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Rights of abandoned military spouses in Tennessee

Abandonment is the deliberate act of forsaking a partner without notification or the intention of returning. According to U. S. military law which is valid for Tennessee residents, too, if a service member abandons a partner, that partner has certain rights and is entitled to spousal support because the abandoned partner will still be considered a military spouse.

According to military law, a service member is entitled to a housing allowance if he or she is not furnished with living quarters. If a military person has children, the amount is increased in order to support all family members. As abandonment is not a military divorce, the spouse will have the right to a portion of this military living allowance.

A military person's spouse is entitled to a military ID card, which is the key to receive benefits, such as access to military installations, on-base shopping benefits and other financial support from military services. The card cannot be taken away from a military spouse because the card is not the military member's property. Rather, it is the federal government's property and if a service member tries to remove the card, the spouse should notify military command immediately.

The spouse of a military member, according to military law, is entitled to medical benefits until a military divorce is final. Under certain circumstances, the spouse can still keep military benefits. This circumstance usually happens for couples who have been married for a very long time.

A military spouse is also entitled to child care services, military counseling and legal assistance. This can help a spouse work through the military divorce proceedings. If there has been no proper military divorce, the abandoned spouse will be entitled to help from the military unit in order to locate the spouse.

Source: MilitaryOneSource.mil, "Rights and Benefits for Abandoned Military Spouses," Accessed on Dec. 18, 2014

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