As a member of the U.S. military, you devoted your career to your country. At the same time, you also devoted your life to your family despite the deployments. In some ways, your time overseas has changed you. The experiences thrust upon you in the Middle East, Asia and Europe were enough to transform you into a different person than the one your spouse married. As a result, the two of you may no longer relate to each other.
When you returned home, you did not get the homecoming to which you had hoped. Greeted with indifference and borderline hostility, you know that your marriage has frayed. Nevertheless, the declaration that your spouse wants a divorce still hits you like a mallet over the head.
High rates of divorce among military members
Our veterans have supported us, and we have supported them. But, not surprisingly, divorce rates rank high among military service members, whose stressful jobs often take them away from their families for lengthy periods.
Military divorces can be messy and complicated. They share a few things with civilian divorces, but so many differences exist, too. Among the issues that need addressing in military divorce include:
- Child custody, visitation and parenting arrangements: When a half-a-world away separates military members from their children, this issue is difficult to address. But agreements are necessary.
- Spousal support: As in civilian divorce, this issue comes to the forefront, especially when the non-military spouse may be a stay-at-home parent or if he or she did not work.
- Military pensions: To qualify for a military pension, you must serve at least 20 years. Military pensions have parallels to 401(k)s in the civilian world. Any pension accumulated during the marriage is marital property. As a result, the other spouse is entitled to a portion.
- Domestic violence: This issue also surfaces in civilian divorces. However, the stress related to a military position can be overwhelming and lead to frightening behavior.
There are other common issues with civilian divorce, too. And they may include child support, division of property and tax-related issues. You have confronted many challenges in your military career. Now, you have another challenge in your personal life. Confront and resolve it.