Divorce in Louisiana is difficult regardless of the circumstances, but certain factors can make it harder on both parties. This is especially true if there are children and visitation is an issue. There are many reasons why visitation could be made complicated and one is if there is a parent who is a member of the military. Losing visitation time because of military service is a common concern of those who are serving. For the military member and a civilian parent, it is important to be flexible in these cases if it is possible. When there are disagreements, understanding what the law says about compensatory visitation is vital.
The term “active duty” is integral when this law is used in a visitation case. When a person is considered on active duty, he or she: will be a service member who is on active duty based on an executive order from the president, through an act of Congress, or a presidential recall; when the service member is on orders that include training, special work when on active duty, or individual duty training; when the person is on drill status; and when he or she is subject to Military Code Uniform Code or the Louisiana Code.
If the person has commitments due to his or her military service and cannot visit with a child at the normal time at which visitation would take place, it is within that person’s rights to request compensatory visitation. The court will grant this once it has been determined that it serves the child’s best interests. It will be day-for-day meaning that if one day is missed, that will be made up with compensatory visitation. It will not go beyond the number of days that were missed. The custodial parent will negotiate with the military member to formulate a schedule. If the parents are unable to come to an agreement, the parent who seeks compensatory visitation can ask the court to enforce an order for visitation or to change the order to adhere to the service member’s situation. If there has been abuse of any kind, this law is not applicable.
When a person is in the military and wishes to see his or her child as part of a visitation agreement, being deployed can cause delays and problems with that. This law is in place for parents to have the time allotted to see their children. When a couple is planning a divorce and this issue is a concern, having legal advice is imperative to make certain that the military member gets visitation and the custodial parent’s rights are protected.