing video calls, emails, and other digital platforms can ensure regular contact and a continued relationship between the child and the deployed parent.

Navigating the Legal Process

The legal process for military families involves understanding the intricacies of the law and how they apply to the unique circumstances of service life. Having the right information and support is essential.

The Importance of Legal Counsel

Seeking legal counsel is non-negotiable when it comes to military divorces and custody. A knowledgeable attorney who specializes in military family law can provide expert advice and representation.

Creating a Solid Parenting Plan

A well-structured parenting plan forms the backbone of custody agreements. It must be thorough and include contingency arrangements for deployment, as well as guidelines for relocation, communication, and visitation.

Mediation as a First Step

Mediation can be a valuable tool in amicably resolving custody disputes. It’s often a quicker and less adversarial process than litigation and allows both parties to have a say in the agreement’s terms.

Tips for a Smooth Transition

The key to a successful transition in any custody arrangement, particularly for military families, is preparation and communication. Here are some practical tips to facilitate the process.

Consistent Communication Is Key

Maintaining open lines of communication between both co-parents and, where appropriate, between the child and the non-custodial parent, is vital. It helps provide stability and reassurance during changing circumstances.

Engage Proactively with the Virginia Beach Community

When stationed in Virginia Beach, it’s beneficial for military families to engage actively with the local community and seek out resources that can support their unique family dynamic.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Unforeseen events can occur, particularly in military life. Both parties must be open to flexibility and prepared to modify custody agreements if necessary.

Prioritize the Child’s Well-Being

Ultimately, the well-being of the child should be at the forefront of all decisions and arrangements. This mindset can guide parents in creating the best possible environment for their children post-divorce.


For military families in Virginia Beach, the prospect of handling relocations and custody issues post-divorce may seem overwhelming. However, by understanding the laws that apply to your circumstances, engaging in proactive planning and communication, and seeking the necessary legal support, it’s possible to create a positive and stable environment for your children. If you’re a military family facing these challenges in Virginia Beach, Hardt Law is here to assist you every step of the way. Our dedicated team of family law attorneys specializes in military family law and can guide you through the legal process with expertise and empathy. Contact us at (757) 962-5588 to discuss your case and learn how we can help you secure the best future for your family.

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