Military divorces are a special type of divorce that happens when one or both of the partners are active soldiers, though they are the same as civil divorces. But there are some fundamental differences. Some laws are different in both situations; you should know about that, too. You should always seek legal advice, and for the same, you can connect to The Harris Firm, which can guide you through your divorce.
One of the most important differences between military and civilian divorces is jurisdictional issues. Because soldiers often move as a result of deployment or redeployment, determining which state has jurisdiction over the divorce process can be difficult. In a civil divorce, spouses usually file for divorce in the state in which they reside. However, for military spouses, the issue of accommodation can be more complicated due to frequent moves.
Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act also helps address jurisdiction issues by allowing states to assert jurisdiction over military divorces if either spouse meets that state’s requirements for residence, even if the member of the armed forces lives elsewhere.
Additionally, soldiers may have the opportunity to file for divorce in the state of residence where they claim legal residency or where their spouse resides, adding additional complexity to jurisdictional issues.
Military Benefits Distributions
Another critical difference between military and civilian divorces is the distribution of military benefits, including pensions, health care, and housing. In a civil divorce, the property acquired during the marriage is usually divided according to state law on marital property.
However, there are special considerations in military divorces, especially regarding military pensions. USFSPA allows states to treat military pension pay as divisible marital property, meaning former spouses may be entitled to a portion of a military pension based on length of marriage plus military service. Other military benefits, such as health care and housing allowance through TRICARE, may be split or continue to be covered by the non-military spouse, depending on the particular circumstances and the length of the divorce.
Custody And Deployment Issues
Custody and custody issues present unique challenges in military divorces, affecting child custody arrangements and visitation rights.
Military deployments can complicate arrangements for child support, especially if both parents are in the military or if one parent is deployed multiple times. Courts must consider the best interests of the child when accepting parental military service responsibilities. Like civilian divorces, military divorces determine custody arrangements for minor children.
However, the mobility and deployability of military families can further complicate child custody decisions. Service Members Civil Relief Act is a federal law that provides some protection for military personnel involved in civil lawsuits, including divorce. May authorize temporary suspension or modification of custody orders during deployment or other military obligations. Military divorces often require detailed parenting plans on how care and visitation will be handled during deployment or transfer.