When a military member gets divorced, it’s not legally any different than when a civilian goes through a divorce. However, because you’re in the military, there are sometimes additional factors that might affect you.
Here’s an example. If you are in the Navy and are sent away on duty, it may be difficult to file for divorce, especially if you’re in a remote area. It could also be difficult for your spouse to serve you papers if he or she would like a divorce.
How does a military member’s retirement get handled in divorce?
If you and your spouse have been married for at least 10 years and at least one partner has been working in the military for 10 overlapping years, then retirement payments are made to the ex-spouse as well through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Even if your ex does not qualify for the DFAS pay, he or she may still seek a portion of your retirement through the divorce settlement.
Does a spouse qualify for continued base privileges?
It can be hard to leave a life behind, but those who are not married to a military spouse for 20 years do not maintain base privileges after divorce. If your ex was not in the military for at least 20 years and you were not married during 20 years of his or her service, then you would not be able to maintain base privileges as an ex-military spouse.
Since there are special circumstances in military divorces, your attorney can help you understand when they apply. This help makes sure you make good financial decisions now that will impact you in the future in positive ways.
Source: Military.com, “Understanding Divorce in the Military,” accessed March 31, 2017