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5 quick facts for military members facing divorce

You have a lot on your plate with your military service duties alone. Now you are having to add in going through a divorce. You know that it will impact your children, but the marriage just isn't working. If you are facing a military divorce, be sure to consider these quick facts.

Location and jurisdiction

One of the primary concerns that you must consider is where to file for divorce. Unlike civilians who would simply file where they live, military members must file in a location that has the jurisdiction that would have authority over the matter. You might file in the court with jurisdiction at your duty station if you meet residency requirements. Alternately, you might opt to file in the location where your legal permanent address is. Learn the difference between the two jurisdictions so that you can determine where to file.

Creative child custody

Because of the nature of your service, you might need a creative child custody agreement. These allow you to find ways that you can still spend time with your child even if you aren't in the same area as your child. Having a flexible child custody agreement can help you to make plans that work for you and your child.

20/20/20 rule

If you were married for 20 years, served for 20 years, and those two terms overlapped for at least 20 years, your spouse might be entitled to some benefits. These can include TRICARE and access to base facilities. Some marriages, even those that don't qualify for the 20/20/20 benefits, might qualify your ex-wife to receive part of your retirement pay or pension. Before you make any decisions in the property division process, learn about what your ex might qualify to receive.

Support and allotments

Any support orders, including child support or alimony, are paid through an allotment. This goes through Defense Finance and Accounting Service and would come directly out of your paycheck on the 1st and 15th of each month. The only way to stop these deductions is with a court order.

Deployments and orders

Deployments can sometimes impact child custody and other family law matters. In the case of child custody, the court might need to authorize the move. If you have custody of your child, you would need to get the court's approval to move. If your ex has custody, you might need to address visitation issues.