Ask any service member in Washington about their marriage and they will more than likely tell you that it’s a constant balancing act. Juggling family, friends, and a sense of duty to your country can be full-time jobs of their own. Throw in numerous deployments and long workdays and many will tell you that you have a recipe for disaster.
In the end, sometimes these constant stresses can wreak havoc on a marriage, forcing it to its breaking point. But when considering military divorce, there are a few things couples need to consider in order to make sure everyone is getting what they deserve in the breakup.
The first thing a couple will want to consider is when they got married and how long military service was a part of that marriage. That’s because, under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, retirement benefits are treated as property in a divorce. That means that although only one spouse may have been in military service, the other may be entitled to part of those retirement benefits. Naturally, the couple will want to find out how length of service will play into their own divorce.
Another thing to consider is your assets on a whole. Is one spouse making more money than the other? If you’re a stay-at-home parent, will you need additional assets during the divorce to help you reenter the workforce? If the couple has kids, do child support payments need to be considered? As many of our readers can imagine, this process can be the most contentious and is often made more difficult when emotions run high.
It’s in situations such as this that people would be well advised to seek legal counsel. While you may have hopes that your spouse will be fair during a divorce settlement, this may not always be the case. Having a skilled lawyer at your side can help ease stresses associated with divorce settlements and ensure that your rights are protected, especially in child custody cases as well.
Source: Military.com, “I Was Cheated on my Divorce Settlement,” Ask Ms. Vicki column