As an alternative to divorce, military service members might want to draft and sign a separation agreement. There are two kinds of separation agreements — one involves couples entering into an out-of-court agreement and another that involves a court order and court approval of agreement. What follows is a description of out-of-court separation agreements for military service members.
There are several advantages to signing an out-of-court separation agreement. For example, couples can resolve issues relating to child support, child custody, property division and alimony — while still enjoying other marital rights and benefits that come with being married. They can also affirm the date of their separation for the purposes of finalizing their divorce later. In many states, couples must live separately for a certain period of time before they can finalize their divorce.
In terms of a military divorce, having a separation agreement is important for establishing the temporary terms by which spouses will handle the legal aspects of their separations. Some branches of the military handle the separation of spouses difficulty — as they each have their own spousal support guidelines which go into effect if no court order and no out-of-court separation agreement exist. Although the conditions will be different based on the military branch, spouses will be able to obtain temporary relief orders regarding child support, custody, alimony, visitation and other kinds of relief. Spouses may also be able to cancel any joint financial accounts to protect their resources from depletion by a wasteful spouse.
Military divorces are not the same as civilian divorces. As such, if you’re a military spouse in the process of getting a military divorce, a divorce lawyer can provide information about the process, your legal rights and what you should expect.
Source: jag.navy.mil, “Divorce and separation information,” accessed Nov. 02, 2017