Serving as a member of the U.S. Air Force is not without it challenges. Especially for parents, balancing career with family life can be an ongoing challenge. When spouses divorce and child custody issues arise, military parents may feel at a disadvantage if they deployed away from home.

Recent policy changes came as good news to airmen who will now have more of a say regarding how far away from their children, they will live in a post-divorce child custody visitation agreement. The Air Force says it is now acceptable for airmen to make requests to defer a deployment or to receive assignments that are closer to where their children reside. A spokesperson for the Air Force said family well-being is important to the military, and the Air Force is doing what it can to enable airmen who are not married to their co-parents to better care for their children.

The new policies apply to both biological and adoptive parents. To be eligible, a parent must have an existing child custody order from a court. It’s understandable that parental responsibilities may affect an airman’s job duties. The new policies are designed to help maximize parenting time while enabling military parents to continue to serve their country.

Military and nonmilitary parents alike often encounter legal issues after divorce. How easily or swiftly such issues can be resolved depends on numerous factors, including the ability of both parents to work together in a peaceful manner to solve the problem. It is helpful to seek support from an experienced family law attorney rather than trying to handle a child custody problem on one’s own.