Divorce in the Military: 4 Things You Need to Know

A military divorce is a non-legal term used to describe any divorce where one, or both, of the parties are active duty members of any branch of the US Armed Forces. While military divorces go through the same basic processes as a civilian divorce, there are some scenarios that are unique to those who are serving their country. Understanding what you can expect when divorcing in the military can help you prepare, and ensure you handle this difficult situation properly.

Delays When Deployed

When one party files for a civilian divorce, the other party must respond within a certain number of days. For military divorces, however, when a service member is deployed, they can have an extension or delay on the required response until they have returned home. The court may implement a temporary order that will be put in place until the deployed service member has returned, however, so simply being deployed won’t completely stop a divorce.

Military Benefits

The spouse of a service member receives many benefits through the military, including access to healthcare, retirement benefits, and much more. What level of benefits they are able to keep, and for how long, will depend on how long the marriage lasted, and how long the service member has been in the military. While the “20/20/20” rule that required 20 years of marriage, 20 years of service, and 20 years of overlap are no longer the standard, it is important to be able to fight for your benefits during a divorce.

What State to File In

Those who are in the service are often required to be stationed in different states for a time for training or other reasons. Knowing where to file for divorce can be confusing and difficult. The general rule is that the person who is actually filing for divorce should file in the state where their primary residence is located.

Parenting Plan Issues

One of the most significant differences between a civilian divorce and a military divorce are the parenting plans. When someone in the military is making a parenting plan, they need to cover what happens when they’re deployed, when they are required to move for a time, and many other situations that simply don’t occur to non-military families. This can present many unique challenges that need to be addressed properly.

Get the Representation You Need

If you or your spouse is in the military and you are getting a divorce, it is important to have an attorney with experience handling these specific types of cases. Please note military attorneys and staff members of base legal offices do not represent either the military member or non-military spouse.  They can only assist in preparing uncontested filings.  They may not even be licensed in the state they are stationed and may not be aware of state laws pertaining to property, support and custody either spouse is entitled to.  Contact The Grey Legal Group to discuss your options and plan the right course of action.

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The Grey Legal Group, APC

At The Grey Legal Group, we take pride in getting to know our clients personally. Whether you’re going through a divorce, child custody issues, or problems enforcing divorce orders, you can feel confident in our knowledgeable, hands-on approach.

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