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Military divorce presents more issues than non-military divorce

Divorce is never an easy process, and it is certainly not what most people envision happening when they say “I do.” It’s no secret that divorce rates have been on the rise in our country, but divorce has long been a concern for those in the military simply due to the nature of their service. Military divorces can present a number of issues that traditional divorces do not. For example, one of the spouses may be deployed overseas, making it difficult to advance with divorce proceedings.

A more particular issue that couples face in military divorce is the “10/10 rule.” It’s a rule that was put into place as a result of a law passed in 1982 that allowed state divorce courts to include military retirement as marital property, meaning that it could be divided between spouses in a divorce case. In order to take advantage of the 10/10 rule, you must have been married to your spouse for 10 years or more. If your spouse spent at least 10 years in creditable military service during this time of marriage, then your portion of the court divided military retirement pay can be sent to you by the DFAS instead of your former spouse.

As the divorce rate continues to climb within the military, more servicemen and servicewomen will go through the difficult process of a military divorce. While couples will likely try their hardest to make things work, some marriages simply cannot handle the strain that military life puts on them, and divorce proceedings may be inevitable.

If you are going through a divorce and one of the members of the marriage is in the military, legal counsel that has experience and knowledge handling a divorce from a military perspective can be extremely beneficial. Topics such as the division of military retirement and benefits for nonmilitary spouses must all be taken into consideration, in addition to conventional divorce topics such as child custody or child support.

Source:, “Explaining the 10/10 Rule for Military Divorce,” Ms. Vicki, May 6, 2014

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