After you have been awarded primary physical custody of your child, you are activated to military duty and deployed overseas. It is bad enough that you will not be able to exercise your custody rights with your child for a long period of time but now, your child’s other parent has petitioned the court to modify your child custody orders. Will you lose primary physical custody of your child because you were activated to military duty?
The skilled Orange County child custody attorneys at Wallin & Klarich understand how stressful military child custody matters can be and are prepared to do what is necessary to protect your child custody orders.
Can Court Modify Child Custody Orders for Deployed Military Members?
California Family Code Section 3047 states that an individual not following child custody and visitation orders due to being activated to military duty cannot be used to justify a modification of a child custody and visitation order. This means that if you are in the military and have been activated to military duty, the other parent of your child cannot use your activation or deployment by itself to permanently change a child custody and visitation order. Section 3047 will protect you if you have been:
- Activated to military duty;
- Activated to temporary military duty;
- Mobilized in support of combat or other military operation; AND
- Deployed out of state or country.
If any of the above applies to you, the family law courts will usually make temporary custody orders while you are away in order to protect your children. When you return from your service, the temporary orders will likely revert back to the child custody orders that were in place prior to your active duty status.
It is important to note that the other parent can not use your military status alone to modify child custody orders. However, if the other parent can show that it is in the best interest of your child to make the temporary orders permanent, the court may change the orders to do what is in the best interest of your child. For this reason, it is important that you hire an experienced Orange County child custody attorney to ensure that your child custody orders return to the way that they were prior to your deployment.
Best Interest of the Child
If the other parent of your child is seeking to modify the custody orders upon your return from your term of service, they must show that it is in the best interest of your child to do so. Under California Family Code Section 3011, in evaluating the best interest of your child the court will look to the following factors:
- The age, health, safety and welfare of your child;
- Any history of domestic violence by you or the other parent;
- The duration and adequacy of your child’s living arrangements;
- Both parents’ ability to care for your child;
- The amount of time that your child has spent with you, as well as the other parent; AND
- The emotional relationship between you and your child, as well as between the other parent and your child.
The court will evaluate the above factors and determine whether reverting back to the old orders would be detrimental to your child. It is imperative that you hire a skilled Orange County child custody attorney to fight for you, so that your child custody orders are not permanently modified.
Call an Orange County Child Custody Attorney
Military child custody cases are very complicated. Thus, it is important that you hire a knowledgeable Orange County child custody attorney to help you with your case. Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience handling military child custody cases for more than 30 years. You can rely on the experienced Wallin & Klarich child custody attorneys to fight to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Victorville, West Covina, Sherman Oaks, Torrance and Ventura, there is a Wallin & Klarich family law attorney available wherever you live. To speak with an experienced military divorce lawyer today, please call us at (888) 749-7428. We will be there when you call.