Getting a Military Divorce – Things You Should Know

Are you planning to get a divorce? A divorce where one or both parties are military service members is no more complicated than divorce involving only civilian parties. However, there are some special rules and requirements that only apply to military divorces. These can present challenges for couples seeking to end their marriages.

Understanding the special requirements for military divorces is important. This will help you be prepared for the challenges you may face. The following are some things you should know about military divorces.

Deciding where to file your divorce can be tricky

This is especially true when you or your spouse is in active service. Members of the military tend to move around a lot. They therefore have multiple homes. Some move around with their families and therefore have multiple records of home addresses shared with their spouses. There are some who have a shared address with their spouse and addresses for where they currently reside.

Deciding where to file a divorce in a civilian marriage is easy. You file in the jurisdiction in which you are resident. For a military divorce, you should file for a divorce in the place where the domicile spouse holds legal residence. At least one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for 6 months immediately prior to filing for the divorce.

How military pension is split depends on the court

Divorce proceedings often become complicated when it comes to dividing assets including property and savings. Couples often disagree when it comes to splitting assets. This also applies to military divorces.

For military divorces, military benefits are also considered as part of the assets that ought to be divided between the spouses. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFPA) gives partners of military personnel the legal right to part of their spouse’s benefits. This applies to marriages of any length. The court may therefore decide how your military pension will be divided.

A divorced spouse may continue to benefit from healthcare

As previously mentioned, military benefits are considered part of the assets in a military divorce. While many benefits that the spouse was entitled to while married to the military service member end on the date of the divorce judgement, they may still be eligible for healthcare coverage. This depends on how long the couple has been married and the length of the time the military service overlapped with the marriage.

Former military spouses may also obtain health insurance coverage by applying for Continued Health Care Benefit Plan.

An active duty service member can get custody of their children

Child custody is often one of the biggest sources of conflict in divorce settlements. Active servers often worry that they won’t be able to get custody of the children because of their work. However, this isn’t the case. Although being in the military can have an impact on awarding custody, active military service members can get custody of their children. However, arrangements for custody can be complicated by their military service.  A family care plan which guides parents on how the children will cared for after the divorce is finalized will help to make the situation easier for the couple.

If you’re facing a military divorce, get in touch with a seasoned lawyer to guide you through the process. A good understanding of the special requirements for military divorce will help ensure your rights are protected.