Military divorces bring with them special concerns

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Military Divorce on Friday, March 29, 2019.

When members of the military in Missouri consider divorce, there may be particular issues to keep in mind. Some of the most common issues are child custody and support, spousal support and the division of military pensions and other property. Because military families often move frequently or experience long deployments, there may be other special considerations involved when making decisions about child custody. In addition, due to the frequent moves and military lifestyle, the non-military partner is often unemployed or employed in a lower-paying position outside of his or her profession.

These circumstances could make it more likely that a member of the military will need to pay child support and alimony after the divorce or that the non-military spouse will retain primary custody of the children. In a military divorce, members of the armed forces with frequent deployments are likely to receive less custody of the children so long as they remain in a position where deployments are common. It is possible to revisit the existing custody situation once circumstances have changed and deployments are no longer a significant factor.

In addition, military members who retire after 20 years or more in service receive a retirement pension. Under the Uniformed Former Spouses Protection Act of 1982, these military pensions are considered marital property. If a couple remains married for 10 years before divorcing, a former spouse is entitled to 50 percent of the pension. However, the division of a military pension is negotiable between the divorcing spouses.

Military spouses going through a divorce may have questions about how their circumstances will affect the dissolution. A family law attorney with experience in military divorce can work with a client to negotiate a fair settlement on a range of issues, including child custody and property division.

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