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Common Mistakes Made During a Military Divorce

Posted on in Divorce/Family Law

Delafield military divorce lawyerWhile divorce is complex for all couples, this is particularly true for military couples. If you or your spouse is in the military, and you are undergoing a divorce, you should seek legal representation from a lawyer who is well-versed in military divorce. By doing so, you can avoid the following common military divorce mistakes: 

Failure to Recognize the Service Member Relief Act

Non-military spouses should realize that there is a law that may change the timeline of their divorce. The Service Member Relief Act states that a service member can be protected from divorce proceedings that arise while they are overseas. Therefore, a non-military spouse cannot begin the divorce process until their spouse returns home.

Confusion About Survivor Benefits in Military Retirement

All too often, military service members do not clarify that their spouse may be entitled to the survivor benefit annuity that comes with their military retirement package. Since former spouses may be eligible for this annuity, it is a wise choice to take this into consideration when negotiating a divorce settlement.

Failure to Consider the 10 Year Minimum for Military Retirement Plans

Military retirement plans differ from traditional retirement plans. In a military retirement plan, the military service member’s former spouse must have been married to the service member for a minimum of 10 years of their time in the military. Therefore, it is ideal to wait until the military spouse has been in the military for at least 10 years before beginning the divorce process. 

Failure to Discuss Custody-Related Travel Concerns

It is imperative to address concerns related to travel for parents and children in a military divorce. Since one parent may be overseas, timing and expenses are significant hurdles that must be considered and overcome. 

Incorrectly Calculating Income

Due to the complexity of military service members’ income, it is easy to make mistakes when calculating the income earned. BAH, COLA, and Hazard Pay are all variables that can make it a challenge to fairly and accurately determine income for purposes of child support and/or spousal support. 

Asking Service Members for Legal Advice

It is important to understand that other members of the military do not specialize in family law. They may offer advice that is incorrect and cause unnecessary stress and confusion. Rather than asking other service members for legal advice, consult a highly skilled divorce attorney.

Contact Our Experienced Waukesha County Military Divorce Attorneys

If you are going through a military divorce, it is in your best interest to contact our experienced Delafield divorce lawyers. We have experience in military divorce, and we will help you avoid these common mistakes. For a free consultation, contact us at 262-203-4916.



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