5 Things You Need to Know About Military Divorces

Posted on : October 2, 2014

Military divorces differ in many ways to civilian divorces.

If you are a service member or are married to one, it is critical that you understand these differences before you file for a dissolution of marriage.

1. You May No Longer Be Eligible For Military Housing

If you are married to a service member and are filing for divorce, chances are good that once the divorce is final, you will be required to relocate to civilian housing. Be sure to put funds back for housing and have a plan as to where you will live before you formally file for divorce.

2. If the Service Member Served In Combat, Income May Be Excluded

When calculating income for property division, alimony, or child support, a portion of the service member’s income may be excluded from these calculations if he or she served in combat. Whether you are the service member or you are the spouse of a service member, this can significantly impact life after a divorce. Discuss with your Texas military divorce attorney how serving in combat can effect the outcome of your divorce.

3. Military Pensions May Be Divided Differently

While civilian pensions are subject to QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Orders) in a divorce, military pensions fall under a different category and are therefore subject to alternative regulations. As a result, the pension may be divided in a different way than you expect, which could positively or negatively impact your situation.

4. Divorcing a Service Member Before 20 Years of Service Can Have a Negative Outcome

If you are the spouse of a service member who has not yet attained 20 years of qualifying service, it may be in your best interest to wait to file for a formal dissolution of marriage. Your spouse must have 20 years of service to qualify for retirement pay, a portion of which you may be entitled to if you are married to your spouse when they reach the 20 year mark. It is important to weigh the benefits of divorcing before this milestone is reached against the potential drawbacks and how military-specific divorce issues are going to affect you if you proceed.

5. You’ll Need to File In the Right Place

If your military family moves frequently, it can be difficult to know for sure where you need to file for divorce. You may have a number of options available to you, including the county in which you live, the county in which the service member is stationed, or the county that the service member has listed as his or her permanent residence. Ask your Corpus Christi military divorce attorney where the most appropriate place to file is in your case. A military divorce can be much more difficult than a civilian divorce, and requires expert legal representation from an attorney who is well versed in military specific family laws. Contact the Bourlon Law Firm today at (361) 289-6040 to schedule an appointment to discuss your divorce.