Divorce is complicated for two reasons: the emotional strain and the very large number of critical decisions that need to be made about a future that you may not be able to fully envision right now. Divorce when one of the spouses is a member of the military requires even more critical decisions to be made.
Military life has a number of aspects that civilian life does not have:
As with civilian divorce, child custody and visitation is a very important issue in military divorces. Many members of the military want full access to their children, but fear the possibility of deployment could affect the court's decision on this issue or a future deployment could affect the custody agreement. Arkansas recently passed a law saying that deployment cannot be used as a basis for a permanent change in custody.
Other major issues revolve around military benefits, such as retirement, Tricare and base privileges. Depending on the length of the marriage, the nonmilitary spouse may be granted access to these benefits. For example, the Uniformed Service Former Spouses Protection Act allows the state court to divide military retirement. Our firm has experience in negotiating these issues to help service members keep their retirement intact if that is a goal.
If your nonmilitary spouse is trying to divorce you while you are overseas, we can use the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to put a halt to any legal action until you get back in the country.