Insights Into How Our Legal System Works

Insights Into How Our Legal System Works

How Military Enlistment Can Affect Your Divorce

by Yolanda Lane

If you are having marital troubles with an active military member and you would like to file for divorce, you might find it difficult to do so. There are protections in place to ensure that military members are not held in default if they do not respond to a divorce action. A military divorce can be more complex and you should consult with a family lawyer when divorcing your partner.

How Long Will My Divorce Be Delayed?

The divorce can be delayed for the entire time that the military member is on active duty and up to 60 days afterward. However, a military member can choose to waive this right and proceed with the divorce. Therefore, you will want to speak with your attorney about how any delay in your divorce will affect you.

Your Benefits as a Military Spouse

When you are dividing your assets, this will be handled almost the same way civilians would. Your military pension will be divided in half, but only if you were married for 10 years while the spouse was an active duty member. For example, if you married after your spouse was discharged, you would not be entitled to the pension. If this is the case, you will receive payments directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

There are various other benefits you will continue to be entitled to depending on how long you have been married. For example, if you have been married for 20 years, you might be entitled to Exchange privileges, medical benefits, and Commissary access. Therefore, you might want to delay your divorce until you are certain that you will receive all of your benefits.

Why You Need an Attorney

The potential benefits for a military divorce are extensive and you will need to calculate the loss of these benefits when determining what your settlement will be. Therefore, it is a good idea to contact family law services that have experience handling military divorces. 

Jurisdictional Issues

Because military families will often move around a lot, you may need to speak with an attorney about whether you would need to hire an attorney with experience in a different jurisdiction. Oftentimes, jurisdiction is based on both where you live and how long you have lived there. However, exceptions are sometimes made for military families which allow for a divorce to be filed in the jurisdiction in which you currently reside.


About Me

Insights Into How Our Legal System Works

Hello, I'm Christina Miller. Have you ever been fascinated with why the law works the way it does? Ever since I was in junior high, I had an intense interest in anything related to our legal system, whether it be a crime drama on television, a judge show or a legal case covered on the news. I followed it all. As time progressed, I began learning about how the actual legal system worked and not just the fictionalized version of our legal system. This has lead me to start writing my own blog posts about law that I hope will help others.