According to statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, the divorce rate for military families has steadily increased since 2001. In contrast, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the civilian divorce rate has shown a decline over recent years. In Arizona and elsewhere, stresses related to service duties can exert additional strain on a marriage and can play a central role in the decision to seek a military divorce.
Arizona members of the U.S. military understand when they sign up that they will be making many personal sacrifices. They spend months or years away from their loved ones and often feel out of place when they return. What they may not expect is that their service would affect child custody issues if their marriages end in military divorce.
Arizona families might have a family member or friend who has served honorably in the military. Some of the brave men and women who have volunteered to lay their lives on the line to protect the United States have actually been called upon to do so. Many of these people, though fortunate enough to survive, can face lasting injury and emotional trauma, and in cases of military divorce, a veteran may suffer more than a civilian counterpart.
Military families face a number of challenges that other Arizona couples may not have to face. Over time, each spouse makes adjustments and learns how to handle these challenges. The same is true when the couple decides to divorce and challenges related to a military divorce need to be addressed.
On Monday, May 17th, 2017, The United State Supreme Court ruled on the case Howell v. Howell, a case RPM Law has been following closely, and wrote about earlier (here).
The Supreme Court decided the case we previously wrote about here (http://www.matthewrandlelaw.com/.../military-retirement-divor...)
Most people who served or are/were married to someone who served, have heard that you either draw Military Retirement Benefit or VA Disability Compensation. The basic principal behind this is that you cannot double-dip from both money pots. As such, especially in light of the fact that someone can "waive" their Military Retirement(which is taxable) and get VA Disability(not taxable) instead, to get a couple extra dollars, most people choose the tax-free VA money as soon as it is an option.
If you or your spouse are a retired service member that is divorced or divorcing, I have some news for you: in Arizona, the benefits that are received for military retirement can, and likely will be divided, in part, between you and your (soon-to-be) former spouse. That is because Arizona is a Community Property State, which in a nutshell means that any property interest acquired by either spouse during the time of the marriage belongs to both people and at divorce can be split in half.
Military life is different from civilian life in almost every way imaginable. Work, family, free time - these all mean something different for members of the military.