Frequently Asked Military Divorce Questions

If I am a service member stationed out of state, where do I file for divorce?

My spouse is threatening to divorce me while I am deployed. Does the law protect me against this legal action?

If I am deployed, will I lose custody of my children?

If I am deployed, may I receive virtual visitation rights?

What is the United Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) and how can it help me after divorce?

What is the 10-10 rule?

Can I keep my Tricare coverage?

My ex is behind on support payments. What options do I have to receive back payments?

If I am a service member stationed out of state, where do I file for divorce?

If your spouse has lived in North Carolina for at least six months and you have lived in separate residences for over a year, you may file for divorce in the state.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) was passed to allow members of the military to focus on their military service while on active duty. If a service member is served with a legal petition, he or she can ask the court to postpone legal proceedings. These postponements can be extended numerous times as long as the service member is engaged in active duty.

If I am deployed, will I lose custody of my children?

Courts routinely modify child custody orders when a major change in circumstances has occurred. Deployment is an event that meets this standard.

Divorced service members who are parents may fear that their civilian exes will file for primary custody during deployment. If this is a concern you share, it is wise to meet with an attorney who is experienced in military divorce and understands which SCRA provisions may apply to your circumstances.

Victoria Hardin has represented military parents for a range of complex custody matters. She will use her substantial knowledge of military divorce laws to design a compelling argument for your custody case. She knows how to help you protect your parenting rights.

If I am deployed, may I receive virtual visitation rights?

In North Carolina, noncustodial parents may remain in contact with their child through electronic communication. Email, video conferencing and instant messaging are all forms of acceptable communication. Judges can set guidelines that determine contact hours, among other issues.

What is the United Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) and how can it help me after divorce?

Congress passed this act to recognize the sacrifices military spouses make during their marriage. The USFSPA allows former spouses of service members to access military benefits, including health care, commissary privileges and military pensions. The type of benefits and sum you are entitled to receive is determined by a variety of factors that are listed below.

What is the 10-10 rule?

The 10-10 rule is used to determine whether the former spouse will receive payments directly from DFAS for a portion of the earned military pension. If you were married to your spouse for at least 10 years and your spouse served in the military for 10 years while married, the military is responsible for paying you the retirement pay so long as the appropriate order is filed.

Can I keep my Tricare coverage?

For former military spouses to remain covered under the Tricare program, they must meet these requirements set by the 20-20-20 rule:

  • They were married for at least 20 years.
  • Their former spouse served for at least 20 years.
  • Their years married and engaged in service overlapped by at least 20 years.

The 20-20-15 rule provides one year of Tricare benefits to former military spouses who:

  • Were married to a service member for at least 20 years
  • Were married to a service member who served the military for at least 20 years
  • Were married during a former spouse's 15 years of military service

Children of service members remain covered by the Tricare program after the divorce if the service member lists them as dependents.

My ex is behind on support payments. What options do I have to receive back payments?

If your former spouse is a service member, you can turn to the courts or to your ex's commanding officer for help. You can file a petition with the court to enforce a support order. The court may demand that your former spouse's wages be garnished to pay owed support.

Commanding officers may penalize service members who violate support orders by reducing pay or rank, among other penalties.

Our Firm Is Dedicated To Helping You Receive A Favorable Outcome. Contact Us Today.

Our founding attorney, Victoria Hardin, is a skilled military benefits lawyer and experienced negotiator. Make your appointment to speak with her about your concerns by reaching her online or over the phone at 910-849-2356.