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Co-parenting hurdles for military families

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2023 | Military Family Law |

Even in the most amicable of situations, a divorce creates several issues for Oklahoma families. Being involved in the United States military also presents multiple unique challenges. While co-parenting is a difficult concept, some issues are more pronounced when military service is part of the equation.


Long-term separations create issues for military families dealing with a divorce. When you have one parent spending somewhere between nine and 12 months on deployment, it may seem like co-parenting is impossible. Children often struggle with anxiety and sadness while one parent is away, and it also creates scheduling problems upon the return of the deployed parent.

Uneven responsibilities

Military law advisors agree that one of the biggest benefits of co-parenting is that each parent takes on an equal number of responsibilities. Unfortunately, when one parent is gone for long periods, that’s simply not possible. During deployments, one parent essentially becomes a single parent.

This is even true for military parents who aren’t going through a divorce. Unfortunately, unbalanced responsibilities create resentment. When going through a divorce, this resentment may lead to hostile conversations and other issues.

Confusion and loss

In addition to lengthy deployments, the United States military also reassigns people to different areas, both domestically and internationally. Multiple factors determine whether the other parent and the children can join them on the move. When it’s not possible for everyone to move together, younger children often experience confusion because it seems like one parent has simply disappeared.

Older children may be able to rationalize why one parent is no longer around, but they still go through the grieving process. These feelings of loss often cause severe mood swings, anxiety, and depression.

While there is no way to completely simplify co-parenting, the military does provide several resources for military families. These resources include tips on how to rethink the co-parenting strategy when the need arises.