Divorce for military couples have an added layer of confusion because of the special legalities of pay, benefits, and states of residence that civilian couples don’t have to negotiate. For families considering divorce or trying to figure out how to go about it, there are some things to know from the outset. This article isn’t legal advice, just informational guidance.
Have you considered and, if applicable, accomplished the transfer of your Post 9-11 GI Bill entitlement to another eligible family member? Do you have a plan in place for the care of your minor children in the event you are deployed or unavailable for an extended period of time? Readiness is a constant duty for all of us. We relentlessly train, study and prepare for the challenges, real or envisioned, that we are likely to face in our chosen fields. Unfortunately, the same rigor is often not applied to our personal matters. Preparing to sail or fly into a hurricane is vastly different than preparing for that hurricane to hit your home. Ensure your family and property are prepared by getting your legal documents in order. Coast Guard legal assistance attorneys provide advice and counsel regarding personal legal issues to thousands of service members, dependents and retirees each year at no cost.
For me, the question is not why I serve, but why I still serve. I am close to completing my 33rd year of federal service, 21 years on active duty in the Air Force and the remainder as a civilian legal assistance attorney with the Coast Guard. Friends ask when I plan to retire, and my answer boils down to this: “Not anytime soon.”