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Things to keep in mind in a military divorce

Military couples in Texas who are separating and considering a divorce need to keep certain things in mind since divorces involving members of the military are somewhat different than those of civilians due to their lifestyle. From custody of the children to spousal support to retirement benefits and life insurance policies, military divorces are unique and can become confusing.

One of the things to consider when undergoing a military divorce is custody of the children, since judges, considering the best interest of the child, will often grant primary or full custody to the non-military parent, particularly if the military parent is often deployed. Custody can also affect the amount of spousal support that one spouse must pay. Additionally, this amount might also be affected if the non-military parent was a stay-at-home parent and sacrificed education and career due to the military spouse's deployment and lifestyle. Housing is another issue, since after a legal separation and divorce, the non-military spouse will not be eligible to live in military housing.

Additionally, a military divorce involves questions of how to divide a veteran's permanent pension and can be negotiated. As well, the non-military spouse might request that the military spouse continue to pay into the Survivor's Benefit Plan so that if the military spouse dies, the ex-spouse will continue to receive payments replacing their part of the pension. Some non-military spouses agree to give up their share of the pension in exchange for other valuable assets, such as IRAs or homes, while others claim their share in the divorce negotiations. The beneficiaries of the life insurance of the military spouse can also be negotiated.

Divorces can be complex even in the best of times. Military couples in Texas who are considering divorce might choose to seek the advice of attorneys who can better explain the intricacies of the process as it relates to their situations.

Source:, "Military Divorce: Dividing Children, Pay & Pensions", Rebekah Sanderlin, November 25, 2014

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