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7 Important Considerations During a Military Divorce

 Posted on May 12, 2023 in Divorce

Novi Military Divorce AttorneyDivorce can be complicated, but a military divorce comes with additional complexities that must be carefully considered. If you or your spouse are in the military and considering a divorce, it is important to understand the unique challenges and legal considerations that come with it.

In this blog, we will discuss some important facts that you should know about a military divorce in Michigan. 

Here is everything you need to know:

Residency Requirements

In Michigan, either you or your spouse must be a resident of the state for at least 180 days before filing for divorce. The residency requirement can be waived if you or your spouse are on active duty and stationed outside of Michigan.

Division of Military Retirement Benefits

Military retirement benefits are considered marital property and are subject to division during divorce. Michigan is an equitable distribution state, meaning the marital property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, between spouses. In order to divide military retirement benefits, a court order called a "Qualified Domestic Relations Order" (QDRO) is necessary.

Child Support and Alimony

In Michigan, child support and alimony (also called spousal support) are determined based on the income of both parties. The amount of child support takes into account the income of both parents, the number of children involved, and other relevant factors. The amount of alimony is determined based on a variety of factors, including the length of the marriage, the income of both parties, and the ability of each party to support themselves.

Health Care

The spouse of a military member is entitled to TRICARE health care benefits during the marriage. After the divorce, the non-military spouse may be eligible for continued coverage under the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) for up to 36 months.

Child Custody

In Michigan, child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child. If one parent is in the military and frequently deployed or stationed overseas, this can complicate custody arrangements. In some cases, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child's best interests.

Service Members Civil Relief Act

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) protects military members who are on active duty. This includes protections related to default judgments, evictions, and other legal proceedings. If your spouse is on active duty and you are considering divorce, it is important to consult with an attorney familiar with the SCRA.


Jurisdiction can be a complex issue if you or your spouse are on active duty and stationed outside of Michigan. Generally, a court must have jurisdiction over both parties in order to issue a divorce decree. However, the military member may be protected by the SCRA and may be able to delay or challenge jurisdiction.

Contact an Oakland County Military Divorce Lawyer Today

If you are considering a military divorce in Michigan, it is important to work with a divorce attorney who is familiar with the unique issues involved. At Elkouri Heath, PLC, Oakland County military divorce lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of a military divorce. Contact us today at 248-344-9700 to schedule a consultation.





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