Are there two different parenting schedules for service members?

By Carolyn Grimes
September 30, 2016

Typically, military members who are on deployment are not having regular visitation because, of course, they're deployed to places where they can't take the children. When they are back home on leave for holidays, generally that coincides with the children's school holidays. If it does, they have the children. If you are already divorced and you have a visitation schedule in place and the other parent is deployed or just on his military assignment and he's sent to a different state, you can go to court to have the schedule modified so there will be one in place to match the deployment schedule as much as you can.

Or, you can leave your current one in place and it resumes when he or she comes back. There is a provision in Virginia law, and many other states have adopted this statute as well for expedited custody and visitation hearings when a military member is about to be deployed or even transferred to a different base. That allows for those custody hearings to be moved up quicker on the docket so that they can be dealt with more urgently, and the same applies for when they return expedited custody and visitation hearings if there are issues.

Carolyn Grimes is a family lawyer at the law firm of Wade Grimes Friedman Sutter & Leischner PLLC in Alexandria, Virginia. To learn more about Grimes and her firm, visit

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September 30, 2016
Categories:  FAQs

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