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Family care plans are important for service members

People who are in the military have several things to think about when they decide to end a marriage. If they have children, they will need to come up with a family care plan to have on file with their commanding officer. This plan outlines what will happen to the children if the service member isn't able to care for them because of various reasons, including deployment.

When you're married to a civilian and share children with them, your spouse is likely the person who will have the children while you're on a deployment. That person might still be the caregiver if you divorce and have to deploy, but the military wants this in writing.

Even if you'll only have the children for short periods of time because your ex has primary custody, you still need a family care plan. This will outline what happens with the kids if they're with you and you suddenly have to deploy or can't care for them for any reason.

In the family care plan, you'll set up two plans. The first is a short-term plan for what who will care for the children for a short period. The person who will care for the kids will likely need to live within a short distance from your duty station.

You also need to outline a long-term plan, which is necessary for deployments and longer training periods. The person whom you name for this duty doesn't have to live near the base, but they would need to be available to come get the kids from the person who is taking care of them for the short-term.

You also need to include information about the children's activities, their important documents and their dependent cards. Medical information and similar points should also be covered. Once you have this document prepared, you must file a copy in accordance with your commanding officer's instructions.

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