When a military couple divorces, child custody can become a complicated issue. In Louisiana, the court will use the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) to decide where children should live and which parent should make decisions about their welfare. If one or both parents are in the military, there are some specific factors that the court will take into account when deciding on child custody.
When a military couple divorces, the court will first determine which state has jurisdiction to hear the case. This is determined by where the child has lived for the past six months. If both parents are in the military and live in different states, the court will decide which state has more significant connections with the child.
If Louisiana is found to be the appropriate state to hear the case, then the court will apply its laws to decide on child custody. However, if one or both of the parents are in the military, then federal law takes precedence over state law. Under federal law, two primary factors must be considered when deciding child custody in a military divorce: the child’s best interests and the capability of each parent to care for the child.
The best interest of the child
The court determines the child’s best interest by looking at the age and health of the child, the relationship between the child and each parent, and any history of abuse or neglect. The court will also consider whether it is in the child’s best interests to live with one parent or split time between both parents. When making its decision, the court will weigh all of these factors together.
Parent’s ability to care for the child
The capability of each parent to care for their children is also important when deciding custody in a military divorce. The court will look at things like each parent’s employment status, physical and emotional health, and parenting skills. If one parent is unable to care for the child due to military deployment or other reasons, the court may award custody to the other parent.
If you are a military member getting divorced, it is important to understand your rights and options when it comes to child custody. Regardless of your situation, always put the best interest of the child above all else.