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Military couples should understand the military divorce process

Though there may be similarities between military divorces and non-military divorces, certain rules and requirements apply to military divorces so it is important to be familiar with those rules and requirements and the military divorce process. In addition to jurisdiction, filing and service concerns that may be unique to a military divorce, there are additional important concerns that may be unique concerns military couples face when divorcing related to property division, child custody, child support and spousal support.

Military pensions, not completely unlike retirement accounts civilian couples may have, can be subject to division upon divorce. State laws can have an impact on the division of a military pension so it is important to have an understanding of the laws that will govern the divorce. It is also helpful to keep in

mind that the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) makes payments directly to the former spouse when there was at least 10 years of marriage that overlapped with 10 years of military service. Courts, however, may still order payment for marriages shorter than 10 years and payment will be made directly by the military spouse.

In addition, there are special rules associated with military divorces related to spousal support and child support. Child support and spousal support obligations can be enforced through a court order, garnishment or voluntary or involuntary allotment. Child custody and visitation issues can also be complicated in circumstances of a military divorce so it is important to be prepared for the challenges divorcing military spouses may face.

Because a variety of complexities can be associated with a military divorce, it is helpful for divorcing military spouses to be knowledgeable concerning the divorce process. It is also useful for them to be familiar with the available family law resources to help guide them through the divorce process.

Source:, "Military Divorce," Accessed Feb. 1, 2017

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