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Military Divorce Unique Elements Make Them More Complicated Than Civilian Divorce

Every divorce is unfortunate and stressful the unique stresses of a military divorce can make it even more difficult to make necessary decisions for the good of the family.


Military divorces sometimes include elements that make them more complicated than civilian divorces. Military couples must be aware of factors that affect their divorce as a result of military service. Special knowledge of laws and familiarity with issues is needed when it comes to military divorce, such as:

- Military pay - Military retirement pay - Military Disability pay - Military pension division orders trough DFAS - Survivor benefit plan - Military housing - Medical and other military benefits - Separation bonuses - Transfers to the Reserve-Guard - Uniform Services Former Spouses' Protection ACT


The following tips will help to navigate the roadblocks and landmines often present in military divorce:

Track and understand gross income and all factors that impact Modified Adjustable Gross Income . Be aware of the Combat zone exclusion - Service in a combat zone may mean that a portion of pay is excluded from income. Be aware of the 2003 Military Family Tax Relief ACT - This relates to the sale of the home, often resulting in relocation. The new law offers an exception to the use and ownership rule for the service members in "qualified official extended duty." The rule is extended from five years to ten years for the single property. Take advantage of education credits - The service member, spouse or a dependant is entitled to tax credits or deductions if enrolled in a college or vocational school. Be aware of the automatic two-month extension - Check with an accountant to see if qualified. Permanent Change of Station and Child Tax Credits - These credits can alleviate the cash flow burden on moving families. Falling short of 20 years - Divorcing before the service member attains 20 years of creditable service to qualify for retirement pay can be detrimental to the non-military spouse. Military pensions subject to different rules than QDRO - Divisible in the event of divorce, military pensions are subject to different rules than the Qualified Domestic Relations Orders for private retirement accounts or Domestic Relations Orders for state and municipal pensions. Alimony and child support - are also subject to special rules. Lodging or food in lieu of BAH or BAS - Depending on the state, family law courts may also assign-credit income to a servicemember who receives lodging or food in lieu of BAH or BAS. Military housing is considered an "in-kind payment" - much like a company car provided by a private-sector employer.

When divorce is inevitable, it's important to do the financial homework. If necessary, seek professional help. A divorce financial analyst, especially one with knowledge about military divorce, can help a military couple avoid financial pitfalls so common when emotions affect decision-making.

Divorce Advice 7 Traps To Avoid For A Healthier Transition During And After Divorce this really happening to me? No one skates through divorce, it's life altering and hugely emotional. However, life will be much easier if you avoid certain traps. Read on to see what self-sabotaging mistakes not to make.

1 Wallowing - ahhh... the infamous pity party. I've had a few of those myself and this is what I've learned. A few is alright - but no more than a few, okay? Continuous sadness is punishing to your self-esteem and physical health.

2 Obsessing -Your friends and family are more than happy to be there for you initially but if you continue to talk of nothing else you're running the risk of becoming quite boring and draining and you may lose some dear friends.

3 Abusing Your Body with Excessive Eating, Drinking and Drugs- There's a saying, "Wherever you go, there you are." Over indulging in comfort foods or numbing your mind with alcohol or drugs is not going to magically erase your problems. This behavior is very self-punishing.

4 Blaming Yourself - buying into the belief that your relationship failure is all your fault will shatter your self-esteem. The old adage is true, it takes two to tango, it always has and it always will.

5 Husband Bashing - I know only too well how the injustice, the disappointment and the lies can drive you crazy, but sinking to his level by gossiping with your friends will just keep you in a downward spiral and leave you feeling empty.

6 Isolating- hiding from the world will just make you more sad, lonely and depressed. Your self-esteem will plummet and you will most likely engage in all of the above negative behaviors. Get out and connect with others.

7 Focusing on Loss - this is where the law of attraction comes into play big time. Whatever you focus on will expand - if you stay in the mind-set of loss you stand to lose a lot more than your relationship.

Everything in life happens to support our spiritual growth. Don't let yourself fall prey to these debilitating reactions. You are a beautiful being - recognize your value and see what else the universe has to offer.

BONUS TIP - And now I invite you to visit for more supportive advice on how to make an easy transition to an exciting new life.

