5 ways a military divorce differs from a civilian divorce

| Jan 15, 2021 | Firm News |

In certain ways, a military divorce is just like a civilian divorce. You still have to go through the same courts as every other family in Florida. The same laws apply to military families as to civilian families when it comes to custody and dividing property during a divorce.

However, there are multiple ways in which military divorces deviate from civilian proceedings. The following five examples are all considerations that military members and their spouses should be aware of before filing for divorce.

Adultery matters

Cheating may lead to many divorces, but it usually has very little bearing on the outcome of a divorce. There generally aren’t consequences for unfaithful spouses in civilian proceedings. In a military divorce, if it is the servicemember who cheated, they may face a military trial and significant punishment if convicted of adultery.

The military spouse’s pay will take a hit

One of the reasons many military servicemembers marry so early in life is because family status directly correlates to income in the military. If a servicemember divorces, they will lose the extra pay they received for their spouse. Shared custody or losing custody to a spouse might mean further reductions in the pay a servicemember receives. 

Servicemembers have unique custody needs

A standard custody arrangement may not be a good solution if there’s potential for deployment for one of the parents after divorce. Military divorces mean you will have to draw up detailed and specific parenting plans that address deployment or relocation. Flexibility and digital visitation are often crucial to a working plan for active-duty servicemembers. 

Housing could be a complicating factor

Housing is frequently a benefit provided by the military to service members and their families. Divorcing can result in complicated situations for housing and other military benefits for the soon-to-be ex spouses of military servicemembers.

Don’t forget about the Family Care Plan

Most families with children going through divorce focus primarily on custody arrangements. Once the court determines how to split up parental rights, there is little left to do but to follow through on those rules. If you have children as a servicemember and you divorce, you will have to file an updated Family Care Plan to reflect the new custody situation.

Learning about the unique issues for military divorce and getting experienced help in navigating this transition for your family can make the process easier for you.