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How are military divorces different?

by | Jun 29, 2021 | Military Divorce

“Military divorces” are divorces between couples where one or perhaps both individuals are active members of the military. Military personnel have extreme demands on their time and presence, which often require them to move to remote areas or deploy in dangerous situations. This creates unique challenges when it comes to how divorce and child custody are handled.

Child custody

Serving overseas as a member of the Army, Air Force, National Guard or Navy should not count against a person as a parent. While they may have demands on their time, their ability to maintain joint custody or primary custody of a child should not be overlooked. However, as a practical matter, the military may call away soldiers overseas for duty, which the court will undoubtedly consider.

Child and spousal support

Child support often goes hand-in-hand with any conversation regarding child custody. However, the financial support of a child or a spouse is impacted far less by a service member’s deployment.

Many active duty service members receive several benefits that supplement a lower salary though. This can make discussions of support and appropriate levels more complicated to calculate.

Property division

As Washington is a state with community property laws, all assets acquired in a marriage are distributed equally between the two former spouses. The home is often a large part of the asset division process.

This may not necessarily be the case with an active duty service member, however, as housing is often a central component of a service member’s compensation package.

It’s less about the differences than the similarities

If there is one key takeaway from comparing a military divorce with a divorce between two civilians, it is that both processes are more similar than different. Complications inevitably arise during any type of divorce, but an experienced attorney can help.


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