Common Misconceptions About Military Divorce

Military Divorce Lawyer

Tacoma, Washington is home to an army base, so many military families move to the area. Just like civilians, service members sometimes choose to get divorced from their spouses. With that being said, here are some common misconceptions about military divorce that you should know about.

The Ex-Spouse Is Always Entitled to Half of the Military Spouse’s Pension

It is commonly assumed that the ex-spouse of a military member will always receive half the pension in a divorce. However, that is not necessarily the case. The amount of pension the other spouse receives depends how long the service member has been enlisted in the military and how long the couple was married. For instance, if the service member had been in the military for 14 years, but only had been married for seven years, the other spouse would receive just half of the pension that was earned in the seven years.

The Military Enforces Child Support Payments

Another common myth is that the military checks up on service members to ensure they are paying child support. The truth is that enforcing child support orders is up to the state civilian courts. Military courts have nothing to do with it. While you can face legal penalties for failing to pay child support, you won’t get in trouble with the military. 

Military Service Members Never Receive Custody of Children

Since military service members may have to deploy to a faraway location on short notice, many assume that they will never get custody of their children in a divorce. However, being in the military actually does not affect a person’s chances of getting custody of their children. The judge considers a child’s best interests when making a custody decision.

If a Military Couple Was Married for Less Than 10 Years, the Former Spouse Won’t Receive a Military Pension

This is not true either. There is actually no required minimum number of years you have to be married to get a military pension. Instead, the amount of pension that will be distributed will be based on the number of years served in the military and length of marriage.

If you are in the military and thinking about getting a divorce, you may want to discuss your case with a military divorce lawyer, like one from Robinson & Hadeed, as soon as possible.