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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 38488
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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I’n in the Army and have a question. I have divorced and

Customer Question

I’n in the Army and have a question. I have divorced and remarried to another soldier. My divorce was messy and involved custody. I am not custodial parent but have 55- 60 % custody depending on the year. It’s a long story but basically this occurred through mediation and my sons mother wanted the child support money. Now I have missed some work due to child related things. My CO and 1sg want me to do a family care plan because of this. Understandable. I’ve been told many things about wether I should even be able to do a family care plan since I’m not technically
custodial parent. Also that I can’t be family care plan chartered because I’m a male.... That’s sounded crazy to me so I got into AR 600-20 as well as AR 635-200. I don’t see anything definite regarding this situation. I guess my questions are:
Should I even be doing a family care plan as non-custodial?
Also am I even eligible for a Family care plan chapter? I don’t want to get out just yet but don’t have the ability to complete a valid DA5305 either.
If I’m not able to be family care plan chaptered what is the point in doing a DA5305?
Thank you for the help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Hi, My name is***** am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

I want to make sure I understand...you say you have 55%-60% custody but you also claim you are not the custodial parent. Sorry...I do not understand that.

Do you have obligations, by the court, to care for the the child or not?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do. It’s joint but technically the Army doesn’t consider me custodial parent because I pay her child support and she can determine primary residence for my son within the geographicaly restricted area. It’s a long story and the divorce took nearly 2 years to complete. His mother has drug issues that I could prove. We had a custody evaluation done through a psych. He recommended me be custodial and her go to rehab. The problem was my lawyer at the time for that case didn’t think with any certainty that we could get that from the judge due to the fact he knew about the drugs at the temporary custody hearing and granted her custodial parent at that time. “It’s only marijuana” was his thought I’m told even though she was arrested for it while in possession of our son.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that information

What you are describing, your commander can, absolutely, require a family care plan...and, perhaps more important, they should require one.

The purpose of the family care plan is to ensure a soldier has a plan in place, to care for minor children for which they are responsible to care for, should they be called to deploy.

What you are describing? You have court ordered obligations for child care. IF you were to be deployed tomorrow, who would care for the child during the time when you have the obligation to provide care? IF that answer is not clear? You should not be in the Army.

So the commander can order you complete the family care plan.

If you are not able to come up with a suitable plan? The commander is obliged to process you for separation.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you do not have to complete a family care plan, but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you...I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Hi
Experts on this site (myself) are compensated ONLY if the customer (yourself) "rate" or "accept" the answer.

Do you have more questions regarding this?

Thanks for your understanding
Phil