Navigating a military divorce

| Apr 8, 2021 | blog

The divorce process in Georgia for military personnel is not much different than a civilian on. The party filing for divorce will need to cite one or more reasons for ending the marital union. A court date may become necessary at a later date to settle the terms. But some regulations apply only to divorces that include at least one military member.

Children

Some people mistakenly believe that an active duty military parent cannot assume custody of a child following a divorce. Military parents have the same rights and responsibilities as all other parents. Regardless of which parent takes over custodial responsibilities for children, divorce courts in Georgia require a parenting plan. These plans must account for foreseeable future events like deployments and change of duty station.

Military parents without custody will likely become responsible for providing support payments to the custodial parent. The custodial parent can initiate a garnishment to have the Defense Finance and Accounting Service withdraw the money straight from the military spouse’s check each month. Military parents with custody of a child have the same right to child support under family law statutes that all other custodial parents enjoy.

Military benefits

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act governs the division of military benefits for divorcing couples. This act makes it possible for the non-military spouse to receive a portion of the military spouse’s pension directly from the DFAS if the couple was married for 10 or more years while the military spouse served actively in the military. The maximum percentage a non-military ex-spouse can receive from a military pension is 50%. It is also important to note that non-military ex-spouses who do not meet the requirement for DFAS payments may still receive part of a military pension through a divorce settlement.

Most people do not think of divorce when they decide to get married. But the unfortunate truth is that about half of the marriages in the country end with a dissolution. Individuals considering a divorce may be able to better protect their interests by speaking with an attorney.