Deciding to divorce is never easy. However, when one or both spouses are in the military, the matter is even more complicated. It’s important to know what to expect when getting a military divorce and preparing for the challenges ahead. Here’s what no one tells you about military divorces.
Custody Is One of the Biggest Issues
Arguably the largest and most complex issue of a military divorce is child custody if the couple shares children together. If one parent is in the military and gets deployed often, custody could be awarded to the civilian parent to ensure the children have a stable home life. However, this can be difficult for the military parent, who may very well be an equally or more ideal parent. If both parents are in the military, determining custody is even more difficult.
Prepare to Divide the Pension
Another contentious issue of military divorces is how to divide the pension. Military spouses may argue against dividing the pension at all, while the other spouse may be eager. In most cases, the pension is divided in some way because civilian spouses are often unemployed or underemployed during the marriage. Prepare to divide the pension and understand that you might compromise to come to a fair agreement.
Courts often award civilian spouses with spousal support after a military divorce due to the unemployment/underemployment issue. Many civilian spouses find that they need to seek additional job training or higher education to be self-sustaining. This can be difficult for spouses who kept the home during the military spouse’s deployment.
When to Contact an Attorney
Military divorces can be complex. There are many issues that couples aren’t prepared for when they begin moving through the process of dissolving their marriage. If you think about divorcing, consider consulting with an attorney to learn more about your rights and best interests. If you know you’ll be divorcing, forming a relationship with an attorney who understands military law is important.
Contact Tampa family & divorce lawyer Mindi Lasley today to schedule a consultation to discuss your unique case and what your next move should be. Call now at (813) 873-9047.