Pennsylvania residents may agree that a military service member is likely to face challenges in a marriage. Long-term deployment in the military, and the time away from family often leads to a divorce. If children are involved, the Pennsylvania court award child custody to the parent who is not a military service member. If the parent who has custody of the child wishes to modify the order in the absence of the military parent, the parent cannot do so.
U.S. courts, including those in Pennsylvania, cannot change the existing child custody order that became effective on the deployment date. Nonetheless, if the court finds that a modification is in the best interest of the child, the court can issue a temporary child custody order.
If a military service member with child custody moves to another city, that parent can give the child custody rights to a family member. The family member may have sole custody or shared custody. The family member may even have primary or supervised custody rights. There are certain conditions under which a family member may be given child custody. First, the service member, who is leaving town and the family member who would be having child custody must present a joint petition to the court.
In the joint petition submitted to the Pennsylvania court, a detailed schedule about childcare must be outlined. The proposed schedule offer suggest more than the custodial rights of the service member, who is leaving town on deployment. A Pennsylvania court will ensure that the temporary custody is in the best interest of the child.
Source: WomensLaw.Org, "The effect of military deployment on custody/visitation," accessed on Aug.4, 2015