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My Spouse is in the Military. Will That Affect Our Divorce Process?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2021 | Divorce

Divorce as Military Personnel

Typically, someone’s profession would have very little impact on their divorce. However, those in the military may notice that they have additional challenges to overcome.

Most often, “military divorces” are between an active duty member and a civilian. Though no case is the same, most couples should be aware of:

How long the divorce will take.

If one party is stationed overseas or in a remote part of the world, communication can be difficult and will likely take longer, therefore affecting the overall length of your divorce. If your spouse currently lives in America but is deployed before the divorce is finalized, that can also cause the process to take longer.

How assets will be divided.

Military divorces typically follow Hawaii property division laws. However, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) was enacted in 1981 and is used to determine how military retirement benefits are calculated after a divorce.

According to the USFSPA, no part of a military member’s retirement will be distributed to a spouse unless the two have been married for 10 years or longer while they or their spouse was active duty.

How child support will be determined.

When determining child support for active-duty military parents, Hawaii courts utilize the same guidelines as civilian divorces. However, Hawaii also has a rule that both child support and spousal support (if applicable) can not exceed 60% of a military member’s pay and allowances.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) is a law that provides certain benefits to former spouses of military men and women. According to this act, former spouses can receive medical, commissary, exchange and theater privileges under the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program, and much more, so long as they meet certain requirements.

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