With several major military bases in the state of Illinois, there are numerous military families residing in the state. While being married to a service member can be beneficial and life fulfilling, it can also be the cause of various marital problems. This is also why some military families much face the complex process of a military divorce.
Many people find the topic of divorce in general to be confusing. Whether it's the large amount of arcane legal knowledge involved or the prospect of negotiating with one's spouse over property division matters, most people leave much of the details to divorce lawyers. Imagine, then, facing a military divorce. This adds military law to the mix, making it that much more complicated for most folks.
There are many military members and former military members in Springfield who have decided to divorce. Divorce issues that worry many the non-military spouses of these military members center around health care military benefits through TRICARE. There are eligibility requirements that must be met. The level of benefits and their duration will depend on the length of the marriage and its status in overlapping with the service member's time in the military. There are two situations to know about: the 20-20-20 rule and the 20-20-15 rule.
Divorce is an inherently complicated situation for any couple or family going through the process. But imagine now if one of or both of the spouses involved in that divorce was a member of the United States military. In these cases -- though many of the logistics are similar to a non-military divorce -- there are numerous complex circumstances involved in completing the divorce.
Members of the military are used to having and following orders. They follow routines and strict schedules; they prioritize speed and efficiency when it comes to getting things done. These skills and behaviors can be critical in military endeavors, but they can actually work against a person when it comes to something like divorce.
In our last blog post, we began discussing the military divorce process and how a divorce involving an armed forces service member differs from a civilian divorce. Specifically we mentioned the importance of understanding the possible implications of filing for a divorce in one state vs. another and also an active service member's right, under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act, to request an automatic stay in divorce proceedings.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of June 2013, an estimated 2.7 million people were serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, 1.4 million of which were designated as active duty service members. For the men and women who pledge to protect our country and put their very lives at risk, there are often many personal sacrifices.
Since that fateful day in 2001 when the Twin Towers fell, military personnel and their families have experienced hardships that few civilians can understand or relate to. Lengthy deployments, traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and other battle scars have stretched military families to the breaking point. In light of this, it came as little surprise that the military divorce rate increased during this time.