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Plan ahead for your children during deployments

The possibility that you will have to go on a deployment or be gone because of military orders is a daily part of life for members of the military. For parents in the military, these possibilities can make it difficult to raise children. Having a family care plan in place is one way that you can ensure your children are cared for while you are handling business for the military.

While each branch of the military has specific guidelines regarding family care plans, there are some circumstances that always require a family care plan. If a military member is single and pregnant, she will need to establish a family care plan. If a couple is both in the military has children together, they must establish a family care plan. If a single parent or person with sole custody of a child 19 years old or younger is serving, he or she must have a family care plan.

There are some instances in which a family care plan is necessary for people who aren't children. If your spouse doesn't speak English fluently, you will need a family care plan. If you are the caregiver to a person is dependent on other people for basic care, such as a severely disabled person, you need a family care plan.

You should establish a long-term plan that will go into effect if you are gone for more than 31 days, as well as short-term plan that goes into effect if you are going less than that amount of time. The person you choose to care for the child in both plans should be a civilian, able to care for the children and must sign the plan. The person has to be local for a short-term plan but not for a long-term plan.

You may also need specific legal documents, especially if you have a child custody plan for your child. Making sure you have what you need now can help you to reduce the stress that might occur if you have to put the plan into action.

Source: Stateside Legal, "Family Care Plan," accessed Sep. 10, 2015

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