Custody, Visitation & Servicemember

Custody and visitation in military cases can be challenging and stressful. When one or both parents are in uniform, the difficulties in reaching an arrangement or enforcing it are multiplied tenfold. Having an advocate with experience is essential.

Sometimes the issue is simply reaching an agreement. But “simply” isn’t the right description, since custody and visitation arrangements in the military context must address local visitation and long-distance access, regular duty as well as deployments, and decision-making by the parents that will be in the best interest of the child or children.

Your lawyer needs to know about “leave and pass” issues, the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (now enacted in 17 states, including North Carolina), and the statutes and cases in North Carolina regarding custody and visitation. Jurisdiction is another issue of importance; the court entering an order for custody – by agreement or in a contested custody case – must have “jurisdiction,” that is, the power to hear the case and enter a decree.

Our lawyers know the ropes in the area of military custody and visitation. Mr. Sullivan has taught military custody at the Army JAG School for over ten years to military and civilian legal assistance attorneys. He wrote North Carolina’s custody statute and helped get it enacted by the General Assembly. He helped to draft custody statutes in a dozen other states, and he spent two years on the drafting committee of the Uniform Law Commission helping to write the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act. He has written numerous articles on military custody issues.

Our firm can assist in drafting and negotiating the custody and visitation terms which are best for the parents and in the best interest of the child or children. We can also represent you if there is no agreement and the court needs to step in to make a decision, or if the existing order or agreement is violated and enforcement is needed. For a consultation regarding military custody and visitation in North Carolina, call Law Offices of Mark E. Sullivan, P.A. at 919.832.8507.