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Lifetime spousal support for military divorce spouses may end

Service members from Montgomery, Tennessee, put their lives on the line whenever they leave their families behind to serve the country. Spouses, on the other hand, single-handedly juggle all the household chores and raise the children whenever their military partners are deployed outside the state or country.

Military marriages therefore often prove difficult for both parties, as they don't have enough opportunities to discuss issues that arise between them while one spouse is away on active deployment. As a result, many servicemembers face divorce. Military divorces are very similar to civilian divorces in certain respects but applicable federal laws make military divorces distinct in other respects.

Military advocates are pushing for changes in existing laws that allow family courts to award lifetime alimony to spouses. Under the current federal law, servicemembers' retirement funds can be siphoned as spousal support that often does not end, even if the former spouse joins the workforce or remarries.

Additionally, a spouse whose marriage lasted for over 20 years with an officer is entitled to half of his or her military retirement. On the other hand, in marriages that exceeded 10 years, military spouses are entitled to a share of benefits accumulated over the length of the shorter marriage, as well.

Military divorce cases may vary depending on what state the divorce takes place in and whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, both parties may talk through issues like alimony, property division, child custody and child support and then settle these issues. This can be a relatively fast and simple process if both parties are able to come to an agreement.

In Tennessee, divorcing service members deployed abroad may choose to delay the court proceedings. This depends on the discretion of the court overseeing the case. However, spouses may sign a waiver for the continuance of the proceedings even if the active service member hasn't finished his or her deployment.

Legal professionals adept in Tennessee state laws and federal laws may be of help in resolving military divorces and those going through a military divorce in Tennessee may find them to be a valuable aid in coming to a settlement agreement, or, if necessary, resolving the couple's issues in front of a judge.

Source: Newsmax.com, "Military divorcees aim to end lifetime alimony rules," David Yonkman, Feb. 18, 2013

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