Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: I am a single mother trying to join the military. My recruiter told me i must give up custody or file a family care plan before i enlist i was wondering if it would be hard getting custody back if i give it up?

Answer: The Department of the Defense Instruction 1304.26, Enclosure 3, 2(g)2 states: “The Military Services may not enlist married individuals with more than two dependents under the age of 18 or unmarried individuals with custody of any dependents under the age of 18; however, the Secretary concerned may grant a waiver for particularly promising entrants. Waiver requirements are outlined in Enclosure 4 of this instruction.” http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/130426p.pdf

Each branch of the military has different requirements for enlisting single parents however. You should review the rules for the branch of military where you are trying to enlist. If the recruitment officer told you that you can file a family care plan or give up custody, and what he/she said is true, then you have some options. A family care plan is a set of instructions that state who will be caring for your child while you are away and it must be signed by the person who will be caring for your child. See: http://statesidelegal.org/family-care-plan for more information. Power of attorney must also be given to the person caring for your child. A family care plan and power of attorney does not sever any custody rights.

 

If you give up custody of your child it is permanent, but it may be able to be reversed through a modification. You should speak with an attorney regarding the plausibility of this option. You will also have to notify the father if he is not the person you will be giving custody to and he will have to agree with the custody arrangement. To see if you qualify for a reduced fee consultation with an attorney through the Modest Means Project please call (866) 637-5341.

 

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  • I am a single mother trying to join the military. My recruiter told me i must give up custody or file a family care plan before i enlist i was wondering if it would be hard getting custody back if i give it up?

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