Normally, a divorce is the same process regardless of if you are in the military or not. However, in some circumstances, a divorce can be much more challenging. Regardless, you are better off hiring a military divorce lawyer for various reasons.
Service Members in Active Duty
If one partner is in active duty in a remote area, the divorce process might be more difficult. You may have to wait longer to finalize the divorce if your partner is active duty in a remote area.
There are extra legal protections that service members receive so they can devote their energy fully to the defense of their country. For example, service members are protected from civil litigation and from divorce proceedings. If you are a spouse of an enlisted soldier, you may have been required to travel with your partner. If you have not built up a support network, you might find it more difficult to stay in the area you're in and may wish to move back with your family.
The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act
The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act allows state courts to distribute funds from the service member to the partner. This can be used to pay alimony and child support. State law is the grounds upon which decisions are made regarding how property is distributed, how visitation is handled and how child support is sent. Military pay can also be treated as property rather than being treated as income. The property can either be treated as property solely for the service member or can be treated as property for both the service member and his or her spouse.
Free Services Available
You may find it difficult to handle all of these legal issues throughout your divorce, but there are fortunately many free legal services that are available to military spouses. Military couples have free access to mediation, advice on legal issues and separate legal assistance attorneys for service members and their spouses.
Benefits Still Available
Former military spouses will still have access to many benefits. For example, the spouse will receive full medical, exchange and commissary privileges if you have been married for at least 20 years. However, if you remarry, you will lose these benefits. There must also be a 20-year overlap between the marriage and the military service for the spouse to qualify. But with the right legal assistance, you can have the best outcome through your divorce.
To learn more about your options, contact local military divorce lawyers such as Karen Robins Carnegie PLC.