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Divorce in Virginia is complicated, and it is even harder for a military spouse because it differs from non-military divorce. The spouse initiating the divorce may be seen as the enemy trying to take advantage of benefits others feel they no longer deserve. The divorce initiator may find themselves without support from friends and family, but they could face additional issues when getting divorced from a military spouse.

Military families can get sent anywhere in the world, which means they will live at the duty station, or go back to their hometown. This can be challenging for divorced spouses with children, who want the children to maintain parental relationships. The decision is often made more than once, and the non-military ex-spouse won’t have financial assistance from the military when they move.

Another issue with military divorce is low employment opportunities. Ex-spouses at military stations usually work mid-level jobs because they move too frequently to advance. Moving back to the hometown may be an option, but jobs are not always available. The non-military spouse could also lose health care coverage, usually TRICARE, for themselves and non-qualifying children. However, the non-military spouse can still buy temporary TRICARE coverage for 18-36 months.

Military attorneys can help with some aspects, such as writing letters or reviewing documents, but they cannot represent the party. It is essential to do what works best for the family, especially when children are involved, and sometimes, a spouse may be uncooperative. Use a civilian lawyer for military divorce to provide assist in handling these cases, including requests for a stay of proceedings through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.