Families have different challenges during divorces. Although military divorces represent only a fraction of the total divorces in Alabama every year, they can be some of the most involved and complex divorces that occur.
Many military families feel the pressure of deployment, and doing a dangerous job can sometimes lead to the end of your marriage. If you are a military service member thinking about ending your marriage, there are certain things that you need to understand before you initiate the process.
Divorce can impact your pay and benefits
Many military service members marry younger when compared to their civilian peers. One of the reasons youthful marriages are so common in the military is the connection between having a family and earning a better income.
A divorce can affect the pay that you receive and certain benefits as well. Your spouse may have an ongoing claim to military benefits like Tricare in certain situations, particularly if you have remained married for a long time and pursued a lengthy military career.
You will need to notify your chain of command about the divorce
Divorce can have implications for your military career. Once you separate from your spouse, informing the appropriate parties within your chain of command can help protect you. Changes to the military rules about infidelity mean that you can protect yourself from serious allegations after you separate but before the courts finalize your divorce.
You will likely also need to update your Family Care Plan, which talks about the support for your dependent family members, like your children, during any future deployments. Notifying the right individuals and updating your paperwork is crucial for your protection during a military divorce.
Civilian laws, not military rules, dictate the divorce process
Many people in the military don’t understand how military divorce works. They have heard of things like the 10/10 rule but do not understand what that means for them. They think that this rule means that the military decides what happens to their pension, for example.
However, the 10/10 rule has to do with who distributes pension benefits to a nonmilitary spouse who receives them in a divorce. It has nothing to do with how the couple splits those benefits. Alabama state law or a couple’s marital agreement will determine what happens to your pension and other assets in a military divorce.
Learning more about the unique concerns that arise during military divorces can help you prepare and better protect yourself during your divorce.