How Military Divorces Differ from Civilian Divorces?

My parents got divorced when my father was in the American military. Being in the military when divorcing makes things more complicated, especially if there is any deployment involved. Here's some info from a reader on how these types of divorces differ from civilian ones.

Marriage is not always easy. The deployments and other difficulties that military families face can make a marriage with one or both spouses even more difficult. Military divorce rates are slightly higher than those in the general population, so it's not surprising that they're higher (though not as high as many people imagine).

Whatever your military status, there are some things you should know about military divorce if you're going through the process. While state law governs divorce, there are some federal laws in place that will affect your divorce process.

For obvious reasons, deployed service members may not be able to file divorce papers or appear in court on a scheduled date. These men and women would be subject to family court punishment for their military service if they were not protected by special laws. Here are five things you need to know about military divorce and how it differs from a civilian divorce.

Obtaining the Location of a Member of the Armed Forces

When filing for divorce in California, for example, you must have been a permanent resident of the state for at least six months before you can begin the process. It doesn't matter if you live in another country; your case can still be handled in California.

Providing divorce paperwork to military personnel

It was always a question of whether the service member's wife or husband should be the petitioner. You must be the one to serve your spouse with the paperwork after filing the divorce petition, and you must know where your spouse is stationed in the military to be able to do so. That is indeed how military divorces work.

This could be easier for you if you have chosen to work through mediation, also known as collaborative divorce, as you are not required to serve your spouse in an actual setting. Email is a convenient way to reach them.

Custody determination

When it comes to custody, it is always in the best interest of the child that the decision is made. You also need to take into account the location of the residence and how accessible it is to both parties. The service member may have primary custody of the child or children in some cases. The location of the other parent's military service, as well as the length of time they may be away, must be taken into consideration when making plans.

Consideration of Subdivision of Property

The military pension would have to be taken into account. After the divorce is finalized, how this will be split between the parties and whether the spouse is eligible for medical coverage in the commissary or case-by-case privileges. The protection of the soldiers and sailors can also be used by the service member if they are still in an active duty status. There is always a need for a service member to receive counseling.

In military divorces, there is a distinct difference in the level of support provided to the spouses. Having an attorney who can explain the process and calculate child and spousal expenses or support based on the pay the service member is receiving is the best way to go. Regardless of where they are stationed, both parties are always encouraged to pursue a collaborative divorce.

After a divorce, the spouse of a military member may still be entitled to military benefits. Signatures from the JAG office would also be required, despite the fact that they are prohibited from providing legal advice on divorces. It is essential to have a lawyer who can help you understand and protect your legal rights.

When filing and processing divorce papers, it is important to consult a lawyer because the rules vary from state to state.


When it comes to military divorce, there are a slew of state and federal laws that must be navigated, so it's best to work with an experienced military divorce lawyer who is well-versed in both civilian and military divorce procedures.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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