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Five Tips For Navigating a Military Divorce

Divorce happens even when you are in the Military. Here are five tips if you are involved in a Military Divorce.

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1. You can postpone the Divorce if you are an active service member and cannot come to court because you are on active status. Also, your wife or husband cannot take advantage of the fact that you are away on active duty to get a “default divorce” in your absence. Your wife or husband would have to sign a sworn affidavit that you are not in the Military to pull that stunt.

2. Custody can be tricky in Military Divorce. If you are in active status and stationed overseas or even on a ship somewhere in the ocean, it is unrealistic to ask for custody of the minor children. This is unfortunately the case even if you believe the other parent is unfit. 

3. Parenting Time. Be creative. Any parenting time schedule will have to be flexible. You could provide, for example, that when you are on leave you have parenting time for an extended period of time. You could travel with the kids if they are not in school or simply be there with them on a day to day basis during your Leave.

4. Child Support. The Military will ensure that Child Support payments are taken out of Military Pay.

5. Rights of Former Military Spouses. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act is a Federal Law that provides certain benefits to Former Military Spouses if certain requirements are met. An unmarried Military Spouse may get medical, commissary, exchange and theater privileges under the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Program if he or she meets the 20/20/20 Rule. He or she was married to the Military Member for at least 20 years. The Military Member performed at least 20 years of active retirement-creditable service and the former spouse was married to a Member of the Military for at least 20 years of the Member’s retirement creditable service. 

If you are in the Military or married to a Member of the Armed Forces and contemplating Divorce, contact an attorney. Know your rights. At Gabrielle Davis, PC in Oak Park and Oak Brook, Illinois, we know how complicated Divorce can be when you are in the Armed Forces.  

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