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3 unique challenges military couples face during divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2023 | Military Divorce

In the complex and often emotionally charged world of divorce, military couples face unique challenges that set them apart from their civilian counterparts.

The intricacies of military life, including deployments, frequent relocations and specific legal regulations, add layers of complexity to an already difficult process. Exploring these unique challenges can help prepare military couples for the challenges that are likely ahead when divorce is imminent.

Child custody and relocation

Divorce is challenging for any family, but military families face an added layer of complexity when it comes to child custody and relocation. Frequent moves due to military assignments can disrupt the lives of children, affecting their stability and relationships with both parents. While servicemembers cannot be penalized during custody considerations as a result of their location-related situation, it can impact how a parenting time plan is constructed for obvious reasons.

Benefits and pension division

Military service often comes with a range of benefits, including healthcare, housing allowances and retirement pensions. When a military marriage ends in divorce, these benefits must be carefully evaluated and divided equitably between spouses. Understanding the intricacies of military benefits is crucial to helping ensure a fair settlement.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) is a federal law that governs the division of military retirement benefits in divorce cases. It allows state courts to treat military retirement pay as marital property, subject to division between spouses.

Support systems and resources

Divorce can be emotionally taxing, and military couples may find it to be particularly challenging to access the support systems available to them due to frequent moves. Maintaining connections with friends and family members can be difficult, making it crucial to seek out counseling and support groups provided by the military community.

Military couples facing divorce encounter a distinctive set of challenges that require careful consideration to navigate successfully. With the proper legal and emotional support, military couples can overcome these obstacles and achieve fair and equitable resolutions.