What makes a military divorce different from a civilian divorce?

| Apr 29, 2021 | Divorce

It is no surprise that many military marriages end in divorce. Maintaining a relationship is hard enough when you both have a stable life. If you are in the military, your life could change at a moment’s notice. 

If you decide to divorce, you need to deal with the same issues as any couple. Yet, you also need to deal with matters specific to a military divorce.

Child custody arrangements can be more complicated in military divorce

Parents in civilian jobs often struggle to reach adequate child custody arrangements. If you are in the military, you could have to move at any time. It could be a temporary posting overseas, or it could be a more permanent one within the country. If you have children, you need to work out how you will still see them if that should occur — or where your visitation rights may transfer.

Divorcing a military spouse could mean the loss of significant benefits

When you are married to a civilian, they get several benefits related to your service. One of the biggest is TRICARE. There are circumstances in which they can keep that health coverage if your marriage ends, but that isn’t common. This could take your spouse by surprise during your divorce and tangle up your negotiations. 

Living off base will increase your ex-spouse’s daily costs if they lose access to the commissary and exchange. They will also lose access to cheaper on-base housing. They may expect a higher settlement to compensate for this.

A military divorce has unique financial implications

One of the benefits of being a service member is the pension. Depending on how long your marriage lasted, you may need to split this with your spouse in a divorce. You may also need to share your Thrift Savings Plan.

It is essential to understand all the issues you need to deal with in a military divorce. Seek legal help to ensure you do not overlook anything.