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Family care plans can help make deployment less stressful

For most people, child custody cases are fairly simple. Outlining who is going to have the children when might pose a bit of a problem, but for the most part there aren't huge obstacles to overcome. Some parents have a more difficult time figuring out child custody matters because of the career they choose. Parents who are in the military fall into that category.

Parents who are in the military are always on call. These individuals are sometimes called out on deployments that can take them away from their loved ones for months at a time. Some of those deployments are no-notice deployments, which means that the military service member wouldn't have a lot of time to make arrangements before leaving.

Some parents who are in the military, such as dual-military couples who have children and single parents, are required to have a family care plan in place at all times. The FCP provides instructions about what will happen to your children while you are deployed. The plan has to include financial arrangements for your child, caregiver and alternate caregiver information and specific provisions that are necessary for long-term and short-term deployments.

Any military parent should consider adding a power of attorney and specific custody information in the FCP. Because each case is different, military parents should work to understand what they will need in their FCP to ensure their child is taken care of while they are gone.

Once the FCP is established, it should be reviewed often to ensure it is still valid. Additionally, the points in the plan should be discussed with everyone who has a legal interest in the plan.

Source: Real Warriors, "Creating a Family Care Plan," accessed Sep. 09, 2015

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