Military Service and Child Custody

Many service members deal with serious family law issues which seem exacerbated by their military service.  As if just working full-time and trying to balance life were not enough, being subject to deployment, frequent moves and dangerous activities add to making a bad circumstance worse.  But, recently Mississippi has tried to make custody issues for military members a little easier.

Mississippi recently enacted a statute dealing with child custody when a parent receives temporary duty, deployment or mobilization orders.  MCA 93-5-34, provides a fair, efficient and swift process to resolve custody matters when dealing with a military parent.  Upon such circumstances of a custodial parent being “called up” the statute provides that the other parent will have custody, but that custody ends within 10 days of the former custodial parent returning from service.

Additionally, it provides that the deployed parent shall have reasonable access for phone and video visits.  The deployed member may also delegate visitation to their own family members.  These types of military custody cases receive priority by the Courts to be heard and the deployed parent may “attend” via affidavit or electronic means where possible.

Lastly, a parent’s deployment and subsequent custody change cannot be used against that parent upon their return.  Mississippi has enacted sensible, fair custody legislation that protects military service members and their families.

Matthew Thompson is a Military Divorce Attorney in Mississippi.  Happy Veteran’s Day and thank you to all you have served. 

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer  You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or


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