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Are military divorces handled differently than civilian divorces?

If you or your spouse are in the military and you are facing a divorce, you may wonder if your divorce will be handled differently than a civilian one. The answer is yes, certain items are handled differently such as where to file the divorce, and how visitation rights, pension and child support are decided.

One differing factor is where you should file for divorce. You have one of two choices?either file the divorce in the state that you both agree on or file where the military spouse resides. Another challenging aspect of divorce, whether a military one or not, is the decision of child custody. It can become a complicated matter if the military spouse is faced with lengthy deployments; it is recommended that a contingency plan be in place. If there is joint custody and the military parent is deployed, the civilian parent cares for the child. However, if the military parent has sole custody and is deployed, there is consideration by the state for temporary change of custody to the civilian parent or even to extended family members such as grandparents, aunts or uncles.

The military also handles child support differently. Military parents are required to adhere to monetary support just like civilians. However, consequences for not complying with child support can be severe for the military parent, including being removed from military duty. In addition, support may be modified due to deployments.

Pension allotment can also be handled uniquely in a military divorce. The military is an employer that provides health and life insurance as well as retirement benefits. The consideration of how these benefits are divided depends on the state where the divorce is taking place.

If you are dealing with a military divorce, it is important to know your rights as well as how the military handles the divorce process.

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