Serving in the military often means that your personal life suffers because of the duty implicit in your job. Active duty service members often find that they just don’t have enough time to spend with their spouses and children, no matter how much they try to prioritize their family. The alienation that can result from long periods of time without contact with your family can undermine your marriage and increase your chances of a divorce.
In the event that you do wind up ending your marriage while still serving in the military, you may find that you are not in a position to currently assume shared custody of your children. If you are currently or may soon in the future get deployed, you may not be able to actively parent your children until you return from your tour of service.
In that situation, seeking reasonable and liberal visitation, which may include virtual visitation, is likely the best way to maintain your important position in the lives of your children.
Visitation allows you to maintain your precious parental bond
The longer you go without direct contact or communication with your children, the more strain the situation can create on your relationship with them. Just because you may soon face deployment abroad doesn’t mean you can’t continue to be present in the lives of your children.
Visitation can allow you to spend time with them while you are still nearby. Even if you can’t host the children for overnight visits, you can still take them out to the park or spend time with them. When you leave, virtual visitation can help you continue to play an active role in the lives of your children.
The courts often include digital visitation in military custody plans
In any divorce that involves the custody of minor children, the Washington family courts will primarily focus on the best interest of the children when making custody decisions. Long-term, positive relationships with both parents will typically be the best outcome of a divorce, but not all families can facilitate those relationships in the same way.
The increased availability of digital technology and smartphones for service members has made virtual visitation a much more common element in modern military divorces. Having the courts specifically enshrine protections for your parenting time or visitation in the custody order by allocating a specific amount of virtual visitation time when you cannot physically be present with the children is a good way to maintain your relationship with your kids regardless of where you are.
Virtual visitation doesn’t just strengthen your current relationship with the kids. It also sets the stage for more involvement in the future. The better you maintain the relationship with your children while on active duty, the easier it will be to request a modification and shared custody when you will no longer have obligations that may include deployment.