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There are many differences when seeking a military divorce

There are few things in life that require as much energy and time as marriage and family. If one of the spouses happens to be a service member, that added pressure could result in the couple eventually seeking a military divorce. With so many military installations located in California, there are likely many families that are considering this option. 

There are three main considerations that military spouses tend to focus on when a marriage is being dissolved. Those three include how to care for any children, the service member's pay and the pension. In many cases, when children are involved, the non-military spouse is more likely to be granted custody due to the possibility of a service member's deployment. Because the non-military spouse will have the children most often, they worry more about child and spousal support -- especially if he or she sacrificed a career to be the primary caretaker.

These spouses may request a greater share of support since they will bear a greater share of the child-raising responsibility. Along with ensuring that the needs of children are met, a military spouse will likely focus on the pension of the former spouse. Provided that the marriage lasted 10 years and that it overlapped with the time the other spouse served, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) ensures that the pension is subjected to a 50-percent split. However, this amount can be adjusted at the court's discretion if either spouse requests it. Moreover, many spouses are encouraged to ask that their former military spouse pay into the Survivor's Benefit Plan in order to ensure that there will be an annuity in the event the military member dies first.

There are other special considerations that are involved when one is seeking a military divorce. While the end of a relationship is never an easy undertaking, those who married a service member do have special circumstances that do not apply to a civilian divorce. In order to ensure that one's family is properly provided for, it may be beneficial to consult a California family law attorney who is well-versed in military laws and guidelines. 

Source:, "Military Divorce: Dividing Children, Pay and Pensions", Rebekah Sanderlin, Accessed on July 22, 2017

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