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3 things every veteran should know about divorce

It's hard enough to juggle the demands of work and family, but military families are often subject to additional stress, too. Between general duty obligations, training and potential deployment, it is no wonder why many service members find themselves considering divorce. There are a few things you should know, however, if you are a veteran or active duty personnel in this situation.

According to, military divorce rates are on the decline, but it is still imperative that military members be aware of how divorce could affect them. These are three of the most important factors to keep in mind: 

1. Deployment can impact custody

If you and your spouse have children, determining custody arrangements can be an additional complication in your divorce case. The outcome may depend on whether one or both of you is enlisted, and potential deployments impact custody rulings, too. If possible, it is best to collaborate with your ex to develop a co-parenting plan that best suits your children's needs. This can help you avoid a drawn-out battle.

2. Your pensions may be divisible

Veterans who receive pensions--or those on active duty who will receive pensions later--might rightfully wonder whether these assets could be subject to property division. Indeed, in 1982, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act was passed to establish such pensions and retirement funds as divisible marital property. This means that if you do not have a pre- or postnuptial agreement, there may be much at stake. 

3. Child support may be taken from benefits

Divorcing military members who have kids may be faced with child support obligations. If neglected, these payments are typically garnished from a parent's wages, but things can work a little differently for veterans and active duty personnel. Child support payments can be garnished from your usual wages, but they can also be deducted from disability benefits or any other monetary benefits you receive.

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