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How are military divorces different than civilian divorces?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2022 | Military Divorce |

Divorce can be difficult, as emotions will flare as life becomes unpredictable. Your life circumstances can make divorce more challenging than normal for your family. Having one spouse in the military is a significant complicating factor for modern divorce.

If you are a military servicemember or married to one, state law and military rules will have an impact on your divorce. You probably have questions about how military and civilian divorces differ. What sets a military divorce apart from others in Georgia?

Different financial implications

One of the biggest myths surrounding military divorce is the persistent urban legend that there are different military laws governing property division. Although the military does have rules about divorce, its courts don’t oversee the dissolution of marriages. State courts do.

Servicemembers who divorce are subject to the state laws where they live at the time of the divorce. For those in Georgia, that means the state equitable distribution rule applies to their property. A judge will look at the family situation and try to divide everything in the marital estate in a way they think is fair or equitable.

Military rules do not govern the division of property. However, they may result in a reduction of pay for a divorce servicemember with fewer dependents or affect the distribution of their retirement benefits.

Unique practical concerns

Spouses of servicemembers often rely on military housing, which can make the separation stage of divorce particularly challenging. They may also use military health insurance for themselves and their children. Understanding the right to benefits and the impact on housing and pay can be a challenge for those preparing to divorce.

Servicemembers with children will have special paperwork they need to execute with the military about their changing family circumstances. They will also require extra planning when creating custody arrangements to reflect the unique pressures of military service.

Finally, accusations of misconduct related to the divorce could affect the career of the servicemember. Adultery that affects someone’s service could result in military disciplinary proceedings. Substance abuse issues and domestic violence could also have disciplinary consequences for the servicemember divorcing. Learning more about the unique challenges of military divorce will make you feel more confident about filing.