Authored by Sherri Nickols - inspirational coach to women experiencing life changing emotional challenges who are ready to move forward for a sparkling new life.

Hidden Dangers Of Divorce For The Naive And What To Do To Make A Better Divorce

The system of family law is inherently flawed. It is adversarial where it need not be, and when it needs to be strong it often fails the client. Civil Codes and family laws are ignored. Lawyers perjure themselves for their clients, make character assassinations and other heinous acts as routine as filing a motion. Lawyers are abusive, expensive and when they become the problem instead of the solution, it's time to say so.

I first learned this in my own divorce - where better to learn than firsthand?

I was caught in a huge attempt at concealing fraud, with my husband and his attorney in collusion to conceal it, then Kafkaesquelike, planning to blame it on me. They announced this at a settlement conference when asked by the pro tem judge, "Why are you going to trial, there is evidence of the fraud?"

With breathtaking nonchalance, opposing counsel prepared to assist my husband in implicating me in fraud.

At the time I thought I was the only one anything like this happened to. Over the years I have come to learn how common it is.

It took a lot of discovery to unearth the fraud including subpoeanas of clients. I won, but the cost was high. If opposing counsel not been so malignant in encouraging the fraud upon the court, it is possible we might have settled. But how would he earn his $350.00 an hour if we settle? Greed and ego play a big part in the cash cow known as family law. After losing at trial, he wanted an appeal, which they lost. Still on the warpath, opposing counsel wanted to go to the Supreme Court. However by now, my ex had spent enough on his losing battle and stopped the war.

Recently in Dallas there was a judge so incompetent she thought she had the right to eliminate evidence proving sexual abuse. She was exposed and did not get re-elected, but the trauma to the people in her court is severe and they suffer still.

In California, I recently read a transcript where the judge knowingly begins a trial at the wrong time and without both sides present. He ignores this and proceeds without the mother. This was a custody trial. Can you imagine the lack of judicial ethics to begin a trial at the wrong time? Due process? Gone. Constitutional rights? Ignored. This is family court.

In another case, a Silicon Valley attorney announces she is a 'prima donna' as if that excuses her abusive treatment of clients, and worse, the outrageous billing for doing nothing. She told one client: "Don't do discovery. Go ahead and lose and we'll get the money later." Really? I hope one of her clients files a bar complaint or sues for malpractice. She should be flipping burgers not bon mots.

In My Divorce

Shocked, stunned and filled with rage at the lack of human compassion, at the malignancy that was this process, I felt trapped. But slowly, a change was washing over me. The more I learned about narcissism and evil, the more I gladly wore the badge they pinned on me labeled "target" . They were working very hard to "get me", so hard that they had to recreate a world in which I am expendable and they are to get their way. Oh, dear husband, you never focused on me during the marriage as you did then. With humor and grace, as Richard Cohen puts it, I look with amusement at how much time, energy and money he directed at me now.

I was distraught, depressed and angry. Alexander Hamilton said, "The first duty of society is justice." Where the hell was it?

Divorce lawyers taught me not only are women supposed to be inferior, they run their cases as if we actually are. Divorce is a paternalistic system, even with many female attorneys. It is built on control, concealment of information, and a swirl of paperwork that makes the process understood only by the anointed few.

Sometimes I think "law" is an acronym for lawyers against women. While all the men exit stage left, let me say I also believe the law can be an equal opportunity bastard and be unjust, unfair and biased against anyone or anything.

Why is Divorce Often Harder for Women?

Women are not trained to fight and divorce can be war. Women do not believe it will get dirty and nasty. They do not see their spouse as one who can and will do things which harm everyone including the children. But when money and ego are involved spouses can act without a conscience. You may be amazed at the transformation of your spouse, morphing from someone you knew as kind and compassionate to a stranger who fights with a passion.

With an aggressive, greed driven attorney behind him, he can become brainwashed and encouraged to whip himself into a frenzy.

Money translates into power in the legal system. It allows those who want to punish their spouses the ability to do so legally. As long as there is money, there is someone to represent them.

Inquiring minds want to know: is it possible to have a positive legal experience when dealing with a group of people who believe the truth is a manipulative?

Maybe. Find out more at or where Ann Bradley, M.A. shares her experience and information.

