single parent

  1. I am seriously considering to join the Air Force Nurse Corps once I have my BSN. I am a single parent, but I do have a wonderful family, who would help me to take care of my son if I have to deploy. Do I have to give up custody of my son, and if I do how long is has to be? I know military nursing is not easy because there is a great chance for deployment and being away from the family, however I am willing to take that road. I just need to know how is single parent can join. Any help would be appreciated!
  2. Visit aniko743 profile page

    About aniko743

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 56; Likes: 2

    12 Comments

  3. by   CEG
    I am not positive on this, but my understanding when I was in ROTC was that a single parent would have to give custody of their child to someone else in order to get their commission. I really don't know if this is true or not, the Army is filled with uban legend and hearsay. Never believe anything until you read the regulation, then take the regulation with you to prove it to whomever you are going to have to fight to get it done. If someone requires you to do this demand to see the regulation so you can be sure of the rules and what you are doing.

    Once on active duty you would be required to have a family care plan, which is a series of documents detailing who would take temporary custody of your child, long term custody, medical power of attorney, financial statements, etc in case of deployment. Can be a little difficult to get it all done but very important for your peace of mind.

    There are definitely single parents in the Army, so once you are in it can definitely happen, I just don't know for sure how you get there.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Please check with a USAF recruiter to get all the latest facts regarding dependent care issues and military service. Good luck to you!
  5. by   aniko743
    Thanks for the help. I will contact the recruiter to clarify things.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Good luck. I spent 10 years in the USAF and do not regret it. From what I recall, NOBODY was pushed to "give up custody of their kids" as a single parent. But make no mistake, you will be required at least these things:

    A will. (well not required, but you are pressed to do this, even in the mobility line as you deploy, there is a JAG representative to help people make out a will before they go).

    A medical/child care power of attorney, which goes with the below, really:

    A Dependent Care form. This is a formal document, naming designated person(s), *who are NOT in the military*, who will care for your child in the event you deploy or become unable to care for your child due to military duty, in writing. And you will be held to it, believe me. This person would be able to, at a moment's notice, drop everything and take your child into his/her care and be a sort of surrogate parent in your absence, as needed. It would also require you name an interim person, if the designated party lives too far to take immediate temporary custody of your child----e.g. a daycare provider or friend who will care for this child until the other person is able to arrive to take over.

    Hope this helps. Like I said, a recruiter can fill you in; read the fine print!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 3, '06
  7. by   nuberianne_RN
    Be careful about giving up custody of your children. When you want to get custody back after a deployment the other parent may say no way and then you have a legal battle on your hands. I saw this happen to someone I was stationed with on a ship a few years ago. Her recruiter told her to give up custody of her son to enter the Navy. When she got stable and asked her ex for him back, the ex refused. This turned into an ugly situation especially for the young son who could not understand why mommy gave him away. The saddest part of the story is that she found out that there is no military instruction (rule) that says a single parent has to give up custody of a child.
    DISCLAIMER: Rules may have changed since I have been out of the Navy. Rules may also be different for other branches of the military.

    Legal custody is an issue that is decided between two parents and perhaps with the help of a family court. The military cannot tell you to give your child away anymore than it can say to give your spouse away(see disclaimer). However, the millitary can and will tell you that you MUST have arrangements made for your children whenever you have to work or deploy. These arrangements are expressed in a document called the family care plan.

    If something unforeseen happens and you do not have anyone that will care for your kids while on active duty the military can give you a hardship discharge. Your chain of command (superiors) will frown on it, but you must do what is best for your family.
  8. by   aniko743
    Thanks for all the info. I really don't want to give up custody of my son if I don't have to. I am planning to have him with me on post, whatever is my assigment. As far as family care plan, I don't think I have a problem with that. My family is very supportive of me and my son, they would be able to take care of him 100%. My son is only 8 years old, but he is very mature.He is been around the military since he was born. He knows that military parents sometimes have to deploy. It is not easy to leave the kids with someone else, but I know that me serving in the military would provide him a better future. I was a military spouse for 8 years and I admire people who serve in the military. Anyway, thanks for the info again!
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Well I do not blame your not wanting to give up custody. I don't believe you will have to. Just will be required to have a written, formalized plan in the case you deploy or your duties make it such you can't care for your child. I did know LOTS of single parents in the USAF, and none had to give up custody to serve!
  10. by   live4rachael
    I've never seen anyone have to give up custody to come in... I've been active duty for nearly 4 years now.
  11. by   Jimmedda
    It is highly discouraged that anyone give up custody of their children to join any branch of the military. If you join you will initiate what is called a family care plan. Which gives the person of your choice (the military has no services help you find someone) legal guardianship of your child. You can not join ROTC or ENLISTED as a single parent. If a recruiter tells you can just give up custody. This is illegal and a fraudelent enlistment. You will not be able to add your child to your benefits for a long time to straighten out the legal mess. Officers can have as many kids as they want.
    Jimmedda Hayes
    US Army Healthcare Recruiter
  12. by   aniko743
    Thanks for the info. I knew as a single parent I can not be enlisted, I wasn't sure about being an officer. But now I know that having 1 kid is not a problem as long as I have a family care plan. I still have about 2 years of schooling left before I have my BSN. Currently I am in a LPN-BSN programm and I can get credit for some of my nursing classes. I am hoping that it might be less than 2 years. I just like to think and plan ahead. Thanks again!
  13. by   Jimmedda
    Have you checked into ANCP you qualify for that program currently? Jimmedda
  14. by   Simpleplan
    You have to have a plan for who will care for your child if you are deployed. I believe that person has to fill out paperwork agreeing to your plan.

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