Though the family law procedures for a military divorce are the same as for any other divorce, there are some special concerns military couples may have and should be aware of. Divorce can always present challenges but when a spouse is on active duty, different circumstances may lead to different challenges including that the divorce taking a bit longer. Traditional divorces, however, can take time to complete depending on the number of issues the couple is able to agree on and the number of disputes, as well as other factors.

Additional differences related to a military divorce may also impact a divorcing military couple. It is useful to keep in mind, however, that there are several categories of divorce-related issues that generally must be resolved between any divorcing couple. Depending on the circumstances of each couple, these can include property division, spousal support, child support and child custody, as well as a few others such as the allocation of retirement or investment assets.

It is important to note that in the case of a military divorce, certain laws may impact military retirement pay and for military couples to understand that it is classified as property rather than income. For military retirement payments to be made to an ex-spouse, the couple must have been married for 10 years during a period that overlapped with the military spouse’s service. There are several methods used to determine the amount of a pension an ex-spouse may receive when the military spouse is an active-duty spouse.

Additional concerns, including base privileges, health care and others may also impact divorcing military couples. Some concerns are not unique to military couples but others may be. It is helpful to keep in mind that a military divorce goes through the same divorce settlement process which allows the parties to work out divorce-related issues and provides for the court to step in when couples are unable to agree. Of the greatest importance is that military couples are familiar with the family law process and how the divorce process can help them resolve divorce-related issues that impact them.


Source:, “Understanding Divorce in the Military,” Accessed June 8, 2016