What Makes Military Divorce Different?
Divorcing a member of the military is very different from a regular divorce. If you are filing for divorce and your spouse is in the military getting your spouse served with the divorce complaint will be one of the first hurdles. The base where your spouse is stationed cannot accept service on behalf of your spouse. The easiest way to get your spouse served is if he/she will voluntarily accept service or during a time when your spouse is in the states. Serving a spouse overseas is difficult and often expensive. Once your spouse is served, he/she can request a stay of the proceedings, which will be granted if it will materially affect his/her ability to prepare and participate in the proceedings.
There are also special issues with child custody, child support and visitation that must be considered. Special arrangements should be agreed on regarding deployment and child custody.
Additionally, a non military spouse filing for divorce should carefully consider the timing of filing. The spouse will lose housing, medical care and retirement benefits in many cases. An analysis of military benefits, retirement division, and survivor benefits plan should be reviewed before moving forward with divorce.