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MESSY MILITARY DIVORCE PROCESS

According to recent trends observed by the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 2 million people tie the knot every year in the U.S. When those 2 million people entered into the institution of marriage, it's likely that they anticipated remaining a happy and loving couple "til death do us

part." But the Institute of Family Studies has done research that suggests that the divorce rate in the United States is sitting around 42%. That number can seem disheartening to many. Marriage can be a wonderful, fulfilling, and exciting part of life, but unfortunately, it can also be frustrating and heartbreaking as well. Divorce can be stressful and aggravating even under normal circumstances, but when the situation is irregular it can be even worse. The complications involved when one or more spouse is enlisted in the military can be tough terrain to navigate.

A Life of Sacrifice

According to a study done by the Department of Defense, the divorce rate among officers and enlisted servicemen alike is 3.1%. Inexplicably, the divorce rate was significantly higher for female officers and enlisted, though the rate has declined in recent years. Servicemen and women lead lives that can be dramatically different from their civilian counterparts. Months spent on post training or long deployments can put strain on even healthy relationships. With one spouse/parent gone for sometimes months or years at a time, it can be a lonely and tasking life for the one left at home. Another hardship faced by many military spouses is the fact that they may be unable to pursue educational or or vocational goals of their own. Both have certain sacrifices that they must make, and sometimes the strain on the relationship is too much to bear.

Special Considerations for Military Divorce

In general, there are a few things that military couples struggle with that civilian couples do not. Children are the most important part of any divorce proceeding, but the lifestyle makes the issue seem even more pronounced for military families. As previously mentioned, often times one of the spouses has given up their own economic independence in order to support the family at home. Questions over renewed independence, custody, and child support can make proceedings messy since the civilian spouse will likely need more financial support in order to start over. Custody of the children can also be a difficult issue for the service member to deal with; because of frequent deployments or long stints of training away from the home, they may not be able to maintain full or even partial custody in some cases.

Another unique issue faced by military families is the matter of pensions. After the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act of 1982 was passed, military pensions became recognized as marital property and therefore they can be divided in a divorce the same as any other asset.

The divorce process can be messy at the best of times. But because of the extenuating circumstances that military families face, it can be an even more frustrating process. The good news is you don't have to go through it alone. Contact Cummings Law Firm today; with 25 years of experience we have what it takes to represent you.

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