What is the difference between divorce and military divorce?

People in the armed forces should know the difference between military divorce and normal divorce.

When people in Colorado are going through a divorce, a lot of things have to be dealt with. Property, pension and child support must be determined equitably. Healthcare coverage may change. One or both parties involved may want to hire a lawyer. In all of these and other matters, the process is different when at least one of the spouses is in the military. Knowing what makes military divorce different from a standard divorce can help prepare someone to handle it effectively.

The 20/20/20 Rule

Military personnel who were married during at least 20 years of service, whose spouses were in the military for at least 20 years and who were married for at least 20 years to that same spouse can benefit from some special advantages, including theater privileges and commissary exchange. TRICARE, a type of insurance meant for service members, is also available to those who meet the requirements of the 20/20/20 Rule. The only caveat is that the person who receives these advantages does not remarry.

Other key differences

Aside from the special rule stated above, any military divorce involves a lot of different terminology, and the procedures followed and options available are very different from what civilians go through. The following list contains some of the most important differences:

· Military pension is one of the assets that can be divided in a military divorce, but only if the spouses were married for 10 years while one of them was in service.

· Anyone in the military can buy a Survivor Benefit Plan, which will ensure that his or her spouse will continue to receive pension payments after he or she dies.

· Some people in the armed forces elect to create a Thrift Savings Plan, which can be divided between parties in a divorce much like a 401k or IRA.

· A non-military spouse may apply for continued healthcare benefits for 36 months following the divorce, if he or she does not meet the 20/20/20 Rule.

· Service members are not allowed to use the military's legal assistance attorneys to represent them in divorces, but they can consult them and ask them to negotiate on their behalves.

Furthermore, sometimes a service member's duties prevent them from responding to a court action. In such cases, he or she can request a stay on proceedings for at least 90 days.

It can be difficult for people in Colorado to navigate all of the legal paperwork in a divorce, let alone to make sure things are divided fairly and completely. An attorney in the local area who practices family law may be able to help things go more smoothly.