It is often challenging and difficult to balance family life and military service. U.S. military service members in Washington and beyond are not alone in the sacrifices they make because their spouses and children play key roles toward their successful service as well. Military divorce often occurs when a particular marriage is unable to withstand the strain and pressure deployment and active service place on a personal relationship.
The general figure that gets tossed around in Washington is that about half of all marriages in America fail. All marriages have their share of ups and downs, but it appears that people from some professions have higher divorce rates than others.
When Washington military couples decide to get a divorce, they may think it does not matter where they file. However, when it comes to filing for divorce, military families usually have more options than civilian families, and people may want to consider all of their options before they choose to file in a certain location.
Your marriage to a service member in Federal Way likely places you in the position of needing to make certain sacrifices in order to accommodate their service. Among those sacrifices may be your career pursuits in order to dedicate yourself to running your family while your spouse fulfills their military obligations. Consequently, you become dependent on the benefits made available through your spouse's service. Among those benefits may be the assurance that if your spouse dies during the course of their service, you will be paid survivor benefits to compensate for the loss of their support.
Military service members and veterans in Washington and the rest of the United States are required to pay child support for their custodial and non-custodial children. The federal regulations pertaining to child support enhance state-level laws by ensuring that military members comply with payment.
Divorcing and figuring out child custody agreements are seldom simple processes, but they may be even more complex if you or your spouse is a military service member. In divorce cases involving military service, you may need to figure out exactly how Washington's child custody laws address situations such as overseas deployments. At the Clement Law Center, we understand how military service influences child custody terms, and we have helped many parents come to satisfactory agreements.
Military couples in Washington might be less likely to divorce than in previous years. Divorce in the military has been on a slow decline in the last decade, and a 3% divorce rate in 2018 represented a 0.1% drop from the previous year. The rate is calculated over fiscal years by comparing how many divorces are reported by the end of the year to how many people are married at the start. However, it cannot be accurately compared to the national divorce rate because the two are calculated so differently. In 2016, the national divorce rate was 3.2%.
You being the spouse of a service member in Federal Way grants you access to several exclusive benefits (chief among them being healthcare coverage through TRICARE, the military's health insurance program). If you choose to divorce, your dependence on the benefits you receive due to your now-former spouse's service could leave you facing a very uncertain future. Many have come to us here at the Clement Law Center questioning how they may be able to replace their TRICARE coverage. If you share the same concern, you will be happy to know that you may continue to be covered even after your divorce.
You will probably still get your basic allowance for housing after a divorce, but there are many factors that could affect it. You, like most service members, probably depend on these funds. If you anticipate some difficulty in keeping current with your housing payments in the competitive Washington real estate market, especially if you live around King County, it could benefit you to do some investigation into how your specific situation might affect the future status of your BAH.
Divorce can be incredibly tough for many couples and this is especially true for military families. Moreover, the emotional toll of bringing an end to a marriage can be even more difficult for those who have kids. It is also important to be aware of the different ways that divorce can impact children as well, and if you have kids you should try to think about their perspective. For children, this can be an upsetting time and you should try to reassure them that they will continue to be loved and provide them with answers to their questions.