Considering Walking the Road of a Military Divorce?
When you enter into the military community by marrying a service member, your life changes. You get the opportunity to spend a lot of time serving with and for others and your heart can get wrapped up in being a military spouse. In many ways, the military becomes like a new extended family! But if you find yourself contemplating a military divorce, you must realize up front that you may be packing up for a long road ahead.
It’s A Difficult Journey
Military relationships carry an entirely different set of challenges as compared to other relationships. From deployments to housing; benefits to allowances; managing children while stationed elsewhere; it all can be incredibly difficult.
However, if in the face of a looming military divorce, both parties will choose to be willing to work on the marriage (and there is not an abusive situation in the mix), you may just find that with some honest communication, adjustment of expectations and extra effort, you can rekindle the flames of your marriage once again.
Remember, a military divorce is not an easy road.
If it is one that you have determined to walk, though, it is imperative that you have the right attorney who can walk alongside you. With all of the moving parts and pieces that accompany a military divorce, emotions are likely to run extra high. A voice of reason and balance can help ensure that your rights are represented and protected, and that you are kept aware of any benefits that may still be available to you after your military divorce.
For example, as the custodial parent of minor children, you can often receive a special access card (as a replacement to an ID card) for installation services such as the commissary, healthcare coverage and a number of MWR services. Access to resources like this, military pensions and retirement benefits, not to mention the complexities of child custody and visitation in a military divorce, are only a few of the reasons why it’s important that you have a divorce lawyer who is familiar with the unique ins and outs of military law and policy.
Don’t Travel It Alone
Overall, the military views divorce as a private civil matter. The military authorities only typically become involved when matters that fall under law or military regulation come into play, such as pay, benefits, property, et cetera. Although military personnel and family members have access to free legal services provided by the legal office, the JAG can only give general advice when it comes to divorce and/or separation. They are unable to prepare or file divorce-related documents, provide court representation, or assist with any kind of child support situations.
This means that it is up to you to secure proper legal representation through a personal attorney who is knowledgeable regarding your state’s and your branch’s military-related family law. There is a differentiation between a civilian divorce and a military divorce. For this reason, you will want to ensure that the attorney you choose is experienced in topics such as Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SSCRA), the Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA), and other applicable provisions.
Important First Steps
As you consider your next steps on your relationship journey, don’t feel that you’re all alone. You can have an experienced guide and caring confidant for the road ahead. Connect with the Alabama Law Group today to schedule a consultation. Let us help you find your way over the rough terrain ahead.