Divorce is hard, and having one or both spouses in the military adds a unique layer of complexity to the process.
Read below for four factors to consider when approaching a military divorce.
1. Choosing Where to File Can be Tricky
Military families frequently move due to deployments and other movements. Therefore, divorce must be filed in the specific region you have lived in for at least six months. This can become very complicated if you and your spouse have lived apart for six months due to deployment, separation, or other factors. A knowledgeable Illinois divorce lawyer can help you ensure you are filing for divorce in the proper jurisdiction.
2. Active Service Members Can Get Custody
Courts will always make decisions about legal custody and parenting time based on what is in the children’s best interest. Service members often worry that being on active duty or the likelihood of deployment will harm their case for fair parenting time; fortunately, this is not the case. The court believes that both parents play a significant role in a child’s development and will make an effort to negotiate a parenting plan that works for all parties.
3. Divorced Partners Have a Right to Certain Military Benefits
Divorced partners have a legal right to certain parts of their ex-spouse’s income, property, wealth, and estate. This includes military benefits, which the courts consider assets subject to division in divorce.
4. VA Disability Benefits are Exempted from Division in Divorce
Disability benefits are NOT considered a marital asset by the courts during a divorce. The non-military spouse has no right to these benefits. However, the courts will use your benefit amount to determine if you can support your children financially.