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3 common complications in military divorce

Getting a divorce is difficult enough without any further complications. But for couples with one or both spouses enlisted in the military, things can get even more complicated quite quickly. There are many different factors to consider, and you want to ensure that your involvement with the military does not result in an unfair outcome when you reach a divorce settlement.

Consider the following aspects of a military divorce that you should prepare to address. Each of these is a complex legal matter, but understanding how it affects you is the first step to ensuring that your divorce goes as smoothly as possible. An attorney experienced in handling military divorces can provide additional information and guidance.

1. Division of benefits

In a typical divorce, if one spouse has benefits through his or her employer that the other had previously been entitled to, the value of those benefits may be subject to division and distribution. The same is true of military divorce, but because military benefits can be complex, their division is, too. This is further exacerbated by the changes that the government has recently made to the retirement system for service members.

2. Custody and deployment

Custody is yet another common concern in divorces where there are children involved. Because of the possibility that one or both spouses may face deployment, though, negotiating custody arrangements can be even more challenging for military couples. You should take this possibility into account when drafting your parenting plan so that both of you understand your responsibilities.

3. Choosing where to file

Lastly, because military families often move frequently, it can be difficult to choose a location to file. In order to file for divorce, one or both spouses must a legal resident of the state. In order to qualify as a legal resident, however, states often have criteria -- including a minimum period of residency -- that military members may fall short of. This complication may make filing difficult. 

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