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Parental Plans for Single Moms in the Military

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 1

Military Mom

Before enlisting in any of the armed forces as a single mother you need to be ready with parental plans for single moms in the military. There are many decisions that have to be made before you start your career in the military. You should be ready, willing, and able to pick up and leave when you’re ordered to do so. For this, as a single mother, you need to come up with a plan. Today we’re going to discuss some of the things you can do as a single mom to ensure that your children are cared for properly in your absence. There will need to be a Family Care Plan, some custody concerns, and backup childcare. The military understands that there are emergency situations, and they have ways to assist parents when such instances occur. However, you must realize that once you enlist, you’re a soldier first and a mom second. This is quite difficult for most women to come to terms with, but it has to be made clear from the beginning.

Family Care Plan

Legal Guardian

A Family Care Plan is the most important of the parental plans for single moms in the military. Here are some key points that need to be addressed in your Family Care Plan. First and foremost you need to appoint a new legal guardian with and grant them Power of Attorney. The Power of Attorney will give them the ability and right to make decisions for your household as well as your child. This is important due to financial issues that may arise in the future. This legal guardian should be someone you trust, and obviously most people choose from their own family members. If this isn’t a family member, please be certain that all identification and other records are legal and up to date. You don’t want issues later with legality of the Family Care Plan documentation. It could make regaining custody of your children very difficult.


Also, when executing a Family Care Plan as part of your parental plans for single moms joining the military, you need to be mindful of insurance and other benefits for your children in your absence. You can sign your family up for SGLI, Service Member’s Life Insurance, to make sure they’re cared for in the event of your death. You will need to appoint a beneficiary of this insurance policy. This will generally be the new legal guardian of your children.

Finally a couple more Family Care Plan tips for making your parental plans for single moms joining the military. Most new guardians of the children will need access to some financial information. They will also need access to the funds, or a set compensation method explained in the plan. You will need to prepare a will and give them a copy of it. Anything you can think of to prepare ahead of time for all financial issues will definitely be to your advantage in the long run. Once enlisted, you can’t take time off to fix these issues as they arise.

Custody Concerns

Child custody

Custody is the number one concern of all parental plans for single moms joining the military. You must sign over custody of your children to someone you trust. This person will have full and legal rights to your children for the entire duration of your enlistment. This has to be done before training camp starts. It’s important to note that this custody arrangement will need to be in effect for 2 years after you enlist. So even if your tour is finished in one year, you still have to wait it out before you get your children back.

This timeframe is also important when considering who to give custody of your children to. Most people choose family members, such as their own parents, to keep the children close. However, if your parents are getting up in age themselves, you may want to reconsider. The military will not let you discharge early for childcare reasons. They feel that this should be taken care of beforehand, as it should. Find someone who will be able to properly care for your children for the full length of your enlistment, even if it’s not a family member.

It’s also important to note that you will have to go through your local court system to get the children back once you’ve discharged. This should be an easy task, since there’s no stigma associated with this reason of giving up custody. However, just check your local government policies and trends so there are no surprises down the road.

Backup Childcare


Having a backup childcare alternative is a crucial part of all parental plans for single moms joining the military. Like we said earlier, the military will not let you leave because something happened to your mom or sister who was caring for your children. If you don’t have an alternative babysitter, then it’s possible that your children will become wards of the state. Then you will be going to court to get them back, and your previous contract with the former guardian may not be honored.

Your backup childcare should be someone who is able to pick up at a moment’s notice and care for the children. It should obviously be someone you trust, and can rely on to step in at this moment of need. It’s even a good idea to have them as the backup on all documentation in your Family Care Plan and financial matters. Compensation for this alternative caregiver will also have to be mapped out, in case it comes to that.


We can’t stress enough how much you have to work out all the details and be confident in your parental plans for single moms joining the military before you join. You need to have your Family Care Plan intact. Then figure out all custody concerns and possible ‘what if’ scenarios. Finally, get a backup childcare plan in place. Once you’ve done all this you can be confident in your ability to serve your country and not feel like you’re letting your children down. They will be extremely proud of you.



Dec 17, 2011 2:33am
As a parent, it is always important to make a parental plan. You never know when something might happen.
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