The Power of Attorney for Custody
Power of Attorney
- Power of attorney, for the purposes of maintaining child custody, can only be given by the custodial parent. Child custody as determined by a court of law is a different matter. If child custody is in dispute between parents, a judge makes the determination. Power of attorney can be issued for a short period, for example, during a vacation or during the absence of the custodial parent, and the care giver would need authority to order medical treatment or to obtain documents necessary to provide adequate care.
- Military personnel often issue a power of attorney when they are deployed to another state or out of the country. In most cases, if one parent is in the military, the other parent continues the care of the children with full rights. When both parents serve in the military it may be necessary to assign a grandparent, aunt, uncle, relative or friend, temporary custody.
- Custody battles are not unusual, but when one parent is deployed to another country, the opportunity to appear before a judge for a child custody hearing is compromised. In the past, many states would allow full custody to the parent that is present at the time. Service people have returned from deployment to find that full custody was given to the other parent in their absence.
Twenty states have adopted protection laws for military personnel in child custody cases. Permanent custody can not be issued in these states while one parent is deployed. The custodial parent can issue a power of attorney during this period, but it can be rescinded upon the return of the deployed parent.
- Custody does not always pertain to children. Households that have pets can be faced with some of the same issues concerning care. Some pets require special care and concise decision making that must be taken into consideration.
Show dogs and race horses are not only pets, but a business. The care of such animals must be entrusted to a responsible person that will fulfill the wishes of the owner.
- Consider giving power of attorney for minor children when the absence of both parents will be long term. Choose a care giver that is close to the children, understands any special needs and will follow instructions precisely. The household environment should also be a consideration.