No matter where spouses work, divorce can affect their businesses. However, it is the opposite for those serving in the military: their jobs can affect their divorce. Because of the unique benefits service members receive, military divorce can be quite complex, and without taking the proper steps, the rights of both spouses might be at risk.
Benefits at risk
The challenges of military life include deployments, frequent moves and indescribably difficult work. When these and other factors take their toll on a marriage, it is important for both service members and their spouses to know where they stand regarding certain military privileges. Depending on how long they were married and the number of overlapping years of military service, a civilian spouse may be entitled to benefits such as:
- Basic Allowance for Housing
- TRICARE medical insurance
- Commissary and exchange privileges
- Moving costs
One major asset military spouses may be eligible to claim is a portion of the service member’s retirement pay. Some spouses qualify for a significant portion of a service member’s retirement. However, they must include it in their divorce order.
Sometimes a divorce or other family law proceedings occur during a service member’s deployment. Fortunately, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act can help. Through the SCRA, active duty military members can seek a stay for up to 90 days to stop any court proceedings, such as divorce or custody matters, from going on without them.
Every state handles divorce differently. However, divorce for service members involves additional complex rules. Those going through a military divorce in Maryland will want the advice of an attorney who is familiar with state law as well as the complexities of military law.