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Can my Commander refuse to support or allow me to transport my child to my exspouse for court ordered visitation?

CSM, I am curious about taking leave to satisfy a court visitation schedule. I have already read AR 608-99 and all it says is that the commander has a responsibility to make sure court orders are enforced. What I am asking is, can the Commander deny my leave to satisfy this requirement and make me find another way to accomplish it? I have to take my child from my location to another location across the country for the summer, he is autistic and cannot be put on a plane or bus unattended. Thank You for your help in this matter.

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This depends on the situation the unit is in.

If the unit is on recall status, then it makes sense the Commander is reluctant to allow leave. If the unit is on normal status, then I would not know why the Commander would deny the leave.

While the Commander has a responsibility to ensure the court order is enforced, the Commander is not required to assist the Soldier in meeting their obligation.  The Commander’s responsibility begins if the Soldier refuses to comply, not assisting the Soldier to comply.

This Soldier should have a Family Care Plan in place if he is a single Soldier.  While not the most convenient option, the Soldier needs to look at having another family member drive his son if need be.  Contact the boy’s mother and see if it’s possible for her to fly out and drive his son back to MT.  The Soldier may have to fund the trip or a portion of it.  The Soldier needs to look at all options and he can inquire through the Commander’s Open Door Policy, why the Commander is denying the leave.  Should the Commander not have a legitimate mission requirement to deny the leave, the Soldier can try the Battalion CSM/CDR’s open door policy.

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Mark is a Retired Command Sergeant Major with 26 years of military leadership experience. He held 3 military occupational specialties (Field Artillery, Nuclear Weapons Tech, and Ammunition Ordnance). Mark is one of the leading military authors in the fields of leadership, counseling, and training.

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