Overview of military divorce alternative dispute resolution

Over time, alternative dispute resolution has become more widely used in cases in Washington state and around the country. Moreover, it is being used to aid in resolving issues in divorces involving members of the armed services as well.

What is divorce alternative dispute resolution?

Divorce alternative dispute resolution nearly always takes the form of mediation. Mediation is a process through which parties to a divorce strive to achieve a settlement of outstanding issues with the assistance and guidance of a trained neutral third party. A mediator does not make decisions for the parties. Rather, a mediator strives to create a climate in which a divorcing couple can communicate and attempt to negotiate a reasonable settlement of the outstanding and unresolved issues.

Mediation and issues in a military divorce

Many issues that arise in a military divorce are the same as those that can be faced among civilians whose marriages are coming to an end. These include:

  • Child custody
  • Parenting time or visitation
  • The division of marital assets and debts

With that said, there are issues unique to a military divorce. These issues are being resolved through the divorce alternative dispute resolution process with increasing frequency, and they include

  • Division of military pension
  • Calculation of marital share when a spouse is in active duty
  • Division of thrift savings plan
  • Base privileges, including commissary
  • Availability of Tricare

In order to ensure that a party to a military divorce enjoys a full protection of his or her legal interests, retaining experienced legal representation is a wise course. There are attorneys who have specific experience in military divorce cases.