Special Considerations in Military Divorces

Special Considerations in Military Divorces

As a Military member you have several issues that they need to be concerned about when going through a divorce. First of all, you need to be concerned about your length of service. The longer your period of service overlaps with the number of years you have been married to your spouse, the larger the share of your military retirement you could be ordered to share with your spouse. Alabama used to have a requirement that spouses had to be married for ten years before retirement assets could be divided, but those requirements went away a few years ago. Now, your retirement assets are on the table from day one of your marriage, even if you are not yet vested.

Military Divorce: Child Custody

Another important issue is the issue of child custody.  When we are talking about child custody issues, even though the court is not supposed to consider your military service when it considers who should be awarded custody, your relocations and your deployments will still be in the back of the judge’s mind when he or she is making the ultimate decisions on custody. It will be important that you have an attorney who is willing to take the time to develop and tell your story about how your military service is actually a benefit to the overall development of your children. Another custody consideration you need to think about is the possibility that you can be relocated overseas. Without a proper order stating that you can take the child overseas and that the parties are going to cooperate in order to get a passport, it can be very difficult for you to obtain that passport and then be able to travel overseas.

Regarding the issue of child support, you need to remember that your bah and bas will be included in your income even though it is not taxed. On your income tax return.  The same is true of your VA benefit once you retire from your military service.

Also, whether or not your spouse been able to obtain and maintain employment throughout the time that you have been in the military will also impact whether or not the court decides to award your spouse, whether male or female, any type of alimony or spousal support.

Military divorces have their own unique challenges, make sure you ask specific questions of any attorney you meet to determine if they are the right fit for this specific area of the law.

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