Military Family Law Archives

A woman who is pregnant with the child of a man who is medically retired from the U.S. Army discovered that she was unable to obtain Tricare of military health insurance coverage for herself on the basis of the relationship. Currently, the rules on family law matters for military retirees only provide such coverage for legal spouses. Her child, however, once born, would be able to get Tricare health care coverage as his or her father's child.

As movements in Colorado and other states seek to put an end to the practice of awarding lifetime alimony payments, a number of military veterans have called for lawmakers to address a 1982 law that effectively allows the former spouses of divorced service members to claim as much as half of their retirement payments. Critics of the law say it effectively amounts to lifetime alimony in many cases and unfairly forces veterans to give up substantial benefits earned protecting the nation from harm.

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A 33-year-old woman whose military service was cited as a reason for a custody decision that severely limits the time she may spend with her children will appeal that ruling, arguing that a state law protects her from such action. The statute states that factors relating to a service member's military duty, including "mobilization, deployment, absence [and] relocation" caused by his or her service, may be not form the sole basis for a court order regarding that parent's child custody, visitation rights or parenting time. The mother claims that the court failed to show that the decision to revoke her custody was not based solely on her status as a member of the National Guard.

In effort to curb the growing prevalence of divorce among military couples, the United States Navy has begun to offer dozens of workshops aimed at helping such couples readjust to married life after deployment. The workshops, known as Effective Communications, are part of a Navy initiative designed to support the relationships and psychological health of military members and their spouses.

The Uniform Law Commission has granted final approval to the Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act, a piece of legislation designed to standardize the way states treat child custody for military families. Colorado and many other states have implemented state laws aimed at protecting troops from losing child custody while deployed, but the act would require all states to consistently enforce such regulations.

The problems facing military couples are serious, with long distances and the psychological effects of war taking their toll on thousands of marriages. In fact, military divorce has risen by more than 40 percent since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began.

According to recent research published in the Journal of Family, members of the military are less likely to divorce than other U.S. Citizens of comparable education, employment, ethnicity and age. This contrasts many experts who commonly assert that military marriages are more likely to end in divorce given the large distances between couples and long deployments, especially in wake of the recent conflict in the Middle East.

A disabled former serviceman has requested that the U.S. Supreme Court reconsider whether it is legal for states to include a veteran's disability benefits when determining alimony awards. If the nation's highest court agrees to the request, the resulting decision could have significant implications for military veterans struggling with divorce issues in Colorado and many other states. The man has also asked the Supreme Court to consider whether it is legal for states to consider VA compensation as communal property, thus making it applicable for division upon divorce.

Being in the military can be stressful for couples, more so when both spouses are enlisted. Military families are facing many struggles now that deployed servicemen and women are returning home to reengage as husband, wife, mother and/or father. It is not always easy for service members to get used to life at home again or for those at home to readjust to having their spouse share in the parental responsibilities when they have been accustomed to doing things a particular way.

As more and more of our troops come home the adjustment to life back with their families can be very overwhelming. It can also be difficult for families whose military mom, dad or husband has been away to readjust to having another adult back in the home contributing to household chores and discipline.

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Posted in Law Post Date 12/18/2018


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