What to do if your military spouse no longer provides financial support for your family.
If you have been cut off financially by your spouse who is also a soldier, it can be easy to feel helpless in the uncertainty. Understand, however, that you are not helpless.
Every branch of the military requires soldiers to support their spouse and children, even if the soldier is going through a divorce. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure you are supported after a soldier cuts you off financially.
Steps to Take After Your Military Spouse Cuts You Off
As stated, every military branch requires its service members to support their spouse and children in some way. As such, it is not permitted for a service member to cut a spouse off completely. However, branches of the military have their own rules on the extent to which its service members are obligated to provide support.
The first thing you should do is get accurate information on what your spouse is obligated to provide by his or her branch of service. You can do this by talking to a lawyer who is familiar with the nuances of military divorces and what is required by law. Your lawyer’s counsel will prove invaluable when protecting your legal right to support. For more information on branch specific support, here is a brief but helpful look at each branch’s guidelines.
Second, contact your spouse’s chain of command. You can write a letter to the service member’s commanding officer, notifying them of the fact your spouse has cut you off financially. Most commanding officers will be willing to help, but in unusual circumstances, command may avoid getting involved.
If chain of command is of little or no help, take the matter up with additional parties. If you contact the chaplain, he or she will be able to serve as a mediator who will work to resolve the situation. Additionally, consider contacting the branch’s Victim’s Advocacy Program. A Victim’s Advocate will then notify command of the fact your spouse has effectively abandoned the family.
If these steps fail, it is time to contact a Judge Advocate General (JAG). The equivalent role in the Marine Corps is simply known as the Judge Advocate. While the JAG will not be able to help with a divorce proceeding, they will be able to point you in the best legal direction when other parties have been of no help.
While the specifics of a spouse’s branch and their financial situation will dictate the amount of support you receive, know that you are entitled to support you while you remain married.
If you have questions regarding military divorce, or are unaware as to the terms and conditions in, talk to, and retain, a family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected]