While divorces are never easy, it can be helpful to know what military spouse benefits are available in a military divorce. The procedure is similar to a non-military divorce, but there are some factors that can affect your divorce. For example, if the spouse is on active duty overseas or in a remote area, it can lengthen the process of the divorce. Here are a few benefits and rights in a military divorce.
Military Legal Assistance
Free military legal assistance could be available for matters of divorce or family law cases. Some of the services provided are mediation, separate legal attorneys for the service member and the spouse, and advice on legal issues involving divorce.
Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act
This is a federal law that provides a former military spouse certain benefits. A former military spouse that remains unmarried may receive certain military privileges under the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program if he/she meets these requirements:
- The former spouse was married to the service member for at least 20 years prior to the divorce.
- The service member has been in service at least 20 years and has earned eligibility for a pension.
- The former spouse was married to the service member during at least 20 years of the service member’s eligible service.
Other Things to Note
- During a military divorce, the spouse may keep their military identification card and continue to receive benefits until the divorce is final.
- The family will lose installation housing within 30 days of the service member moving out.
- If you are stationed overseas, filing for divorce may be more complicated than if filed within the United States. A United States court may not recognize a divorce filed overseas, so it is best to file in the United States or talk to an attorney.
Military divorces can be complicated by several factors. Speak with an attorney to ensure you receive the benefits and services available to you as a military spouse.
Call the skilled lawyers at Bineham and Gillen for assistance in your divorce and more information related to your specific circumstances.