Before you entered the military, perhaps you had no idea of the great divide between civilian life and military life. Civilians obey traffic rules, work rules, education rules and a few other rules depending on their situation. Overall, most civilian laws are simple and seldom noticed. Military rules, on the other hand, stretch for miles, and a recruit worries daily about accidentally breaking rules he or she has never encountered.

If you wish to dissolve your marriage, you may wonder about the type of rules that apply to military divorce. It is true that military divorce is not like civilian divorce.

Essential facts to understand in Kentucky military divorce

As a military parent, you will probably have several divorce-related questions. How do you obtain a military divorce? Why is a civilian attorney needed? An additional concern for military couples is how deployment affects child custody. What effect will divorce have on your children? 

  • Divorce – To begin the divorce process, you may contact Fort Knox Legal Assistance and receive services at no charge. You will receive information about the military side of the divorce process. Many service members are surprised to learn they also need a civilian attorney for a military divorce.
  • Civilian Attorney – You will need a civilian attorney who specializes in military divorce law. A civilian attorney represents you in court. If you expect to pay child support, the attorney can educate the court on the intricate structure of military pay and wage garnishment for payment of child support. A civilian military attorney helps service members obtain a fair division of marital debts.
  • Deployment and Child Custody – Suppose after the divorce, your former spouse had legal custody of the children. What if the army deploys your ex-spouse to another country? You are now the remaining parent, and the children live with you. Can you obtain legal custody? Kentucky law KRS 403.340 deals with modifying your decree of child custody. Paragraph 5 states that you can receive temporary custody; however, your prior custody arrangement will return once the deployed parent returns to American soil.
  • Children and divorce – You may also want to consider family counseling service. Children need support before, during and after the divorce. They may experience anxiety, fear, anger or depression. A trusted family therapist skilled in military divorce counseling may be able to help you smooth the way for your children.

Military divorces can have long-term effects

You must make long-range financial decisions during a divorce. Several of them are unique to military members. For example, you want to make sure the court divides your assets fairly. You will also need to consider how to apportion health care, how to deal with thrift savings plans or survivor benefits and how to distribute retirement payments.