What is a Military Divorce in Wisconsin?

Military divorces can be complicated, even if you are the one who has been stationed in a new location or deployed overseas. You could be caught in a situation where you cannot file for divorce until after your spouse gives their permission. Although family law Wisconsin is not exceptionally clear about military divorces, there are some safe bets that can help you understand how to properly handle your case.

Generally, when a couple is getting a divorce it must be done so in court. This is to ensure that the divorce will be handled fairly and legally. The same is true with military divorces and they are handled in the same way as any other case would be handled. There are many instances where one member might not want the other spouse to sign legal documents, but the military member has no choice because if they do not their spouse could waive their rights to collect on their pension benefits. This does not mean that if you are married then you have to get a divorce, this means that you must follow the law and abide by what your spouse wants concerning their pension benefits. 

For example, if you file for divorce without your spouse’s consent and they decide to waive their rights, then you will not receive a portion of the military pension. Some states have made an exception for military divorces because of the fact that the military takes precedence over state law. If one spouse is joined and deployed in active duty by their branch of service, then they will continue to be considered married and their assets must be divided as if they were still married.

How is Military Divorce Different from Civilian Divorce?

Military divorces are different from civilian divorces because of the fact that division of property is not normally required with military divorces. This does not mean that a court cannot order a division of property, but it means that the division of property is decided by the military. The other difference is the way in which you get your divorce. For a civilian divorce, both parties must agree to what they want and be willing to sign off on the paperwork. In a military divorce, if the spouse agrees now, they could change their mind later. Once permission has been given it becomes irrevocable and it can only be reversed by getting permission again from their commanding officer or someone who has been appointed by them to give this permission.