Father in Military Awarded Custody; Visitation Reduced due to Long Drive Time
Oftentimes a parent in the military is fighting an uphill battle to gain custody of a child. The primary reason is the possibility of deployment at virtually any time. Judges are concerned about the stability of the child's environment when the possibility of deployment is ever present.
In this New York case, the military-father was awarded custody AND was allowed to relocate. And the court cites what I have always thought was a good argument (but was routinely ignored), and that is that the "father's choice to remain in the military provided him with stability in employment during turbulent economic times, as well as benefits including health insurance for his family..."
Now, it should be noted that this father worked regular daytime hours which permitted him to be at home with the child in the evenings and on weekends. This father was also married and the court noted that the marriage was stable and there were two other children in the home. This stable home-life environment was obviously a factor in the court's decision.
Still, this seems to be a solid decision by the court and is well worth considering in the realm of military custody cases.
Another aspect of this court's decision is that the visitation was modified due to the long drive (5 hours) that the child had to endure for visitation. Visitation was reduced to one weekend per month. THIS MAKES TOTAL SENSE. Many judges are reluctant to deviate from their "standard order" and it can be maddening for attorneys trying to get some relief for their clients. Judges need to look at these cases on a case-by-case basis. The standard order is not always the best order.