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Divorced military parents: Find ways to connect with your child

Military life isn't for everyone. In some cases, the demands of this lifestyle can tear families apart. For military members who are going through a divorce, there are many things to consider. Those who have children will have some difficult decisions to make regarding child custody.

It isn't easy to think about having to go long periods of time without being able to hug your children or see them. Unfortunately, this is one of the aspects of military life that is very difficult. With some planning, you might be able to make the time that you are away from your children at least a little easier.

Think about child custody

Even if you have primary custody of your children, there might come a time when your family care plan has to be enacted. This includes short-term or long-term deployments. As a precaution for these times, and to give you peace of mind, you should make sure that your child custody order covers how you and your children will communicate while you are away from them.

Using technology to your advantage

In the past, parents who were deployed only had the option of writing home to communicate with their loved ones. This meant that they could go months without knowing anything about their family members. Men and women who were in remote areas might not ever have the chance to write or receive letters.

Now, you can use technology to help you remain in contact with your children while you are deployed. Virtual visitation uses video chats and other online methods to stay in contact. You can have terms put into the child custody order that dictate how this is going to happen.

A few considerations

One thing to remember when you are setting up virtual visits with your children while you are deployed is that you have to take their schedule into account. You can't expect that the children will wake up in the middle of the night or miss school to have a visit. Instead, you need to find times that are convenient for the children, even if it means you have to be the one to miss out on a little sleep.

Another thing to remember is that your virtual visits shouldn't be censored by the other parent. You and your children must be able to communicate freely just like you would if you were having a visit at your home. If you are concerned about any issues with this, you may want to consider having this condition put into the child custody agreement.

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