Can My Wife Keep Kids From Me While I Serve in Iraq?

Question:daniel exner attorney wisconsin

I am currently working in Iraq. My wife has told me she is moving out of our home and filing for a divorce.

She has told me that a judge will not allow me to have our kids for more than seven days at a time. I have changed my schedule so that I will be home and able to have my children for 30 days. I can then rotate in Iraq for 39 days and go back-and-forth in this manner if needed.

But can my wife actually keep my kids away from me?


I do not practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of that jurisdiction and can only provide you with general tips on divorce.

In short, unless the court already issued some kind of order on custody and placement, your wife probably cannot confidently tell you what the court will do. She may tell you what she thinks or what her attorney told her, but a court’s determination of custody and placement is a complicated matter covering numerous factors. Obviously, your ability to actually be present with your children for placement time is a major factor and issue.

Generally, a state’s family law code will govern both divorce procedure and issues related to custody, placement, support and property division. Since you are on active military duty, your case is a bit more complicated.

Several federal laws, including the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA), affect both your divorce procedure and the outcome.

For example, you may be entitled to delay the divorce action until your campaign is over so the court can assess your placement time when you are stateside and home.

I would recommend speaking to both a family law attorney in your state and perhaps someone from your JAG office to fully understand your rights and options.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws there and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Wisconsin divorce lawyer Dan Exner, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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