For years you were proud to support your wife as she served in the military. You raised your children alone while she was deployed for extended periods of time. You felt your sacrifices as a military husband helped our country. Now your wife no longer wants to continue your marriage. She wants a divorce. What can you do?
Rights for Military Spouses
Divorce is a difficult process for every husband. It takes both an emotional and a financial toll on your life. You are left with many questions about what to do and how to plan for the future. As a military spouse, you receive certain benefits from the military. Can your wife end all these benefits with the divorce? Can she take the military retirement benefits you built together? You need answers from a Washington divorce lawyer experienced in military divorce. You need a Divorce Lawyer For Men.
Custody of Your Children
If you are a father, your primary concern is the care and well-being of your children. If your wife is active military, she may be deployed for long periods of time overseas and in active war zones. You have a compelling argument that the best interests of the children is served by you having full custody (called “residential placement” in Washington). The attorneys of Divorce Lawyers For Men will fight for the best interests of your children in court and work tirelessly to get you custody.
Military regulations require a service member to provide financial support to spouses and children upon separation. Especially if your wife earns more money than you, she may be required to provide financial support in addition to the child required by state law. Find out more by reading Military Divorce: Financial Support.
Full Military Benefits
If you have been married to your wife for twenty years of her military service, you are entitled to full continuing military health benefits, as well as continuing access to military commissary and exchanges.
If you obtain employer-provided health care, military health benefits cease. However, you will regain military health benefits if employer-provided health care ceases. Similarly, if you remarry, all the above-mentioned military benefits cease. However, if the you get divorced again, then you are once again entitled to full military benefits.
If you and your wife separate but do not get divorced, you will continue to receive full married military benefits. You may also be entitled to additional financial support.
Temporary Military Benefits
If you have been married to your wife for twenty years, fifteen of which covered her military service, you are entitled to health benefits for one year.
Retirement and Disability Benefits
Like civilian retirement plans, military retirement plans are considered community property in the state of Washington. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) allows for military retirement benefits to be divided as property during a divorce.
If you were married for ten or more years during your wife’s military service, then you are entitled to receive any portion of the retirement benefits awarded to you in divorce directly from the government (DFAS).
It is important to understand that no matter what property division is decided during the divorce, you will not receive any portion of the retirement benefits until your former spouse actually retires.
Survivor Benefits Plan
Even after divorce, you can remain the beneficiary of your wife’s Survivor Benefits Plan. As part of the division of property, it can be negotiated in the divorce to keep you as the beneficiary.
If a service member is court-martialed or administratively separated from service due to abuse, the service member’s spouse and family members can obtain temporary benefits and compensation, such as housing, health care, access to commissary and exchange facilities, and temporary financial support. The degree of benefits and support depends on the remaining service obligations of the offending service member. Qualifying offenses against a spouse or family members include assault, battery, rape, sexual assault, murder, and manslaughter.
Helping Military Husbands in Divorce
With years of experience in state divorce law and military regulations, the attorneys of Divorce Lawyers For Men are ready to guide you through the divorce process. We will help you understand the special challenges that face military spouses in divorce. We will aggressively protect your rights in court. Call us today to speak with an attorney who can help.
Divorce Lawyers For Men™ attorneys advise and assist military spouses going through divorce. We will help you understand how both Washington state and federal law applies to your divorce. Call us today at (360) 866-7393 to speak with an attorney who understands the needs of military husbands.
If you would like more information on the divorce process, or to take the best divorce resources with you in print, please check out our free divorce guide for men or contact our office to meet with an attorney about your particular circumstances.