How is relocation handled in a military divorce?

Military members who live at Camp Pendleton and other bases in California are likely used to moving on a frequent basis. Rarely do military families stay in one area or on one base for the military member's entire career. Consequently, service members and their loved ones often have to account for different laws in different states, as well as military regulations, when coping with legal issues.

One common legal issue that some military members might find themselves confronting is divorce. In some military divorce situations, one parent either wants to move away, is planning on moving away or may even be threatening to move away with a child. Relocation situations are some of the most complicated types of military divorce cases; as a result, it can be extremely reassuring and helpful to obtain legal advice from a professional before trying to understand a military divorce case involving relocation on one's own.

Usually, relocation occurs after the divorce has taken place and child custody has been resolved. If parents have joint custody, the parent who wants to relocate must demonstrate that the move itself is in the best interests of the children. While some moves might be in the interests of the parent desiring the move, it may not always be the case that the move is in the children's best interests also, particularly if it takes them far away from the other parent who shares joint custody.

If one parent has sole physical custody, that parent may be able to relocate so long as the other parent cannot prove that the move would be detrimental to the children. This type of situation is likely to depend on whether the custody order in place is temporary or permanent. For parents who want to move out-of-state or leave the country, there are often restrictions on these types of moves and both military and non-military parents can benefit from seeking legal advice.