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Dealing With Divorce as a Military Family

Back view of father holding son.

Moving forward with a divorce can be the start of a new life. Military OneSource can provide you with the resources to help you cope and adjust. Whether it’s meeting with a non-medical counselor, partnering with a health and wellness coach, discussing finances with a personal financial counselor, seeking legal help or finding support for the other members of your family, Military OneSource is here to help.

Dealing with the legal side of divorce

Learning how to navigate and understand the legal process of a divorce can reduce the time, expense and emotional strain on you and your family.

While state law and local procedures largely govern divorce, there are certain federal statutes and military regulations that may be applicable to your divorce. For instance, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act helps protect service members’ legal rights when called to active duty.

Service members and their families also have access to legal advice at no cost through the installation legal assistance offices. However, it is important to note that legal assistance officers only offer guidance to either the service member or the spouse, in order to avoid any potential conflict of interest.

Military lawyers — called judge advocates (JAGs) — are also available to help you and your spouse understand the legal implications of your divorce. A JAG officer cannot represent you or your spouse in a family law court, but can refer you to a civilian lawyer. JAG officers also cannot represent a client in a family law court. To find a JAG officer on an installation near you, visit the Installation Program Directory.

Dealing with the emotional strain of divorce

As you and your spouse begin the process of legally separating, it’s important to remember to tend to your own emotional wellness. Even if you feel confident in your decision and ready to move forward, it’s always OK to ask for extra help.

Military OneSource can provide support through this difficult time with the following resources:

  • Non-medical counseling: Talking to a counselor can help reduce stress and keep you mission-ready. Counseling is available face-to-face, online, telephonically or via video.
  • Health and wellness coaching: With so many changes affecting your family at once, it’s easy to let basic health habits slide. Partnering with a Military OneSource health and wellness coach can keep you from losing sight of your own health. It can be healing to focus on taking care of yourself during this time of transition.
  • Financial counseling: Regardless of your financial situation, finances are likely to play a large role in your divorce. A Military OneSource financial counselor can assist you in getting your finances in order to make the process easier.

Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to learn more about all of the above services and request an appointment with a non-medical counselor, health and wellness coach or financial counselor.

Helping your children deal with divorce

It’s important to recognize how divorce may be affecting your children.

You can help them grieve and adjust to new circumstances by supporting their feelings and using the resources available to your family. Child and youth behavioral military and family life counselors are available on your installation if your child needs additional support.

Going through a divorce isn’t easy, but there are resources and additional support to help ease the stress. Take advantage of the military resources available while you care for yourself through this difficult transition.

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