The Unique Considerations Of A Military Divorce

A military divorce is the dissolution of a marriage in which one or both people are serving (or have served) in the military. At the heart of the process is the need to take two people, who have legally combined aspects of their lives, and to return them to two separate parties. 

Family law attorneys who are not accustomed to dealing with members of the military and their unique assets such as pensions and health insurance plans may have trouble understanding how to equally distribute them.

Additional Considerations

Although a retirement pension may likely be the most valuable asset to divide during the divorce, there are additional aspects that go beyond the division of your benefits. For instance, active duty military members get reassigned to new locations, deploy, and even have Temporary Duty Assignments (TDYs). A TDY requires the service member to live somewhere else temporarily regardless of where their permanent duty station is. 

That is an important concept to grasp because it factors into child custody. An attorney who has understanding of the challenges that military personnel face also has the ability to negotiate a child custody agreement in spite of them.

Similar But Different

If you are stationed in South Carolina, the state is going to view your divorce as a divorce—meaning they proceed in accordance with their rules, laws, and regulations. Your divorce will go through a state court rather than a military court. The divorce process is reliant on the state in which you file. 

The assets that military personnel need to divide are where the process begins to take a unique shape. Your attorney, however, represents you and your interests—and needs to have a command of the specific laws that outline the distribution of your military benefits. For example, it is a very common misunderstanding that a spouse is guaranteed to receive half of their spouse’s pension. 

In reality, the pension gets divided based on how long the people were married while the service member was in the military. For example, if someone served in the military for 20 years, got married in their 19th year, the former spouse will not likely have a claim to anything but a small portion of the pension. This is because they were only married for one of those 20 years. 

Cate & Brough 

If you are a member of the military who needs legal representation for a divorce, contact Cate & Brough at (864) 585-4226 to schedule a consultation. We pride ourselves on focusing solely on family law. You deserve representation that understands the unique position you are in. As a service member, you fight for us; now it’s our turn to fight for you. 

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Cate & Brough, P.A.

At Cate & Brough, we all have personal experience with family law and family court. We know more than just what the law says about your issue – we know what you are going through.

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