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What makes a military divorce different than a typical divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Divorce

In any divorce case, there are things that couples need to consider, such as child custody, division of assets and the like. This is going to be true for a military divorce and for a divorce between two civilians.

However, a military divorce can be different in some important ways. These are a few things to keep in mind if you’re going to be navigating a military divorce anytime soon.

Housing on a military base

For instance, some people live at a military installation, and they have family housing. If they get divorced, they typically lose access to that benefit within 30 days. A service member may have to live in non-married housing and their former spouse would have to leave the base and find new accommodations. Additionally, some people are living overseas on military bases. In some cases, the military may help with the moving expenses if that person has to leave the base. This helps to make it so that divorce isn’t financially prohibitive.

Changes to healthcare

Additionally, military members have access to TRICARE benefits. If someone gets divorced from a servicemember and they are not also enlisted, they will lose those benefits. That being said, there are ways to buy temporary health benefits for the next 36 months, and eligible children may still qualify. TRICARE can last until children are 21 or 23 years old if they go to college.

Addressing the paperwork

Finally, there are some paperwork steps that will need to be taken during a military divorce that aren’t needed for civilian divorces. For instance, a military member may have to send a court order to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. This is done when handling alimony or support payments. These financial payments can also be ordered in a civilian divorce, of course, but the process is different.

These are just a few things to keep in mind when getting divorced from a military servicemember. Those who are going through this process must be aware of all of the steps they need to take and their legal rights, especially if they have children or if things like housing and the division of assets is bound to be complicated. Seeking legal guidance from a professional who handles military divorces can be helpful in this regard.