Deciding to get divorced when you and/or your spouse are in the military adds a layer of complexity to the termination of the marriage. Although in a legal sense, military individuals going through a divorce are no different than anyone else, the procedural divorce process for a military divorce remains the same. However, there are some additional factors that need to be considered. For example, if one of the spouses is on active duty or has a permanent station overseas, this could complicate a military divorce. There are certain states that enable active duty service personnel to have relaxed residency requirements if they intend to file for divorce in the state in which they are currently stationed.
One of the most important tips for military divorce, given the common complexity associated with military divorce, is understanding your rights and responsibilities. It is strongly suggested for anyone thinking about legally ending their marriage when at least one servicemember is involved.
Military couples should always be aware of the implications of the Uniform Services Former Spouses Protection Act. This is a federal statute, allowing military individuals to have state statutes applied to pertinent issues in a military divorce; like spousal support, child support or military pension and pay. Direct retirement payments may be made through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
Not everyone will be eligible to receive benefits from a military retirement fund, and the discovery of this can be shocking for a spouse who is ineligible. The couple must have been married for ten years that overlap with a minimum of ten years of the service member’s time in the military. There are various methods for determining the marital share for an active duty member with regards to a pension. These include; reserve jurisdiction, differed distribution, and net present value. You should speak to a financial professional to understand these more clearly. Having an outside professional to assist you with the many implications of retirement plan division could make a difference in the outcome and help you arrive at a method fair to you.
Because of the process of divorce in the military, many people do not fully understand the complex rules surrounding military pension accounts. Particularly if you may not be entitled to this, it’s important to realize that this should be factored into the division of property. Other issues in your military divorce may become more important if you are unable to receive benefits through a former spouse’s pension.
Military service members have legal protection from divorce proceedings under the Federal Service Members Civil Relief Act. This allows the service members to devote their entire energy to their job at the time such that a court could delay legal proceedings for the time that a service member is on active duty. State laws govern the division of the majority of marital liabilities and assets outside of retirement benefits. All military members are responsible for supporting their children as well as their spouses in the event that spousal support or child support is ordered. A service member’s wages may be garnished in order to ensure that those individuals are paid.