Members of the military face very difficult times when it comes to trying to balance work and family life. The call of duty often trumps anything that the service member has going on in his or her life.

In some cases, the spouses of military members can’t handle the stress that comes along with being a military spouse. This increases the chance that they will end up filing for a divorce. There are several specific points that you have to think about if you are considering a military divorce.

Jurisdiction matters

Where the divorce is filed matters. There are a few options for this. The divorce can be filed in the jurisdiction where you live now if you qualify under the local laws. It can also be filed where the military member has his or her permanent home location. It might also be filed where the spouse has his or her permanent residence. If you are the one who is filing, make sure that you consider the implications of the jurisdiction in which you file because some aspects of your divorce will be impacted by this.

20/20/20 rule

The 20/20/20 rule determines what types of benefits a civilian spouse can get. In order to qualify under this rule, the marriage had to be at least 20 years, the service member’s retirement pay eligible service time has to be 20 years and these two periods must’ve overlapped by at least 20 years.

If you are going through a military divorce, make sure that you consider how the choices you make will impact you. There is a chance that your retirement and pay might be impacted, even if your case doesn’t meet the 20/20/20 rule.

Source: FindLaw, “Military Divorce,” accessed April 28, 2017

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