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How military divorce differs from civilian divorces

If you are a military spouse facing a divorce, you should know how your particular situation differs from a regular civilian divorce. The fact you are in the military or are a military spouse means there are special factors you face when going through the divorce process.

Understanding the circumstances particular to a military divorce is one of the critical first steps you should take when considering a military divorce, or if you find yourself already facing one. Once you know how to face these differences, you will be better equipped to make effective decisions for your post-divorce future.

Military benefits in a divorce

If you are a spouse facing divorce from a service member, one thing you should be aware of is a federal law known as the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act. This law governs how former spouses of service members receive certain benefits. It gives the courts the ability to divide disposable military retired pay in a divorce. This is important because as a former spouse, you may receive a portion of your former spouse's military retired pay. Although the law does not require this, it protects the rights of those entitled. You may also have access to other military benefits after the divorce, such as healthcare or military exchanges and commissaries.

Custody matters in a military divorce

Custody can be a particularly challenging issue in a military divorce, especially when it comes to deployments and transfers. This makes relocation provisions in a military divorce vital. You should seek out a family law attorney who has experience working with couples where one or both spouses are military members. Time-sharing schedules and joint custody arrangements require an extra dose of creativity when it comes to military members who divorce.

Once you know about the specifics governing military divorces, you can make the best choices for your future as well as the future of your children. A military divorce differs in several ways from a typical civilian divorce, so it makes sense to seek out professional assistance with experience in these cases.

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