Married couples in which one spouse is in the military are more likely than others to divorce. This may be due to the increased stress levels involved with such a career, the frequent relocation or the difficulty of being separated for long periods of time. Whatever the reason, military families are more likely to undergo the stress of a divorce.
Along with divorce often comes the process of property division, or splitting up a couple’s assets. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act is a federal law that governs property division for divorcing military couples. Under that law, a servicemembers retirement pay is treated as property and is subject to division up to 50/50 in a divorce.
Some military veterans and their advocates are making a nationwide push to change that law. They argue that it’s unfair for a soldier’s spouse to get what equates to lifetime alimony after a divorce, even if they remarry or get a better-paying job. However, former spouses argue that they have also made sacrifices to the military by supporting their spouses.
If you are considering or going through a divorce, the stakes are high. In addition to matters of alimony and spousal support, your divorce agreement will likely lay out the future of your joint financial assets, any real estate or property you may own and your child support and custody arrangement. These issues can all affect your everyday life as you embark on the next chapter.
It may be wise to speak with an experienced employment law attorney, at the very least to have him or her review your proposed divorce agreement. The right lawyer can help you explore the implications of your agreement and help you best position yourself for financial and personal success.
Source: Newsmax, “Military Divorcees Aim to End Lifetime Alimony Rules,” David Yonkman, Feb. 18, 2013