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3 things to know about a military divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | Military Divorce |

Many Washington households include at least one service member. In some cases, both spouses are currently serving. When there are children in such households and a divorce occurs, issues may arise that are not relevant to a civilian couple. For example, a civilian couple does not have to worry about a potential military deployment.

If you are preparing to navigate a divorce and are either a service member or spouse of a service member, it’s a good idea to review state laws, as well as any military regulations that are applicable. It’s also important to determine fact from fiction because there are numerous myths in circulation that promote misinformation. For example, many people believe a military parent cannot be a custodial parent in a divorce, which is not true.

Child custody in a military divorce

The idea that a military service member cannot have full custody of a child after divorce is false. In fact, the military offers resources to its service members that can help divorced parents ensure provisions for their children, especially if a deployment occurs. One such source is known as a military Family Care Plan (FCP). If you’re a military parent, you’ll want to make sure you have executed an FCP that contains instructions regarding custody and care of your children if the military calls you away on active duty.

Your FCP can include designated custodians who will stay with your children and act in your stead while you’re deployed overseas. This may or may not be your former spouse. It could also be a trusted friend or extended family member.

If your ex is a military service member, you might still qualify for a military ID

If you meet certain requirements and bring specified documents to the pass office at a military installation near you, you may be able to acquire a new ID card after your divorce. This ID gives you access to various military services and programs. If you have not remarried within a year after your divorce, you might also still qualify for the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP).

The military requires its members to provide adequate support to their families

Child support is another priority issue for Washington military service members who divorce. If you’re the former spouse of a military service member, and a child support order has not yet been issued by the court, the family support guidelines of your ex’s branch of service may help you ensure financial provisions for your children in the meantime.

Navigating a divorce as a military service member or former spouse of a service member can be challenging. A concerned parent can tap into resources both on and off base to make the process run as smoothly as possible.