Divorce &Amp Beyond How To Let Go Of Those Thoughts Of Revenge &Amp Move Forward After A Divorce

Divorce, like grief, has the potential to keep you fixated on the past instead of on the future that lies ahead of you. While, for many, there is a time of grief involved in a divorce, there is also a time of rebirth that needs to happen. If this doesn't happen, you become stuck. One surefire way to get stuck has to do with your thought life. Let's focus on one of the most common thoughts that will stick you every time!

Thoughts of Revenge

While not uncommon when you're freshly divorced and hurting, if these carry on for years, you've gone a little too far. It's normal to want to get "even" when we're hurt. We want the rest of the world to know just how bad our ex-spouse was. We want them to hurt as bad as we're hurting. We want them to experience the financial struggle that we may be experiencing. But just because these thoughts are normal - doesn't mean they're healthy for you in the long run.

What's Wrong With Revenge?

1. It's born out of anger and indifference is the goal

I frequently tell my coaching clients that "The opposite of love is NOT hate, it's indifference." You want to reach the point where your ex-spouse isn't really even on the radar of your thought life anymore. Sure, you'll have to deal with them when it comes to the kids, but beyond that you really don't need to think about them much anymore.

2. This anger will overflow to other aspects of your life

While the anger starts out directed at your ex, the more you hold onto it, the more it begins to take over your life. You'll start being grouchy at your children, co-workers and even friends. It's hard to contain this type of anger to only one area. It begins to taint all your emotions.

3. You see the world through "angry eyes"

When we reach a point where we're angry most of the time, then all we pay attention to are the things that continue to cause anger. We're less likely to notice the joyful times. The situations that go smoothly or cause enjoyment are ignored or are somehow skewed to fit with our angry lifeview.

4. It hurts your kids

If you walk around angry and grouchy all of the time not only will that seep into your interactions with your kids, but it will make co-parenting downright impossible. You'll always be poised for a fight around your ex-spouse. Your children love both of you. Witnessing these fights, or even feeling the "vibes" from the anger you have toward their other parent is painful to them.

So, why stay stuck? It's time to let those thoughts of revenge die. Move forward into the future that's waiting for you rather than clinging to a past full of hurt and anger from your divorce.

You may be asking "How's that possible to do?" Well, it starts with a choice. Make the choice today to move forward. We want to support you in that choice. Visit us at today to gain resources for divorced parents.

To learn more about letting go of the past to move forward into your future, I invite you to download the audio from this month's chat on that very subject. Visit

Are you ready to move past that anger you're carrying? Visit to learn more about our special report, "I'm Just So Mad! Dealing with the Anger of Divorce."

By Alyssa Johnson at Remarriage Success

Do It Yourself Divorce Can Make Filing For Divorce Easier And Less Stressful

Stress, anxiety, expense. These seem to be the unavoidable consequences of divorce. At least part of the reason for this is the involvement of lawyers in the divorce process. Sad to say, not all lawyers will have your best interests targeted as their main priority and a heavily conflicted divorce can lead to higher legal fees.

A do it yourself divorce may be the answer if you and your spouse want to dissolve your marriage with an absolute minimum amount of strain, animosity and expense.

A do it yourself divorce is possible in all states if you and your spouse can agree on fundamental issues and so be in a position to file an uncontested divorce.

Reach an agreement concerning your children after the divorce

You and your spouse must be able to agree on all aspects of child care and custody. This means you must nail down who will have primary custody of the kids. You must agree on a visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent, where the visits will take place and for how long. You must reach an accord on the amount of child support and a payment schedule.

Reach an agreement concerning your property

You and your spouse must be able to fairly divide your property so that both parties are happy with the division. If you own a house you must be able to agree on who will get take possession of the house and on what terms. If you can't come to terms on the house then you must agree to sell it and divide the money between you. The division of funds does not have to be a 50-50 split just as long as you can agree on an equitable sharing.

You must agree on the division of all other property as well and this can come down to small things like who gets the big screen TV. Take an inventory of your home and create a list. Go through that list and calmly decide who gets what. Keep going until you are both happy with the division.

