Military divorces can be much more complicated than a typical divorce for many reasons. Notably, military divorces are more likely to involve accusations of domestic violence. In a recent interview with KITV4 News, an ABC affiliate station in Hawaii, Attorney Noah Gibson of Coates Frey Hackett & Gibson shared his insight as to why.
As Attorney Gibson explained, the stress of being a military service member can contribute significantly to the risk of domestic violence in a marriage. The constant hardships and aggression-centric nature of military service can be catalysts that push someone toward domestic violence, either against their spouse, children, or housemates.
Military service members also face added complications surrounding marriage that could pile on the relationship stressors. A married military service member who has children will typically get an automatic pay boost. This system incentivizes military service members to marry young and start a family early, even if they are not emotionally ready for those responsibilities.
Attorney Gibson also pointed out that military service members can be dishonorably discharged for adultery. A spouse who wants to divorce a cheating military spouse might be hesitant to file the divorce papers because, in doing so, they could lose the only or primary source of income for future child support and spousal support payments. Many spouses could feel trapped by this dilemma, and their abusive spouses might capitalize on it by lording that ill-gotten sense of control over them, which would be another form of emotional abuse.
Regulatory changes might be needed to make it easier and safer for people to divorce a military spouse. In the meantime, it is important to know domestic violence victim resources, like the Domestic Violence Action Center in Honolulu: https://domesticviolenceactioncenter.org/.
For more information, you can read the full KITV4 article that features Attorney Noah Gibson by clicking here. If you need legal support to get through a divorce or family law dispute in Hawaii, start by contacting Hawaii’s Original Family Law Firm: Coates Frey Hackett & Gibson, AAL LLLC.