Separation is always a difficult time for a family and even more so when determining the custody of children.
AFF became aware of extra challenges some Service personnel have faced regarding custody of children due to the courts deciding that an Army lifestyle did not provide stability.
We raised this issue with the Ministry of Defence and asked them to work more closely with the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), who represent children in family court cases in England.
The MOD, AFF and Cafcass have now developed a leaflet for families about the court process and who Cafcass are, as well as a leaflet for the family courts to outline some key information about Service life.
Michelle Alston, AFF’s Policy & Research Director, said: “This was an issue flagged to us by families and through the Army Parents’ Network. We were concerned that there may be a misconception about serving in the Army and the impact of how often the Service parent is away.
“We felt that it would be really beneficial to share information – for the family courts to have some information about the nature of Army life and for Army families to understand more about how the family courts work. We hope this will ensure that the Service person’s individual circumstances and role are clarified and considered when judgements are made.”
POSTED ON 18 MAY 2021