If you are the spouse of a person in the military, then it is important that you know how a divorce works in the military. It’s fairly similar to how divorces are in civilian life, but there are some differences.

For instance, in a typical divorce, both people are relatively nearby and accessible. This makes it easier to move forward with the divorce, to have hearings and to establish residency. This is not as easy with a military divorce.

In a military divorce, both parties may not be in the same location, which means that the divorce takes longer. Additionally, they may both have different locations that could accept residency, so deciding on where to file for divorce becomes more difficult.

Another major difference in a military divorce is the potential for military retirement. People who wish to obtain a military retirement or pension can sometimes do so even following a divorce. Those who were married to a military member for 10 years that overlap with military service typically retain the right to direct retirement payments from the military. Keep in mind that the 10 years of marriage do have to overlap with 10 years in the service, so it could be beneficial to remain married if you are close to that amount of time but not quite there yet.

These are just a few things that may be different about a military divorce and that could impact how and when you file. Regardless of the situation, anyone can get a divorce; it just may take longer under the circumstances involving military spouses.

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