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What's different about a military divorce?

Divorce is a complex process, and it can be particularly complex for military couples. While military divorces work in the same way as civilian divorces, there are certain unique and potentially challenging factors these couples will have to address. If you or your spouse are in the military and you are facing divorce, it can be beneficial for you to work to learn more about the process ahead.

Some of the challenges that New Hampshire couples deal with when facing a military divorce include how custody will work, what will happen to military pension benefits and more. Due to the complex and sensitive nature of these issues, you may find it beneficial to have help and guidance from the very beginning of this process. You do not have to walk through it alone.

What's so different for military families? 

One of the most important considerations for military divorces is child custody. Due to the possibility of future moves, deployments and temporary duty assignments, custody and visitation can be difficult issues. Another critical aspect of divorce involving military personnel is retirement benefits and pensions.

Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act, a non-military spouse could have a rightful claim to a portion of military pension benefits. There are various factors that determine the amount that a spouse could receive and how payments will work. If you are not military but your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is, you could retain medical benefits, commissary use and other privileges if the following apply to you:

  • Your marriage lasted for 20 years or longer.
  • Your marriage and your spouse's military service overlapped for at least 20 years.
  • Your spouse had a minimum of 20 years of military service.

When it comes to pension, retirement benefits and your post-divorce security, you do not want to take chances with your future. It is in your interests to work for a fair and sustainable final divorce order.

Before you move forward with a military divorce

Before you initiate the process of a military divorce, you would be wise to start with a complete evaluation of your case and explanation of the legal options available to you. Regardless of how amicable or contentious your divorce will be, it is always prudent to be aware of your rights and the steps you need to take to secure your interests well into the future after the divorce process is final.

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