Like any divorce, the guidelines in a military divorce procedure may depend on one’s location. Unlike regular divorce, however, military divorce involves a number of factors that may affect the outcome of the situation, including asset division, current pay and retirement pay. What can Maryland military families learn about military divorce to ensure a smoother process?
The National Military Family Association immediately points out in an article on military divorce that divorce proceedings can vary by state law. Despite this fact, federal law gives families guidance on various details, such as how retirement pay might change and the specifics of benefits going to an ex-spouse. First, the NMFA explains that a service member is still responsible for providing support for a spouse (and for children, if they are involved) during the separation. Service members may look to their state’s specific regulations on benefits during this time. However, as the NMFA points out, an ex-spouse can typically retain a military ID card — complete with full benefits — during the divorce.
The Military Wallet also gives readers a clear understanding of divorce in the military, noting that pay may be the first aspect to undergo change during this time. The military resource looks to The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act of 1982 for clarity on these procedures. While the USFSPA does not award an ex-spouse money directly, it does help enforce payment in situations where courts have awarded an ex-spouse benefits. The Military Wallet states that the USFSPA enforces payments when it comes to alimony and child support plans; they also remind readers that the duration of a marriage does not necessarily mean it will result in increased retirement pay. There are many other factors that help determine the outcome of a military divorce, and ex-spouses navigating this tough chapter can look to local laws for additional assistance.