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  1. #1

    Default Joining the Military with Wife Who Has Children from a Previous Marriage

    I live in Texas. I am joining back up with the military. Will be going back into active army life. I am about to get married to a woman ive been with for 2 + years. She has 2 children from a previous marriage and is pregnant with my child. Ive read many forums about this issue of dealing with visitation and the NCP. The NCP is not a willing participant when it comes to negotiations of anything. Unfortunently my future wife signed a decree restricting her to the state of Texas. I informed her that there was a possibility that the court could tell her she has to give up custody in order to move. She doubts this will happen but I believe there is (in this day in age) a very real possibility that the judge could say no.

    She has been the primary parent for the kiddos aged 4 and 6 the entire time. They have always lived with us. NCP is still in their lives to some extent and sees them every other weekend and through the summer. Although he currently lives over 100 miles away from us now.

    Thinking about it has me physically nauseas but I know that this has to be addressed. Any advice or experiences would be greatly appreciated. I know we will have to seek out an attorney. Just hate putting her in this situation but the idea of being confined to this state for 12 to 18 years and not being able to pursue my dreams would create overwhelming resentment. I know the resentment will be there if she gives up custody too.

    Please help or send advice.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,646

    Default Re: Joining the Military with Wife That Has Kids from Previous Marriage

    If the order states she cannot leave Texas, she will need to seek to have it modified. The ex is free to object. If the judge were to allow her to move outside of the state due to your PCS while retaining primary custody, she would be responsible for travel/transportation costs to get the kids to the NCP for their visitation, which would also have to be modified depending on how far away you are stationed as every other weekend wouldn't be doable if you were stationed OCONUS.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Joining the Military with Wife That Has Kids from Previous Marriage

    The mother and I are completely understanding of the fact that the visitation would have to be modified and that the transportation would become our costs. She and I are also willing to negate child support if the NCP is willing to cover half the transportation. The willingness to work things out on our end is there. The NCP however?... Different story entirely. I just don't want the judge to deny it and for us to be in the situation of having a marriage and choosing the kiddos from the previous marriage or our new one on the way.

    NCP pays child support and she is going to try and work it out with him. I've explained that the kiddos will have DEERS and be medically covered and will also have college tuition set aside for them but I don't know if the NCP will understand this.

    Joint the military single and now coming back in and dealing with this has been almost overwhelming. Hate that situations like this have to exist.

    I in no way want the NCP to be out of their lives and will go to the ends of the earth to make it work. Just don't know what the judge will think of it if they can't work it out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    835

    Default Re: Joining the Military with Wife That Has Kids from Previous Marriage

    Does the NCP want primary custody if Mom moves? Because if he doesn't, then the odds would be better to allow mom to move with the children.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Joining the Military with Wife That Has Kids from Previous Marriage

    No idea. We haven't gotten that far yet. I imagine he'd come to his senses and realize he doesn't have the stable platform to take them on full time but judging by his inability to agree during the divorce there is a real possibilty he would fight tooth and nail to get primary custody.

    This causes major resentment on both sides for is in our relationship. If she were to loose primary custody she would resent me for joining again and if i don't pursue finishing what I started I would resent her. We love each other dearly and don't want this to cause a huge disruption in our relationship and future but at the moment it seems to me that its inevitable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    835

    Default Re: Joining the Military with Wife That Has Kids from Previous Marriage

    Well from a mom's point of view, if it came down to choosing between losing any custody or any amount of time with my child and moving around the country to where my significant other is, there wouldn't even be a choice. That's not to say your dreams should be squashed, and I am thankful for everyone in the military, but you should be prepared for that outcome, which would mean not being with your child full-time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    2,289

    Default Re: Joining the Military with Wife That Has Kids from Previous Marriage

    What's more important- your family or the Army? Look I'm active duty. I get it. It's hard to be a parent and be in the military. I started out single with no dependents. I had my daughter when I was 10 years in and now she's almost four and I'm a single parent. I had to go to court to modify the decree to move her out of state with me. Luckily her "father" is in jail and he did not respond when he was served and it was a default decree again. But he hasn't been very active in her life (in and out of rehab or jail the last four years).

    The thing is that her ex could fight her moving the kids. So she either would have to stay or gives up custody. Also if you've already been in you know there's no guarantee on where you go and you can deploy. (Still in Afghanistan). And you're not married yet. Until you are married, you're a single soldier and you would get treated as such for assignments, etc. That could be at least 9 months you're gone and she is alone with the kids or your child with her. She might have to end up moving back to Texas - some dependents have to do that to have support.

    I have given up on a lot of dreams to take care of my child. If not for her medical issues, I'd have gotten out two years ago but I am staying in until 20 for her. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made especially when kids or family are involved. I would never leave my daughter for a man nor give up custody for anyone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: Joining the Military with Wife That Has Kids from Previous Marriage

    Reread your posts. I think it is obvious that if you go through with reenlisting, you will be having a long distance relationship with your child who lives with your exGF. Of course, you could marry and be a geo-bachelor at which point your then wife could move closer to her ex for the children's relationship with their father.

    Don't say you do not want a long distance relationship with your child because that is what you are asking of her children's father. If he is maintaining an EOW from 100 miles, he is an involved father. You did not say who created the distance from the original location at the time of the divorce.

    She should certainly consult an attorney and should remember to ask about visitation and child support options likely for the new baby if you do not marry.

    Whatever you do, do NOT get married and expect to work this out later. It is better not to complicate your GF's situation with two ex-DHs with whom she shares children and your situation by having step-children to deal with.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    410

    Default Re: Joining the Military with Wife That Has Kids from Previous Marriage

    If I were the NCP, I'd be fighting tooth and nail to ensure that my children stay where I can continue to be an involved parent.

    Have you thought about joining the Army Reserve instead of going AD? You'll still be a Soldier, your can purchase TRICARE coverage for your family for far less than most other insurance plans, and you don't take her children away from their father.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,619

    Default Re: Joining the Military with Wife That Has Kids from Previous Marriage

    I do not see this as quite a dire as others do. Dad already lives more than 100 miles away and therefore cannot see the children more often than every other weekend. While he might not be willing to negotiate now if mom offers a very generous long distance parenting plan, that gives dad the majority of the time off school, and is willing to provide all of the transportation a judge might agree or even dad might agree. Of course what she can offer will depend a lot on where you are stationed, but even in a worst case scenario all of the summer except perhaps one week on each end, most of Christmas Break, every other Thanksgiving Break and every Spring Break might be as much or more time than he is getting now.

    Also, since dad cannot keep the children in the same schools or community because he lives 100 miles away the judge has a bit of a different decision to make than in some relocations. The children will have the disruption of moving one way or the other and therefore a judge has to decide which move would be the least disruptive to the children, moving with the parent who has been their primary custodian or moving to the parent who has not been their primary custodian.

    I agree though that you should postpone marriage at this point.

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