By Kristi Tousignant
The (Baltimore, Md.) Daily Record/AP
Published: August 30, 2014
A move is underway to standardize custody rules for military families. The Uniform Law Commission approved language for a model Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act in July 2012. Under the model act, past deployment and "possible future" deployment cannot be used against a parent in a custody proceeding, although imminent deployment can be considered.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — For those in the armed forces, divorce can be a whole new battleground.
"It's ironic because these are trained fighters and they can find themselves in a battle they are not prepared for," said attorney Cynthia Hawkins Clark.
Although military family law cases go through civilian courts, they often present a unique set of challenges with deployments, military pensions and child custody, said Clark and Paula J. Peters, who practice at the Law Offices of Paula J. Peters P.A. in Annapolis.
And with Fort Detrick, Fort Meade, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Andrews Air Force Base, the Naval Academy and other bases in Maryland, there are many military members locally who need legal assistance, Clark and Peters said.
"I can't think of anything more satisfying," Clark said. "It's very hard not be invested in them. They are very good people."
The challenges of representing service members vary depending on whether they are on active duty or retired, attorneys said.
For active service members, the key issues often involve the couple's children. Long deployments mean long absences from that child's life, which can make it hard to get joint or shared custody.
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