Divorce w/ spouse in military???

  1. I am trying to find out some info for my niece and since you guys are such a wealth of info.. well

    My niece married about a 1 1/2 year (under much resistance from our family) ago to her childhood sweetheart. She moved to North Carolina to be with him. Long story short, he continued to be verbally abusive toward her, just as he had while they dated. A few weeks ago, he was sent to Kuwait and she returned home to stay with my sister & BIL (her parents). She has since confessed to us that she was miserable from the moment she arrived in NC. He was verbally abusive when they dated, and from what she's told us this week, he just got worse after they married and after she moved to NC.

    Anyhoo..she's decided to end the marriage. He's still in Kuwait.

    We know that in NC, you must be separated for one year before filing for divorce. My question is this..
    Since he's enlisted, are the rules any different? Will she continue to be covered by his medical insurance until the divorce is final, or can he take her off now that he knows her intent? Should she obtain a lawyer NOW or should she wait until closer to the 1-year separation period?

    Any advice or suggestions are greatly welcome and appreciated.
  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   Stargazer
    I don't know the answers to the military-related stuff, but she needs to consult an attorney immediately, before she gives her spouse an inkling of what she's thinking. She will need to take certain steps to protect herself in the event he gets retaliatory. She could make a lot of mistakes, both legal and financial, in a year's time.
  4. by   llg
    I definitely agree with Stargazer. She can make a lot of mistakes in a year.

  5. by   nurs4kids
    Thanks, ya'll! Unfortunately, she told him over the phone this am. Don't ask me why..
    she just said she felt it unfair for her to pretend everything was okay, when it wasn't. He was not shocked..ego busted, but not shocked. Okay, so her next step is to obtain a lawyer! Thanks again!!
  6. by   colleen10
    Step 1: move all monetary funds into one account only under her name

    Step 2: move all of her belongings, possessions from their residence

    Step 3: consult a lawyer

    Seriously. I had a friend who was a military wife and moved all the way to Hawaii from PA to be with her husband. Their marrage lasted about 1 1/2 years. Her husband was verbally and physically abusive. She could not take it any longer and while he was on duty in some foreign country she packed up everything and came back home.

    Divorce is ugly to begin with let alone having to do it with someone who is abusive. It's good that she has moved back home to be with her family and has a support system.

    It's worth the money and peace of mind to get a good lawyer. I hope she makes it through all if this allright. My friend did, and a few years later is happily married to a great guy!
  7. by   Rustyhammer
    Move all their funds into an account under HER name??
    Thats not really fair is it?

    How about this...Talk to the hubby and mutually make a decision about ending the marriage. Sounds like she is being sneaky and he is in the dark.
  8. by   researchrabbit
    Well, Rusty, I wish I had done so when my marriage tanked (still working on paying off credit cards he took out IN MY NAME that I didn't know existed). It depends on a lot, of course.

    1. Are there joint debts?

    2. Who will be paying them?

    3. Who is responsible about paying debts? If both, maybe she doesn't need to move the money.

    If he is so-so about paying debts, she should move the money and pay the debts. This will be much easier in the long run.

    If there are joint credit cards, these should all be cancelled IMMEDIATELY.

    If there are children involved and she has them, then that is another reason to move the money to her name until there's some kind of child support agreement made.
  9. by   Rustyhammer
    This subject is upsetting to me. I hate to think of a marriage ending and who will pay for what and who gets the kids...I cant come back to this thread.
  10. by   Lausana
    It's always sad, but in this situation it's best, he's abusive and I don't think there's kids (right?) so why not get out and start over.
  11. by   colleen10
    Ditto what Research Rabbit said. Seeing that he is overseas I imagine that she takes care of paying most of the bills and I imagine that her name is on a lot of things jointly, like cars, CC, apartment, etc. even though he may be the one bringing in the bacon.

    There is nothing keeping him from leaving her high and dry, stuck with a mess of bills and no money.

    The very first thing a good divorce lawyer is going to tell you is to move whatever money you have into your own account.
  12. by   emily_mom
    When my husband and I separated, he closed our joint checking and kept the money. He also cancelled all credit cards and I was left with nothing....it took me weeks to get my cards back with a different account #.

    I had my daughter....thank God for financial aid. Part of me says take it (since I'm a bytch) and the other side (since I was there) says to not do that to him.

    Get a good lawyer....

  13. by   cactus wren
    Have a friend whose daughter got a divorce from a serviceman...first thing she should do is consult with a JAG lawyer, first, before hubby does. that gets the service on her side, not his. And from way back...hard to divorce( or at least was) when hubby is deployed...Lots of luck to her
  14. by   SmilingBluEyes
    The saying goes, there are three sides to any story; His, Hers and the truth... Do we KNOW THIS GUY? Do we KNOW THIS GIRL? Do WE KNOW COMMUNITY PROPERTY LAW or other similar laws, by STATE? My best guess would be NO! THE ONLY ADVICE she needs is to get a divorce/family law attorney. That is the ONLY appropriate thing I can say. I see Rusty's side of it, too. The fact is, WE don't know this girl, this man or the TRUE story and I am sure we none of us are attorneys specializing in family law. We can't judge the best thing to do except what Stargazer says. GET A LAWYER and wish them both good LUCK.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jan 29, '03