Military life is hard on families, and some families don’t make it. When a military member goes through a divorce, there are some specific points that must be considered that aren’t a part of civilian divorce.
If you are going through a military divorce, one of the first things that you have to do is to decide what jurisdiction you are going to file in. This can be where you are stationed or where your permanent address is located. You must ensure that you meet the residency requirements for whichever option you are going to use. Look into the specific points that will apply to you in each jurisdiction since these can vary greatly from one state to another.
Next, you will have to think about your children. Child custody matters are difficult for a military member, but they aren’t impossible. Even if you want to pursue custody, this is possible as long as you have a family care plan in place.
Third, you need to find out about how the divorce will impact your retirement. Of course, if you aren’t planning on retiring from the military, this isn’t likely going to be a consideration for you.
Military spouses have to think about certain privileges and coverages. For example, if you meet the 20/20/20 rule, which means that 20 years of your marriage overlaps 20 years of military service, you will likely qualify for exchange privileges and medical coverage.
Ultimately, you need to ensure that your interests are protected as you go through the divorce. Whether you are the service member or the civilian spouse, think carefully about each decision you have to make.
Source: Military.com, “Understanding Divorce in the Military,” accessed May 12, 2017