In The Military? Here Are Three Factors To Consider During Divorce
No two divorce cases are exactly alike but for service members in the military, there are a number of unique issues. Individuals in the military must resolve the same issues as in non-military divorces, but there are other factors to consider in these cases, too. Service members are often eligible for benefits associated with their service and the very nature of their employment. If you are thinking about divorce and are currently serving in the military, or have a spouse who is, below are three important factors to consider.
Child Custody and Deployment Abroad
Members of the military are often called abroad as part of their job. In the best of circumstances, this is very difficult for a family, but it becomes more complex when child custody issues are involved. First and foremost, a person’s military status has no bearing on child custody issues. The non-military parent will not automatically receive custody simply because their spouse may be called overseas.
Due to the fact that a custodial parent could be deployed in another country, they typically must designate another trusted person to watch the children for them in case they cannot. Even when someone in the military is not granted primary custody, they should still designate a trusted adult in case they cannot be with their child for visitation.
TRICARE Benefits and Military Divorce
As part of a married couple, a non-military spouse can receive TRICARE benefits, and they often wonder how a divorce will affect that coverage. Unfortunately, in most cases, TRICARE coverage stops for non-military spouses once the divorce is final. However, there are two exceptions to this.
Under the 20/20/20 rule, non-military spouses can continue to receive TRICARE coverage if:
- Their marriage to a service member lasted for a minimum of 20 years,
- The service member served in the military for a minimum of 20 years, and
- The marriage and the time in service overlapped for a minimum of 20 years
After meeting the above requirements, non-military spouses can receive TRICARE coverage until they are 65 years old. At this time, individuals can generally receive Medicare benefits.
Under the 20/20/15 exception, individuals can be covered by TRICARE for one year after divorce if they:
- Were married to a service member for at least 20 years,
- The service member was enlisted in the military for at least 20 years, and
- The marriage and time in service overlapped for at least 15 years
BAH and BAS Allowances
The Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and the Basic Allowances for Subsistence (BAS) are classified as income during the divorce process. As such, they will be taken into account when decisions are made on alimony and child support.
Our Family Lawyers in Orlando Can Advise on the Unique Facts of Your Case
Military divorces are very unique from other cases. At O’Mara Law Group, our Orlando family lawyers have the necessary experience these cases require, and we will put that expertise to work for you. Call us today at 407-634-6604 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.