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Things to know about mediating a military divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2023 | Military Divorce |

If you’re a Washington U.S. military servicemember who wishes to end your marriage, you’ll want to research state laws, as well as determine what type of support the military has to offer. For instance, if you have children, then your military Family Care Plan (FCP) will have significant relevance in your case, especially regarding child custody issues if you deploy overseas. You might want to consider outside support, as well, especially if mediating your divorce is an option you’d like to consider.

In some ways, a military divorce is no different than a civil divorce. This includes the three primary options that are typically available to achieve a settlement agreement. These options include litigation, arbitration and mediation. Regarding the latter, there are several things to keep in mind.

Mediation is the least expensive option for divorce

Regardless of your rank or income level in the military, it’s logical to assume that you’d like to achieve a settlement in the most economically feasible way possible. One of the greatest benefits of mediation in a divorce is that it typically costs a lot less than arbitration or going to court. It also usually takes less time, which makes it preferable for military servicemembers with complex or busy duty schedules.

This is a collaborative type of divorce

If you choose to mediate your divorce, you’re agreeing to engage in peaceful discussion sessions with your spouse to resolve issues, such as child custody, property division, spousal support and child support, as well as matters that pertain to military service, such as the FCP. It is a collaborative effort, meaning you and your former partner agree to work together in a non-confrontational manner to achieve a fair agreement.

The mediator cannot force a resolution against your wishes

One of the differences between mediation versus arbitration or litigation in a divorce is that a mediator cannot force you to accept a resolution of issues – you have to agree to it. In mediation, you can stop the mediation at any time as long as you have tried to mediate in good faith. You and your spouse must voluntarily accept the terms of any agreement.

Do you want to keep your divorce private?

Another thing to keep in mind regarding mediation versus other options available for divorce in Washington is that mediation occurs in a private setting. All litigation issues, on the other hand, occur in a courtroom, which is a public setting. Privacy can be especially important in complex divorce cases.

Local support is always available to Washington military servicemembers for mediation in a divorce. A servicemember’s installation officials can help a servicemember build a support network using both military and civilian resources.