Unique Factors that Influence Military Divorces
Divorce poses unique considerations for the 1.1 million active duty American soldiers and their families. When a military couple decides to divorce, certain factors come into play that civilian couples may not have to think about. In fact, numerous aspects of a military couple’s divorce may be influenced by the spouse’s military service.
Child support and spousal support
When it comes to child and spousal support, soldiers are responsible for supporting their children and former spouses in accordance with their divorce settlement. However, unlike civilians, service members may face strict consequences from the Department of Defense for violating any spousal support, child support, custody or visitation agreements. When these orders are breached, the active duty member could face serious disciplinary action or even, in severe cases, be discharged from the military.
Custody challenges for military personnel
If one or both members of a divorcing couple are in the military, child custody can be complicated. With frequent moves and deployments, the Department of Defense typically mandates that all divorcing military couples implement a parenting plan with contingencies in place.
Parenting plans are created during the course of your divorce proceedings and act as a formalized contract, outlining how each parent will behave in the case of deployment and/or relocation. These contracts can be very detailed and may even require the oversight and approval of a commanding officer.
Division of benefits
Benefits provided by the U.S. military, such as healthcare or retirement funds, may be divided as part of your divorce proceedings. In certain situations, a civilian spouse may have the option of taking a portion of the benefits when the soldier retires or receiving one lump sum upfront. Spouses of service members may also be able to extend TRICARE health coverage if their employer does not offer health insurance, they have not remarried and if they were married to the service member for 20 or more years of the soldier’s service.
If you would like additional information on ending your military marriage, speak with an experienced Long Island divorce attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates today.