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Sherri Krueger, Elizabeth Juelich and Ryan Schmisek

What are the unique challenges of a military divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2021 | Divorce |

Residents of Minnesota who are members of the military may find it difficult if they decide to get a divorce. Military divorces carry certain unique challenges. It’s important to understand what they entail and how you can work through them.

What three matters are challenging in a military divorce?

While divorce itself is always a challenge, if you are a member of the military who is ending your marriage, it’s even more complex. You will have to decide what is the most important to you out of three subjects: your children and child support, spousal support you will have to pay your spouse or your pension, which you may have to share with your spouse.

Obviously, with a military lifestyle, you are always moving around from one base to another. As a result, your kids and finances are always the top issues in a military divorce. If your children are very young, it could be difficult for your spouse who is not a member of the military. It’s not uncommon for non-military spouses to either be unemployed or underemployed to care for the kids, which means they will need financial support after the divorce.

What happens when you have frequent deployments?

As a member of the military, you could be deployed frequently, leaving your spouse home to care for the kids. As a result of your frequent movement, your spouse may have a preference for child custody and be the primary parent. That means they will ask for more money in child support, but you can also expect to pay more in spousal support depending on their work situation. This is also the case if your spouse wants to return to school to complete their education and get a better job that pays more.

It’s important to understand that your spouse probably sacrificed a lot while you have been in the military.

How can your pension be divided?

Often, you will have to determine how your pension will be divided after your divorce. You may be able to compromise with your spouse and give them certain portions of your outside accounts if they will agree not to try and get anything from your military retirement.

It’s worth noting that even if the couple was married for one day, the non-military spouse is still due a share of the military spouse’s pension.

If you are going through a military divorce, it’s important to know which of these issues is most important to you. It can help things go smoother for you and your spouse.