If you or your spouse is in the military and you are facing divorce, keep in mind the process can be complex. Whether you are the active military participant or the spouse of someone enlisted in the military, the following information will be helpful to you:
When you are in the military, you know the difficulties that can come with parenting with the regular deployments and relocations. When you divorce, you now have to factor your location into the custody negotiations.
If you and your spouse both serve in the military, logistical issues can come up when you divide your child custody arrangements. If you are both deployed simultaneously, you need to determine who will be guardians for your children, and whether or not those guardians will have to exchange the children from time to time.
Another important part of divorce is child support. You both need to discuss and communicate your needs during child support negotiations. Keep in mind the child support arrangements can change throughout the course of your co-parenting.
If you are deploying to another country, you may have to send more child support to make up for the time you will not be physically with your children, supporting their needs while in your custody. However, when you return home, you can request a modification to your child support order to reflect your new situation.
If you are the recipient of the child support and you have to deploy, you will have to modify that the other parent then receives the child support, meaning you will now have to pay. Be sure to make these modification requests as soon as possible before a deployment.
Division of Property
A difference in military divorce is how the property is divided. Anyone who served or retired from the military will receive federal payments of pension, support payments, and the like. If you are the spouse of the military member, you will no longer have the benefits of a military spouse.
If you are married to a civilian, the civilian will still receive your retiree benefits if you were married for a long, specified amount of time. This means you spouse has a right to part of your retirement in the divorce.
A military divorce is a major undertaking, so it is crucial that you work with a divorce mediation attorney who has experience in this area. Make sure you have all military documentation when you meet with your attorney for the first time.