If you are in the military and want to divorce your spouse, or if you are a spouse of a military member looking to divorce, then you should know that your divorce will be slightly different from a civilian divorce. There are often more complications than with civilian divorces, and you will need to work with those who have an education in military laws and regulations.
Military divorces can be more complex for a few reasons. For example, child support might be more complex in a situation where a typical support order would take up a large portion of a general military salary. There may also be questions about ongoing access to services on a military base or about alimony. With military retirement benefits, those may or may not be a part of the divorce discussion depending on how long you’ve been married and how long the service member has been on active duty.
Divorce is a private, civil matter
For the most part, the military does tend to see divorce as a private matter that can be handled in a civilian court. However, there are specific situations that may arise that will differ from those that would happen in a case involving two civilians. For example, you will need to look into if the unmarried former spouse of a military member would be able to retain their medical coverage or theater privileges. You should also be familiar with the 20/20/20 rule and with how to pursue a divorce if the service member is deployed or outside of the country.
There may also be complex issues to discuss surrounding child care and custody. Military members have the right to see their children like anyone else, and they can win primary custody, too. This is something to discuss if you have a child and are concerned about how they will be supported if one parent is deployed or cannot cover their visitation/custody time.
Military divorces can be more complex, which is why getting the right support is important. A good education in the laws may help you make better decisions about your case.