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Nonstructured and structured visitation for military members

When you're in the military, it may be impossible for you to have primary custody of your child. That could be because you're still deployed or because you're constantly moving. Whatever the reason is, that doesn't mean you don't deserve to see your child. Your visitation arrangements may be different than usual, though.

Normally, your visitation rights will be determined in your custody agreement. When you're both living in the same area, you may have either a structured or nonstructured arrangement. With a structured arrangement, you and your ex can work out a visitation schedule that suits your needs. If you have a structured schedule, that means that you're given exact times when you can visit or interact with your child. There will also be information on what you can do if you miss a visitation day or have a change in your schedule.

When you're in another state, it may be harder to have weekly or even monthly visitations. If you're not likely to move during the holidays or summer months, this may be a time when you can get the time with your child that you want. Virtual visitation is also an option; that's when you can call, email, or chat with a video program with your child. This can be particularly helpful if you've been deployed far from home, when visitation could be otherwise impossible.

Your attorney can work with you to help you work out a visitation arrangement for your situation. Your arrangement may need to be flexible, but that doesn't mean you don't deserve time with your child.

Source: FindLaw, "Military Child Visitation: What You Need to Know," accessed Jan. 04, 2016

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