Serving in the military is no small feat. It is stressful, dangerous and exhausting. Members of the military often experience incredible emotional trauma, not to mention the strain of being away from friends and family for lengthy periods of time.
Considering all that service members and their families go through, it is, unfortunately, not uncommon for their marriages to end in divorce. And while every relationship and every situation is unique, there are some universal challenges that divorcing couples can expect if one or both people are in the military.
- Figuring out where you can file for divorce: Jurisdiction is often a complicated issue, as a person may legally reside in one state but be stationed in another; a spouse could be living in a third state. The state in which you file can have a considerable impact on elements of a divorce that comply with laws that vary from state to state.
- Identifying assets for distribution: In addition to assets that are eligible for distribution in any divorce – including marital homes, cars, and savings accounts – service members also have military-specific assets including healthcare benefits, retirement plans and pensions that may be eligible for distribution.
- Finding a fair custody plan: Deployments and relocation can have a significant impact on child custody plans, and parents in the military may rely on unique or creative solutions for protecting their parenting time and rights.
These are just some of the legal challenges facing military couples who are ready to divorce. Military members and their soon-to-be exes also often deal with emotional, financial and social elements that make divorce such a stressful and painful process.
Military marriages are complicated, and unfortunately, military divorces are also complicated. In order to get through this difficult situation more easily, it can be wise to work with an attorney familiar with the nuances and challenges of a military divorce.