How different are Military Family Divorces from Civilian Family Divorces?

Divorce is a stressful process. It can affect finances, living arrangements, household jobs or schedules. If the family includes children, they may be deeply affected. A military divorce is a divorce between a member of the armed services and his or her spouse. The spouse may or may not be in the military.


When facing a military divorce you should be aware of the fact that the procedures of a divorce for the civilians and for the military members are not quite the same. Military divorce is governed not only by state laws, but also by federal laws, so that means they have some additional rules to apply. That results in having some differences and a number of benefits in case of the military member divorce.

Jurisdiction is generally determined by the service member’s legal address rather thanmilitary divorce where they are currently stationed, as due to the service they are bound to travel a lot and to change their location. So many states will just either reduce or eliminate their residency requirements for military divorces.

There is also the SCRA – The Service Members Civil Relief Act to protect active duty members from being sued while in active military service and for up to a year after active duty, so they would be able to “devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation”.

There is also a number of things concerning the spouse of a military member:

- The Ten Year Rule requires a share of the military pension benefit to be paid to them directly by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS)military_family_2

- A former spouse will generally be entitled to full medical, commissary and exchange privileges if:

  1. The marriage lasted 20 years or more;
  2. The service member earned 20+ years of service towards retirement benefits;
  3. 20 years of the marriage overlapped the military service credit period.

There are also special rules concerning spousal maintenance (i.e. alimony) and child support.

As you see, a military divorce involves several legal issues that people outside of the military do not have to be concerned with. So, most importantly, get help and advice. To find help closest to you, visit our site at You can come to Legal Bistro and find the right lawyer for your case! With us you have nothing to lose!

Our motto is "When Lawyers Compete You Win!" If you are a consumer in need of legal services, you can post your case anonymously and Free of Charge. If you are an attorney seeking new clients, you may register on the site for free. You will only pay when a client requests that you contact them to discuss their case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 + = seven

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>