If you’re a single parent serving in the armed forces, or if both you and your spouse are service members, you need to create a “family care plan” that maps out how your children will receive care in the event of your deployment. As a part of your military family care plan, there are three things you need to codify:
Who is the short-term caretaker?
The short-term caretaker will be someone who lives near the military base and is available during the night and day to step forward and assume responsibility for child care concerns. This person can be a spouse of the military service member, but he or she cannot be a service member him or herself.
Who is the long-term caretaker?
The long-term caretaker will care for the children in the event of a long-term military deployment. This person can live far away, but can’t be a military service member.
What are the care provision details?
The care provision details are basic instructions about how to care for your child. These instructions will have information for bank accounts, how to take children to the homes of the caretakers, necessary medical procedures and other information that will aid in transitioning children to a new home as easily as possible. Setting up powers of attorney is also an excellent idea when finalizing the care provision details.
Once you’ve determined the answers to the above questions, it’s time to codify your military family care plan. It’s vital to review this document annually with your commanding officer to ensure that all the necessary details have been covered. If you have questions about your rights and obligations as a military parent, make sure you understand your child custody situation within the context of both Tennessee state and military family law.
Source: Findlaw, “Military Child Custody: Key Legal Issues,” accessed May 03, 2018