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.
The United States spends more on defense than the next eight countries combined.
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.
Service members Group Life Insurance (SGLI, FSGLI, VGLI)
Remove Ex from Military Benefits
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.
Deployments (Combat and others)
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.
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.
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.
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.