Getting a Military Divorce? Here’s What You Should Know
Military regulations are clear that remarriage means that a spouse loses the military ID card and associated privileges (e.g. commissary and base exchange shopping). But there are more unique situations that are associated with military divorces. Read on to learn more.
If you’re getting divorced and your spouse is in active military service, you may be wondering what this will mean for your divorce. Even if you and your spouse mutually decide to split, your spouse’s military status may have an affect on how your divorce goes.
Whether you are looking to file a simple no-fault divorce or if your case is more complex, Masters Law Group can help. Here’s what you need to know.
Active Duty Service Members and Divorce
If you’re a military spouse, you may be wondering whether you can pursue a divorce. The answer is yes. However, there are some limitations on what you can do.
The Federal Service Members Civil Relief Act of 2003 requires a person seeking a divorce to state their spouse is not a member of the U.S. armed forces. This rule prevents spouses from divorcing military members who would be unable to attend divorce proceedings.
If your spouse is a member of the military, you can pursue a divorce as long as they consent. However, they have to sign a defendant’s affidavit of consent.
Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act
If you or your spouse are an active member of the military, there’s a good chance the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) may affect how you divide your assets.
Here’s what the USFSPA covers:
- Commissary and exchange privileges
- Health care coverage and other benefits
- Military retirement pay
If you or your spouse is an active member of the military, it’s important to know that a former spouse does not automatically get a portion of the service member’s retirement pay and there are specific requirements to qualify.
What You’ll Need to File a Divorce
Even though there are a few added rules when it comes to the military divorce process, the remaining process is very similar to civilian divorce. You will still need to agree on the following:
- Division of assets such as homes, vehicles, money and other property
- Division of credit card debt, loans and any other outstanding debt
- Spousal support
- Child custody
In many cases, you can file for a no-fault divorce (Illinois is a No-Fault Divorce State) if you and your spouse agree on the terms of your divorce. If not, however, an experienced divorce lawyer can help mediate your dispute and draft a settlement agreement.
It’s never easy to make a decision that will impact your life and the lives of your family members. But when you’re a military family, there are even more considerations to keep in mind.
Because military families face unique challenges, our firm has made it our mission to help make sure you get through this difficult time as smoothly as possible. In Illinois, you need to comply with the mandatory waiting period that exists for military families. Typically, there is a 90 day waiting period to obtain a divorce if one spouse, or both spouses, are active in the military. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act requires a spouse to either reside or be stationed in Illinois for 90 days.
How Masters Can Help
We understand that military life can be difficult for families. When it comes to divorce, there are many factors to consider before making a decision about your future.
From splitting retirement pensions to child support, at Masters Law Group, we take into account all aspects of military life when working with our clients during their divorces. We know that there are more than just two sides to every story; when working with us as your attorneys, we will give both sides equal weight as we chart out a plan that works best for everyone involved.
We can help you and your spouse understand the unique circumstance of a military divorce and ensure that you make the best decisions for your family. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.