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Balancing family life with military career is typically challenging for most families living such lifestyles in Virginia and beyond. When you set your college degree and promising career aside to stay home and raise your family while your spouse carries out his or her military duties, you didn’t expect that you’d one day wind up in divorce court.

Unfortunately, many military couples find their relationships can’t withstand the pressures of deployment or post-combat situations. Others find that the life of a high-ranking officer places too much strain on a marriage or family life, and they aren’t able to overcome the obstacles that drive a wedge between them as spouses. As a stay-at-home parent, you’ll definitely want to build a strong support network if you’re planning to divorce.

Divorce involves a lot of paperwork

Tax forms, insurance policies and bank statements are merely several of many types of documents you may need to compile before entering a courtroom for divorce. On top of that, there will likely be many military documents that are also pertinent to your situation.

The more prepared and organized you are ahead of time, the less stressful it might be to achieve your ultimate goals. If you’re one of many spouses who has relied on his or her partner to handle all things financial or documentary in marriage, you may have your work cut out in trying to figure out which papers you need or even how to access certain files.

Financial issues

In addition to knowing where the money is, you also will need a plan for your future if you’re entering a single-parent lifestyle after years of being at home full time. Depending on how long you were married, you may be (or may not be) entitled to a portion of your spouse’s military retirement benefits. You may also qualify for continued access to commissary services.

Child support, alimony and other issues may be high priorities in your situation. Most military bases provide resources for spouses to help them navigate such situations. You can also talk to other spouses on base who have gone through similar experiences.

Other sources of support

As you are creating a new budget, perhaps applying for paid employment or even making plans to relocate with your children, you can keep stress levels to a minimum by tapping into local resources for support. Financial advisers, family counselors and experienced family law advocates often help stay-at-home military spouses get back on their feet as they and their children adapt to new lifestyles after divorce.