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Not Every Belief Concerning Military Divorce Is True

On behalf of Tasha K. Schaffner of Schaffner Family Law posted in divorce on Thursday, March 22, 2018.

There can be many unique challenges in military marriages. However, when a marriage comes to an end, a military divorce is not unlike a civilian dissolution — in spite of some myths that seem to persist. Kentucky residents who are contemplating a divorce that includes a service member may be best served by seeking the assistance of a professional who is familiar with military regulations.

The divorce process for service members will take place in the civilian court system. There are laws in place that were enacted to ensure that spouses receive an equitable share of the marital assets when it comes to property division in divorce proceedings, though both parties are free to negotiate the settlement that would best meet their needs. Many believe that a former spouse will be entitled to half of a service member’s retirement pay if the marriage lasted 10 or more years that coincide with military service. This is not necessarily the case.

One of the best resources for a service member who is seeking a divorce is the legal assistance office on base. This agency cannot provide representation in a civilian court, but can provide accurate information regarding the the division of military pay and retirement. A former spouse may be entitled to receive payment through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service if certain conditions apply. However, this does not mean that a service member will automatically be ordered to split that pay with a ex-spouse.

Furthermore, AR 608-99 is an Army regulation that serves as a guideline for a commander regarding the amount of support a service member must provide whenever a family member files a complaint and there is no existing agreement. Separately, the decision of how much support to award to a former spouse is entirely up to the judge in the family courts. Kentucky residents who are seeking a military divorce may consult with an experienced family law attorney to pursue a settlement that will best meet one’s financial needs.

Source:, “Sorting myth from facts about military divorce”, Capt. Hyun Muniz, March 8, 2018

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