Military divorces are usually handled in family law courts, but issues
that are faced regarding military pensions, child custody, and deployments
are additional challenges in the divorce process.
Custody Challenges for Military Families
For active duty military members, the biggest hurdle can do with child
custody. Long deployments can make it hard to get joint or shared custody
due to long, required absences from the children. It can be difficult
to show that custody would be in the best interest of the child when being
absent from the child's life occurs as a result of the job.
Further, as the military may move one parent to different ends of the country,
or even world, the issues of custody become even more complicated. For
children that have to travel long distances to spend time with their parent,
issues of travel time and travel expenses factor into custody decisions.
In 2012, a model act was proposed that would help military parents seeking
custody from having past or potential future deployments affect their
chances at child custody. Called the Deployed Parents Custody and Visitations
Act, it can further make custody hearings quicker for military members
and help them from losing permanent custody without their consent while
they are deployed.
Other Unique Challenges for Military Couples
Military pensions. Military pensions are considered marital property. Spouses that have given
up employment or educational opportunities because of their military spouse
are generally given a portion of the pension. Tensions can arise over
former spouses on the pension division since federal law and state law
can differ on the amount of the pension owed to an ex-spouse. This is
further complicated by the different stipulations over what a divorced
spouse is owed.
Ability to get divorced. For families that are temporarily residing in a place as a result of
military service, minimum state divorce requirements may not be met. These
couples may not be able to simply divorce, as the state may require a
length of residence or a period of separation.
Deployment. If one spouse is deployed in the divorce proceedings, divorce hearings
are complicated by scheduling conflicts and identity verification as the
proceedings occur over a long distance.
Military divorces provide a set of challenges that require the help of
an experienced divorce attorney. If you are going through a military divorce,
contact the Meyers Law Firm today!