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What Are the Legal Rights of Military Fathers?

Friday, December 16, 2016
What Are the Legal Rights of Military Fathers?

Over the last 15 years, many military fathers on deployment feel themselves at a disadvantage. It is unfortunate, and all too common, that a deployed or overseas soldier will suddenly find themselves in the middle of a divorce. Can you image the stress of having to both fight for your country and your children at the same time? It is a situation in with the military person is almost always at a disadvantage.

The military life is tough on families, overall. It can pull families apart, especially with long deployments. Regardless, receiving a notice of divorce while one is away can be devastating. Imagine feeling powerless to do anything about it. Regardless, there are times when the divorce goes through, custody and support are granted. Worse yet, mothers can, at times, relocate, effectively denying fathers access to their children.

As an example, reported by Fox News, is "Gary", a U.S. Navy Seal who was in Afghanistan. While he was away, his wife moved to Israel and filed for divorce abroad. With Gary almost powerless, the court granted the divorce and gave a substantial support award to the mother. Gary was "processed" by a California family court while he was on deployment, and he found himself victimized.

However, if you are active duty or deployed, the Servicemember Civil Relief Act can protect you from a default judgment. When you are served with a court summons, you may request a hold on legal proceedings until you return home. An SCRA stay can last for the duration of a military person's deployment plus sixty days. This can give you the time you need.

What haven't we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to walk about the legal rights of military fathers, or need more information, please contact us.