I found this story about Matthew Hindes, a U.S. Navy submariner, who is facing contempt of court charges if he doesn’t show up in court on Monday for a custody case involving his ex-wife. However, Hindes is currently deployed out to sea, so he can’t show up on Monday. Because of situations like this, there is a law called the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which requires a minimum 90 day stay in a civil case involving a person in military service. The judge in this case has decided that she can just ignore the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to hold Hindes in contempt of court. The custody dispute involves Hindes’s daughter. Currently, Hindes and his new wife have custody of his daughter because Hindes’s ex-wife neglected their daughter. The judge has gone so far as to say that the daughter isn’t in the care of her father, but that isn’t true. She is in her father’s care (and her stepmother’s care). His job just happens to involve travel. This case can set up a dangerous precedent where men in military service can lose custody of their children (or even something as simple as visitation rights) just because they’re deployed. The same thing will happen during divorce proceedings. Ex-wives of military men will know to challenge custody and visitation while their ex-husbands are deployed. Women seeking to divorce their military husbands will also know to wait until their deployed.
This gave me an idea for a science fiction story or novel that takes place in the near future. Men serving in the military en masse start experiencing divorces and losing custody of or visitation to their children because women know the best time to begin any type of civil proceedings is when a military man is deployed. As men in the military come home from their deployments, they are promptly arrested for being in contempt of court for civil cases they had no knowledge about. This creates a groundswell of distrust for the courts and the government in general in the military. Men who would have otherwise joined the military choose not to because they don’t want to be arrested after a deployment. Eventually a general or generals concerned that this situation is a threat to the security of the U.S. decide to overthrow the government and setup a military dictatorship. The actions of these generals has widespread support among all of the lower ranks of the military since either they have been a victim of this situation and/or have several buddies who have.
Either that or the military is so weakened that a squad from ISIS takes over the U.S. in a weekend because no man is willing to fight to defend the U.S.