This article describes a rather depressing situation. A child custody battle where the father lived in California, and the mother (a reservist called to active duty) in Hawaii. They had joint custody of their son, but the father decided to take her to court for sole custody. She could not leave Hawaii because of her duties -- a brigadier general and Lt. Colonel both wrote notes to the court saying that they needed her in Hawaii and could not release her from her duties.
Because of her non-appearance in court, despite the letters, the judge awarded sole custody of their son to the husband, and authorized child protective services to bring the boy back by force if necessary.
Now, it's a little more complicated than that, if you read the whole story (and there's some not told there; a friend's daughter is the boy's babysitter, which is how I heard of this), but it's still a rather depressing image.