San Antonio Military Child Custody Attorneys

San Antonio Military Family and Child Custody Lawyers

Helping military members, spouses, and parents understand their rights

Many residents of San Antonio have children before they join the service or before they are deployed. Servicemembers may also conceive children when they’re home on leave. Whether the parents are divorcing or separating, decisions need to be made about which parents will have conservatorship of the children while the military parent is deployed. A child custody plan documents all the details about the custody arrangements. Custody agreements and plans should be made part of a San Antonio court order. If a child custody agreement cannot be reached, a family court will make the final child custody decisions.

At Grable Grimshaw PLLC, our San Antonio child custody lawyers have the skills and experience to negotiate child custody agreements, litigate child custody disputes, and obtain formal child custody support orders on behalf of military families. Our family lawyers work to establish child custody orders, child custody plans, and military care plans before a military member deploys and after the deployment. We represent servicemembers and non-military parents. Our team will work to ensure the security and best interests of your children.

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How does child custody work in San Antonio?

Texas uses the term “conservatorship” to describe which parent has the right to make decisions about how their child is raised and who will take care of the child daily. In many cases, both parents are named joint conservators. A custody plan is a court order that sets forth in detail where the child will stay every day of the year, how the child will be exchanged between households, how the parents and children will communicate with each other when the child is with the other parent, and many other issues.

Some of the factors that determine which parent is named a conservator and the terms of any custody plan include the age and health of the parents and the children, an emphasis on stability, the parent’s ability to care for the child, the level of involvement in the child’s life, any special needs of the child, and other factors.

What factors affect conservatorships when a parent is in the military?

Generally, if there is an existing custody order and custody plan in place before a military member joins the service or deploys if they are in the service, then the order and plan continue unless either parent seeks to modify the order. If there is no existing custody order or plan, then normally a family plan is created without an order until the military member can attend a formal custody hearing in San Antonio.

When a military member is deployed, mobilized, or subject to temporary mobilization, there is no requirement that any existing custody orders be changed. The deployment/mobilization is not considered a material or substantial change that by itself warrants a modification.

However, Texas law provides that if a servicemember who is a conservator will be:

…moving a substantial distance from the conservator's residence so as to materially affect the conservator's ability to exercise the conservator's rights and duties in relation to a child, either conservator may file for an order under this subchapter without the necessity of showing a material and substantial change of circumstances other than the military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty.

A San Antonio family court could then issue a temporary order (after a hearing) regarding the “possession of (custody) or access to (visitation) of the child. The temporary order can also modify any child support orders.”

The temporary order can confer rights and duties on a person the servicemember designates (such as their own parents). By agreement, a parent who deploys may also agree that the noncustodial parent serves as the conservator until he or she returns to San Antonio. In some cases, the court may also choose another person to serve as the custodial parent (such as when the civilian parent is incarcerated or is suffering from substance abuse).

The temporary order should revert to the original order (after proper court filings) when the servicemember’s military duty is concluded and the servicemember returns to San Antonio.

How does visitation work in San Antonio when a parent is in the military?

If the nonmilitary parent is the sole conservator, then there is no need to modify the custody order other than to ensure that the military member can spend time with his/her child when the military member is on leave. In addition, a noncustodial military parent may designate another person (such as the child’s grandparent) to temporarily use the military member’s visitation rights while the member is deployed so the bond between the child and the member stays intact while the military member is serving the United States of America. Generally, the preference of the military members is given preference and not the choice of the custodial parent.

Also, the military parent may be able to ask for extra visitation time (makeup time) for the visitation that he/she lost while deployed.

As always, the best interests of the child are paramount.

San Antonio Military Family and Child Custody Attorneys

What are other child custody considerations when a parent is in the military?

Other considerations that our San Antonio child custody lawyers will review with clients include:

  • What happens if the family needs to relocate – such as to a base where the military member is deployed?
  • What steps can be taken to ensure the military parent can communicate and parent his/her child long-distance? As much as possible, children and parents should be connected even while the military member is away on duty.
  • Are other alternatives to the existing custody plan available for military members who have temporary duty assignments?

Our San Antonio lawyers also understand the unique challenges and issues involved in enforcing child custody orders on behalf of either parent.

Do you have a child custody lawyer near me?

Grable Grimshaw, PLLC, meets military members, the spouses of military members, and children at our office located at 1603 Babcock Rd Suite 280. Our San Antonio child custody lawyers also conduct video conferences by appointment. We encourage these conferences for military members.

Children need both their parents. Our family lawyers work aggressively to ensure the proper custody orders and custody plans are in place when a parent is in the military.

Get help now. Speak with a respected San Antonio child custody lawyer for military parents today

Family courts respect and honor the members of the military. Every effort is made to accommodate military members who are parents and who need to be away from their children due to military deployments. At Grable Grimshaw PLLC, our San Antonio child support lawyers understand the rights of each parent and the child. We are skilled at negotiating and litigating custody orders, creating temporary orders, and fighting for the best interests of your children. Call our San Antonio office now or fill out our contact form today to schedule a free consultation. We help military members, spouses, and children support each other, even when a marriage or relationship has ended.

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