Divorce Guide

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Getting a Divorce in Military

Getting a divorce in military is different from getting a normal divorce as it is governed by both the state laws and the federal government laws. Itís always better to consult a military divorce attorney than a regular divorce attorney as a military divorce involves different laws and raises complex issues regarding pensions and other benefits. The points that are generally discussed in a military divorce are stated below.

Difference between a Military and a Civil Divorce

Both civil and military divorces are granted by state courts, but there is a key difference between both the divorces. While a divorce cannot be granted by the military, there are certain aspects of a military divorce that are subject to unique rules and regulations, whereas a civil divorce can be granted by a civil court subject to certain rules and regulations.

Division of Property

Unlike in civil divorces, the military pensions are considered as divisible property, rather than income as per the Uniform Service Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA). This is because military pensions could be the largest asset a military member has.

Military Benefits

A spouse is granted all the medical benefits, commissary and Base Exchange privileges based on the length of the marriage and the amount of time the marriage overlapped the service time. A spouse retains full benefits and privileges, if the marriage has lasted for at least 20 years, overlapping with 20 years of the military spouseís service, and those 20 years are creditable for retirement payment. These benefits are revoked if the spouse remarries, but if he/she divorces again then those benefits can be reinstated.

Residency Requirements

A divorce can be filed by the military members and their spouses in the state where the military member is stationed, where the military member legally resides or where the spouse resides.

Military Regulations

While getting a divorce in military, a spouse of retired military personnel is allowed by a Military Court Order (MCO) to receive up to 50% of the disposable income of the retired service man or woman. The disposable money is received by the retired member of the military after deductions are removed from it. The deductions include things such as debts owed to the federal government and National Service Life Insurance premiums.

Retirement pay could consist between 10% and 100% disability pay. The disability should have occurred or have been caused during the duty of the military personnel. It means that the funds to be divided between the military personnel and his/her spouse can be altered even after a divorce has been granted.

Various members are benefited by a variety of benefits paid by the military. These benefits are no longer paid once a divorce is granted. Both the parties come to know this information well in advance, so that each one of them could plan for their life after divorce. If a member is in a dangerous situation such as a war, then he is entitled for a special pay. These special payments are given to the family but after a divorce, the spouse will not be entitled to such payments.

Military divorce cases have a large number of rules and regulations which are unique. Civilians would never encounter these rules in their divorce. The best advice for anyone getting a divorce in military is to seek quality professional advice.

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