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Key considerations during a military divorce

On Behalf of | May 31, 2024 | Divorce

As a member of the military, you have a demanding job. The nature of your job and other lifestyle factors may contribute to problems in your marriage. This can lead to a divorce.

Going through a divorce while serving is challenging, but it’s not impossible. Being able to prepare for a few things that may happen could help to reduce your stress as you work through the process.

Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protections

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) won’t do away with the divorce proceedings, but it can delay them some. This is helpful if your training or deployment schedule makes it difficult or impossible to appear for court. It can be used during various aspects of the divorce, including child custody hearings.

Family care plan requirements

Your commanding officer will need a family care plan on file if you’re divorcing and have children. This outlines factors, such as who will care for the children if you have to be deployed or if they’re in your care and something happens to you. It also includes other information, such as the location of important documents and medical information for the children.

Retirement and pension payments

If you were in a long-term marriage and will retire from the military, your ex may be entitled to some of your retirement benefits or pension if you divorce. State law dictates how this is handled. A military pension division order (MPDO) is required if your ex is to receive any of these benefits.

Other factors to consider

Your divorce is a time to revisit things like beneficiary designations on your life insurance and retirement accounts. You also need to ensure that you have your pay going into an account that only you can access. Additionally, update your emergency contact information with base personnel.

Working with a legal representative who can help to protect your interests throughout a military divorce is beneficial, especially since you need to focus on your job duties. They can provide you with information about options you have as concerns and complications inevitably arise as well.