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Protecting your parental rights while you're serving a deployment

You may be one of many Texas military service members who are preparing for or are currently serving a deployment overseas. In fact, it is not uncommon nowadays for service members to deploy several times within their military careers. When you leave a family behind, it can be stressful in many ways, especially if you and your spouse were having marital problems before you left.

In fact, you might have already begun the divorce process when you received orders to prepare for deployment. It can be emotionally challenging to have to put your personal problems on hold while you carry out your military duties. Especially if the situation between you and your spouse is contentious, you might be worried that he or she will try to gain the upper hand regarding child custody, alimony, child support or other issues while you're away. Knowing where to seek support can help you protect your rights.

The Service Members Civil Rights Act

The U.S. government recognizes how stressful it can be to have to drop your personal affairs to answer a call to duty. That's why it enacted the Service Members Civil Rights Act, which provides multiple protections and benefits to those serving on active duty in any of the branches of the U.S. armed forces.

If you deploy while you have a financial obligation that will incur interest while you're gone, the SMCRA caps the interest rate at 6% per year. Also, if you rent your home, your landlord cannot terminate your lease while you're serving a deployment overseas. Regarding civil litigation, which would include child custody or other divorce-related proceedings, the SMCRA provides a stay on all litigation until you return and can be physically present in court.

Additional protections

The SMCRA provides other asset protections as well, such as if you put a down payment on a car or already began paying monthly installments on a recently purchased vehicle. A creditor cannot repossess your vehicle without a court order during your deployment.

Support resources

If your spouse is threatening to sue you for custody or is trying to impede your parent/child relationship, you can protect your rights. Perhaps you already have an existing court order and your spouse is disregarding its terms. You can bring the matter to the court's immediate attention.

In short, the SMCRA provides legal protection while you're serving active duty as well as after you return home from deployment. Whatever your issue, you don't have to go it alone. In fact, many Texas military service members hire experienced family law attorneys to help them protect their rights while they're serving overseas.

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Denton, TX 76201

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