How are Military Divorce Laws Different?

Alex Tree

Military divorce laws can differ significantly from regular divorce laws, depending on the country and region of the people getting a divorce. For example, if both spouses are living in the same military housing, one will typically be given a number of days to exit the premises. More importantly, it is often impossible under military divorce laws to request a divorce if the military spouse is on active duty or in a war zone. In addition, military officers may be put under extra pressure to pay child support because the spouse can sometimes legally go directly to his or her commanding officer to complain about late or no payments. Lastly, the paperwork process may be a little different with a military divorce than a civilian divorce, so getting a military divorce attorney may be advisable.

It's important to retain an attorney who is very familiar with a given country's laws regarding military divorce.
It's important to retain an attorney who is very familiar with a given country's laws regarding military divorce.

Sometimes the immediate concern about military divorce laws is the housing situation. In some countries where military housing is provided free by the government, the civilian spouse who is divorcing the military officer must vacate the premises within a certain amount of time after the divorce, such as 30 days. Many governments typically allow only service members and their family to live in such housing. As the divorce process can take some time, however, there probably will not be an extremely sudden need to move with no plans regarding where.

Many places in the world require a former spouse to pay a determined amount of money to support his or her child or children. This amount is usually based on the spouse’s income, including income from his or her duty as a member of the military. Enforcement of child support may come from military members who rank higher than the former spouse instead of the local authorities. In addition, local law may allow military officials to garnish the wages of a military member who is not paying child support in order to give the money to his or her family.

It is generally recommended to get a divorce attorney who knows the country’s military divorce laws well. Frequently, myths and misconceptions surround what happens or what does not happen when a person is divorcing a member of a military, especially in regard to how much is paid in alimony. A divorce attorney well versed in these matters can help put the worrying party at ease, in addition to knowing his or her way around the necessary paperwork.

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