Because San Antonio is still very much “Military City USA,” we have gained expertise over the years in working with military families going through divorce. We know that these families face enormous pressures in their day-to-day lives, whether they’re living together on a base in military housing or the couple lives apart due to one or both of them being on active deployment.
There is some encouraging news for military couples who are trying to stay together. A Military.com article from the start of this summer noted that there’s a slow but steady decade-long decline in the divorce rates among active-duty troops. An article on the Today Show’s site making the rounds recently – but dating back to 2012 – highlights the ongoing trend of retreats for military families who are attempting to sort out their issues or simply reconnect.
While it’s great to see couples who are on the brink of divorce, especially those who have children, able to reconcile, it’s inevitable that some will divorce. For couples in which one or both parties are active-duty military, there are some special considerations to keep in mind. While military divorces carry the same basic concerns as other divorces, mainly dividing assets and accounting for children, military life can provide additional obstacles for a divorcing couple to overcome.
Jurisdiction can be an issue that’s best for a legal expert to sort out. Typically, people divorce in the state in which they legally reside, but that can be complicated with deployments. For example, if your spouse lives in Ohio, but you’ve been deployed to a base in San Antonio, are you able to file for divorce in Texas, or should you file in Ohio even though you may complicate or even delay your divorce in doing so? Those are questions that can be answered by our team – and after fully learning about your situation in our thorough initial consultation process, we may help you discover elements of your case you hadn’t thought of previously to best determine where to file and how to proceed.
Decisions about parenting are central to any divorce decree involving children, but it’s one that’s definitely complicated when one or both parents are deployed. As we pointed out in an earlier blog article on this topic, a family care plan allowing service members “to safeguard their child’s future by considering things such as housing, transportation, [and] medical care” are not only a good idea, but required by the Department of Defense. A well-written, legal sound parenting plan can help guarantee your children will be cared for in accordance with your wishes, even if you’re not physically present to exercise those.
Finally, there are benefits associated with military service, including retirement funds, that need to be sorted out in a divorce decree. For young couples especially, those assets can be a significant portion of the marital estate. Our experience, gleaned through settle a great number of divorces, means we’re familiar with all kinds of asset and debt scenarios and creative ways to fairly divide them.
We also understand that a number of military families face financial stresses. We show our appreciation for what the military does by offering a 10 percent discount to active-duty service members who retain us for family law services.
If you’re looking to divorce while you, your spouse, or the both of you are serving, the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance can help you as its helped military families before you. We know the distinction between military and civilian life, and can help you move from your divorce to the rest of your time in service and what lies beyond.