Online services can simplify a do it yourself divorce

If you and your spouse can agree on the basic issues and still smile at each other then you are great candidates for a DIY divorce. The two of you can make the procedure even easier by using an online divorce document service. While not necessary, the papers you need should be available at your local court house, an good DIY divorce online service will be able to help you to make sure that the forms are all filled in correctly and answer any questions that may arise. A search for "divorce documents" followed by the name of the state where you live should return plenty of results to choose from.

Not all couples should file a do it yourself divorce

DIY divorce is not for everyone. If you can't agree on fundamental matters than, of course, you will need a lawyer. But there are other issues that should be considered as well.

Do you trust your spouse? You must believe that your spouse will hold fast to your agreements, especially concerning child support and custody. If you have little faith in your spouse's ability to a keep a promise you are better off retaining the services of a lawyer.

Has there been spousal abuse or child abuse during your marriage? An abusive spouse is unlikely to change his or her ways because of a divorce, and obviously he or she cannot be trusted. If you or your children have been victims of abuse, retain a lawyer, and make sure he or she knows about the abuse so you can be properly advised.

The incidence of failed marriages is sky high these days but not all divorce actions need to be handled by lawyers and come before the court. If you and your spouse still retain some of the love and mutual respect that brought you together in the first place then you can save anxiety and expense with a do it yourself divorce.

Molly Laws is an experienced divorce counselor and advocate of do it yourself divorce. She is a contributing author at

Cooperative Divorce Four Ways To Avoid A Messy Divorce

As an experienced family law attorney, I have seen some very messy divorces and I have seen some "healthy" divorces. I define a healthy divorce in which the parties continue to have a relationship, albeit a different relationship, while they pursue their separate lives. Child development specialists are unanimous that if there is a divorce, a healthy divorce is the best way to go for the sake of the children. We all know someone who has had a messy divorce and there are plenty of news stories regarding other peoples divorces. Healthy divorces are rarely the focus of news reports. Yet they truly do exist and are worth pursuing instead of the alternative. How can you avoid a messy divorce?

1. Consider the consequences of a messy divorce

Have a conversation with your soon-to-be ex regarding your goal of avoiding a messy divorce and agree to a plan to avoid it. The major downsides to hotly contested divorce are:

- a major financial expenditure - all information becomes public - very time consuming - emotional toll on both parties - emotional damage to the children - damage to career and business

2. Focus on the issues most important to you

My favorite analogy is that of dividing an orange. A couple fought over an orange and asked the assistance of a wise person. The wise person divided the orange in half. Easy answer - both sides should be happy, right? No, both sides were unhappy. One person really wanted the juice and one really wanted the peel for making potpourri. Therefore each had lost when it would have been possible for both to win.

Look at each important issue and determine what your greatest interest is. Can both of your needs be met in some way? Is there room for trade offs? If you are determined to fight every detail down to the pots and pans, you are not going to be able to have a healthy divorce. Focus on those issues most important to you. For some, this is the parenting plan and how much time each spends with the children. Money can be a big issue but often there can be satisfactory alternatives that can meet each party's needs. Get it down to the issues important to you and leave enough room for both parties to survive after the divorce. Often couples find that both of their needs can be met once they are able to determine what is most important.

3. Consider the best revenge

You are hurt and the other party is clearly wrong. Even if this is completely true it does not help solve the problem. Washington is a "no fault divorce" state. Judges are not interested in who did what to whom. One does not get more money or a better deal because the other person was "bad". Divorce court is not the place to exact your revenge. Your revenge is living well. A healthy divorce gives you a head start toward that goal. You do not have to spend time in recovery from a messy divorce and, since the process is usually shorter, you get started on your new life even sooner.

4. Explore healthy divorce alternatives

There are many professional advocates to healthy divorce. Cooperative divorce, mediated divorce, and collaborative law are rapidly gaining proponents among lawyers, financial professionals, and mental health professionals. Search for these professionals in your area that specialize in the healthy divorce alternatives mentioned and use those terms in search engines to find information on the internet.

Karin Quirk is a family law attorney trained in divorce mediation and collaborative law and practices in Bellevue, WA. For more information go to

When divorce is inevitable, it's important to do the financial homework. If necessary, seek professional help. A divorce financial analyst, especially one with knowledge about military divorce, can help a military couple avoid financial pitfalls so common when emotions affect decision-making.

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