Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of serving in the U.S. Armed Forces is the time spent away from family. This separation can be even more bittersweet after a divorce or separation, especially when there are children involved. Recently, the Air Force decided to issue a new rule designed to allow service members to remain closer to their children if they have a child custody order from a court here in Virginia or elsewhere.
The Air Force will consider such an order when it comes to stationing service members in order to allow them to remain closer to their children. They may request an assignment close to their children or a deferment. It is not necessary for service members to be married to the other parent in order to make such a request. This new flexibility does not preclude the airman in question from being eligible for permanent duty station changes, from performing their assigned duties and meet all other requirements of his or her service.
Of course, a duty assignment close to the children is not guaranteed. An applicant must obtain a child custody order from a court here in Virginia or elsewhere. He or she must be listed as the biological or adoptive parent of the child or children in question. In addition, a suitable assignment must be available in the area in the request.
This new rule could mean closer relationships for many in the Air Force. Making sure that a child custody agreement gives a service member as much of a chance of being close to the children as possible may mean more now than ever. An attorney experienced in military divorce issues could provide invaluable assistance in helping keep a service member close to his or her children after a separation or divorce.