Military Divorce

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Knowledgeable Divorce Guidance For Military Families

My name is Melinda L. Singer I come from a military family. My grandfather was a Lieutenant Colonel, my Father was a 2nd Lieutenant and my Uncle was a Sargent in The United States Army. My years of experience managing military family law cases, I can help my clients seek desirable resolutions. That way, they can move on with their lives.

I Can Help Families Navigate The Entire Process

There are numerous factors that can impact a military divorce. In many cases, it can take much longer than a civilian divorce, especially if the military spouse is on duty. This can cause stress and uncertainty for both spouses. I can help guide them through the process and tailor my approach to meet their needs and concerns. That way, they can confidently enter the next phase of their lives. Some of the things I can help military divorcees with include the following areas, below.

Retirement Benefits

A military pension can be a valuable asset. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protections Act, state courts can treat disposable retirement pay in accordance with state law. As New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, the amount of a military pension that each spouse can keep can be unclear. I can help them understand their situation and explain how their individual circumstances may be treated by a New Jersey court. I can also advocate for their best interests, whether that involves protecting or obtaining retirement benefits.

Parenting Time With Reserve Duty

Reserve duty can create challenges during a military divorce, especially when it comes to parenting time. While service members can live a somewhat normal life on reserve duty, being called to serve at a moment’s notice could easily uproot traditional child custody and visitation agreements. Because of this, military spouses must create a parenting schedule that factors in the obligations of someone on reserve duty. I can help military families develop, implement and negotiate parenting plans that keep all these things in mind and help them make adjustments as things change.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Service members put their lives on the line for our country. At the same time, many come back carrying heavy burdens and trauma that most civilians won’t experience in their lifetimes. These experiences can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is one of the most common reasons for divorce among military spouses. It can create hardship for service members and their families. I have worked with many military families when one spouse had PTSD, and I understand how emotional and complicated making decisions surrounding divorce can be. I can also help service members find counseling and therapy resources that address PTSD so that they can work toward being effective parents and leading fulfilling lives.

FAQ Surrounding Military Divorce

Below are some of the most common questions I get.

What happens if I divorce my military spouse?

Like in civilian families, military spouses going through a divorce must figure out how they will divide their assets and what time they will spend with their children. However, what can make military divorces different is that spouses must abide by guidelines that apply to U.S. service members. For example, federal laws may determine which state a couple gets divorced in, which can affect how couples handle spousal support, child support and property division.

What is a military spouse entitled to in a divorce?

Military spouses can still be eligible for certain military benefits after divorce. Some of those include:

  • Medical benefits
  • Thrift savings plans (military pensions)
  • Commissary, exchange or theater benefits

A military spouse’s eligibility for these benefits can depend on certain factors, like the length of their marriage.

What is the 10/10 rule in a military divorce?

The 10/10 rule says that if someone was married to their military spouse for at least 10 years and their spouse performed military duties for at least 10 years, then they can receive the percentage of the military retirement pay that they’re entitled to.

Have More Questions? Contact My Office Today.

Knowing where to start with a military divorce isn’t always easy. However, with the proper guidance and resources, people can feel confident about managing their military divorces in New Jersey. You can call my office at 201-870-0826 or fill out my firm’s online contact form to set up a consultation. I look forward to speaking with you.