Long-Time Military Marriages: Understanding Your Rights As A Spouse

Posted on: 10 June 2016

When marrying someone in the military, you get to enjoy the same benefits as your spouse. When these benefits have expanded beyond 20 years, it can be an extremely hard transition back to civilian life. As you go through a divorce, it's important to understand the rights that you have. In a long-term marriage, there are many granted rights and privileges. By working with a military divorce attorney, you can ensure that you are granted these rights and not left with nothing after the divorce has ended.

Military Housing

When traveling to multiple military bases, it's often easy for many couples to live directly on the base. If you're divorced from your spouse, then you will not get the same access to the base that you once had. This does not mean that you will instantly have to leave and find another place. There is a transition stage that allows you to enjoy your military home while you plan on a new living situation. Your spouse does not have the right to evict you from the housing. This actually falls under the role of an installation commander. This person will likely issue you an eviction notice once the divorce is finalized or when your spouse has moved off of the premises. Once this notice is applied, you have 30 days to leave the military base and move somewhere off the base. A military divorce lawyer can help protect you and ensure that eviction notice is not applied too early. This will give you time to properly prepare and make the tough transition.

Health Benefits

After being married to your spouse for an extended amount of time, you are used to enjoying the medical benefits that have come with their military career. When married for several years, you can take advantage of military guidelines known as 20/20/20. This is a guideline that an attorney will use to prove that you are entitled to proper healthcare. To qualify for these benefits, you must have been married to your spouse for 20 years, they must have served in the military for 20 years, and your marriage must overlapped with the military service for at least 20 years. An attorney can help prove all of these factors to ensure that you get access to the same healthcare. The healthcare will be separate from your spouse to ensure your independence as your divorce is finalized.

If your long-term marriage lasted between 15 to 20 years of service time, then you still have some healthcare options. One of these options is known as the 20/20/15 rule. This allows you to have continued healthcare benefits for a year after the divorce is finalized. This allows you to have healthcare benefits until you can transition to a new life and can figure out your personal healthcare needs.

Shopping & Exchanges

Being married in the military means that you got to enjoy the benefits of the base for multiple years. Losing that access can dramatically change your lifestyle and make it hard to transition to civilian life. Luckily, the 20/20/20 rule also applied to military base access. This access gives you the ability to visit the military exchange for the rest of your life. The exchange allows you shop for groceries and other items at the military prices. An attorney can help ensure that your military ID stays active as you go through the divorce.

Along with shopping, a military base also includes other recreational activities that you can participate in. This includes bowling alleys, movie theaters, and concerts or events that are being held at the base. When choosing to live in the same area, having this access to the base can also help you keep in touch with military friends that you have made through the years.

If you are unsure about all of the rights you have, then contacting a military divorce lawyer can make a big difference. As your advocate, the lawyer can really represent your case and ensure that all of your rights are met. For more information, contact an experienced lawyer from a firm like Karen Robins Carnegie PLC