Overview

Divorces in the U.S. are handled at the state level under civil jurisdiction for both military and non-military couples. However, there are key differences and military specific areas that need to be addressed.

Divorce In Military Families – How It’s Different & What You Need To Know

Child Support and Veterans Benefits – Q and A

Divorce and Separation Information 

Divorce and Separation FAQs 

 

The United States spends more on defense than the next eight countries combined.

Insurance

For service members and veterans, the standard insurance plans offer options to your dependents and your ex. Health insurance is addressed through Tricare, with slightly different requirements for current members and retirees. The group life insurance options, for service members and  family, or the coverage offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs, are addressed at the Veteran’s Administration site.

All insurance, health and life versions, require you, as the service member, to have your dependents (and removal of your ex) handled through the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). The links below will take you to resources to handle your insurance and benefits needs.

Tricare

Getting Divorced (eligibility for Tricare)

Former Spouses – health care plans after divorce

Children – health care for your kids — up until 21, or 23 if in school

Children Becoming Adults – getting health care for those who are turning 21

Service members Group Life Insurance (SGLI, FSGLI, VGLI)

Life Insurance: Part 2: Ending FSGLI Coverage

Family SGLI Coverage (FSLGI): A Procedural Guide 

Remove Ex from Military Benefits

Defense Enrolment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)

Military Specific

For current service members, we have provided a resource to help with Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Orders and how that affects your custody.

Service members affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are at significantly increased risk for divorce.  The VA site for PTSD is one of the best, and we encourage service members to explore this resource. 

Child Custody Issues Involving Military Parents

Deployments (Combat and others)

PTSD: National Centre for PTSD

Retirement

Military Retired Pay (Pension) is treated as marital property at the time of divorce. How it is divided is determined by a number of factors. Disability, though, is handled differently. Your options for selecting Survivor Benefits may impact how your benefits are applied to subsequent marriages. The resources below will help you navigate the differences and details.

Guidance on Dividing Military Retired Pay

Understanding Divorce in the Military

Disability

American Bar Association: Section of Family Law — Military Association — Fact Sheet: V. A Payments and Family Support

VA Disability Compensation and Divorce: Facts and Facilities

How Divorce, Alimony, and Child Support Affect Veterans VA Benefits

Survivor Benefits

DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service)

Education

Veterans are likely entitled to one of the past two GI Bills, either the Montgomery GI Bill or the Post 9/11 GI Bill. How those educations benefits are treated during divorce is different. Notably, the Post 9/11 GI Bill allows for the benefit to be transferred to dependents, so it is important to understand how to adjust this transfer option after divorce. The resources below will answer many of your questions. 

Montgomery GI Bill Users Guide

Transfer Post 9/11 GI Bill to Spouse and Dependents

Top 15 Questions about the Post 9/11 GI Bill

Citizenship Issues for Ex, Children, and Non-citizen Relatives

Is your spouse not a citizen, or your children? Divorce can affect their ability to stay in the U.S. The following resource addresses how divorce may impact their status.

US Citizen and Immigration Services: Military

Civil Relief and Former Spouses Protection Acts

There is a lot of confusion surrounding what the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) provide in the way of protection. The resources below will help identify the protections that apply to your circumstances. 

Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act

Family Law and the SCRA: How It Works

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act: A Guide for Family Law Attorneys

Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act: Post Divorce Eligibility for Benefits

Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act: Benefits/Financial Support

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