Starting a family is never easy, but those actively serving in the United States military often have more challenges than their civilian counterparts. Service members have very little control over the duties they must perform or even the location where they have to serve.

Active-duty military service often means spending a significant amount of time separated from one’s family, which could mean missing out on some of the most beautiful years of your child’s life. Parents who aren’t married to the other parent and those who have gotten divorced could wind up working far from their family.

The Air Force has recently instituted a new policy that will make it easier for service members, especially those not married to the other parent of their children, to balance parenting duties with their military duty.

 Air Force service members can request locations near their child

Maintaining a parental relationship, especially when the other parent isn’t married to you, can be very difficult for those in the Air Force. Frequent relocation is a basic part of the job, and generally only spouses and shared children can live on base and move with a service member.

A recently divorced parent might wind up moving to a completely different state or a different country despite having shared custody of their child. If their ex doesn’t want to move, that could mean having nothing but digital communication with their children for the foreseeable future. It’s easy to see how this kind of policy could damage both children and service members.

Now, the Air Force is taking a more family-oriented approach to the process. Those who have parental responsibilities, including a formal custody plan after a divorce, have the right to request placement close to the location where their children live. The approval of such requests will facilitate more parenting time and a deeper parental bond.

Service members with custody issues often need help

Whether you hope to file formal Air Force paperwork requesting a relocation to be closer to your children or you need to request a modification of your custody order from your divorce, the right help can make a big difference. Getting support will improve your chances of success, which can only benefit you and your children in the long run.