How to share custody if I’m in the military?

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How to share custody if I’m in the military?

I’m a man in the military and I have a child on the way. She said that she wants full custody when the child is born because I will go back and forth overseas. She doesn’t want her child to have a father that can’t always physically be there. That is why she wants full custody. She said she will even go behind my back to make this happen with or without decision. Can she even do that?

Asked on September 20, 2011 under Family Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, she can not.  I am assuming here that you are not married, correct?  SO the first thing that you need to do is to establish paternity when the child is born.  I do not think that she is going to make that easy for you by allowing you to merely sign an affidavit of paternity.  So you are going to have to initiate a proceeding to have a DNA test done.  Once paternity is established then you need to request that the court issue child support, custody and visitation orders. Now, there are many types of custody and you should speak with an attorney on this matter.  But you will not be denied visitation or custody just because you are in the military. It may be, though, that she has primary physical custody of the baby because you are deployed, etc.  That can all be brought up before the judge and worked out.  Good luck to you.  And thank you for your service to our country.


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