Aggressive. Determined. Hardworking.

3 special considerations: Divorces involving Air Force servicemembers

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Divorce

Many individuals who serve in the Air Force and their family members may end up living in the Tucson, Arizona area. The Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is the home base for numerous military families. Service in the Air Force can put a lot of strain on a marital relationship.

Servicemembers commit a huge amount of their lives to their careers and may not be able to fully disclose everything about their jobs to their spouses. That situation can put a lot of strain on a marital relationship. Military marriages do sometimes end in divorce. A divorce involving a couple where one spouse serves in the Air Force can lead to unique concerns and challenges for the spouses at issue.

Challenges related to deployment

There are rules that prevent one spouse from intentionally preventing the other from securing a divorce. Typically, a spouse who fails to respond promptly to a divorce filing is at risk of a default judgment issued in favor of the other spouse. However, there is a federal law that helps prevent abuses of the default divorce rule. Military servicemembers away on deployment can request the delay of divorce proceedings until 90 days after they return. Someone hoping to pursue a military divorce may have to wait until their spouse returns from deployment to move forward with the process.

Issues related to military benefits

There are a variety of military benefits provided to servicemembers, their spouses and their children. Those benefits may include housing benefits, health insurance and even pension benefits. The same Arizona laws apply when military servicemembers divorce as when civilians divorce. However, the military has special rules regarding benefits. For example, there is a rule about the distribution of pension benefits after a divorce. There are also limitations on what benefits a spouse can receive after a divorce. Typically, they become immediately ineligible for TRICARE health insurance and housing benefits after the end of the marriage.

Custody challenges

When there are young children in the family, divorce inevitably becomes more complex. Parents often argue with each other about custody arrangements because they both want as much time with the children as possible. Adding military service into that equation can make negotiations that much more complex and difficult to resolve. Parents may need to negotiate separate arrangements for while they are near each other and during deployment. They may even need to include special terms allowing for virtual visitation.

Those stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, or living with a spouse serving there, may have a complex divorce process ahead. Learning more about Arizona family law statutes and military rules can benefit those preparing for a pending Air Force divorce accordingly.