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Dealing with the effects of divorce on your military career

A military divorce is something that some service members have to go through. They, or their spouses, no longer feel comfortable in their marriages and decide to end them.

Military divorces work much like any other divorces do, but there are additional factors that have to be considered. For instance, retirement is split differently, and child custody arrangements may require special planning.

One thing that some military members worry about is a divorce impacting their careers. A divorce is a very personal matter, and it's sure to impact your private life. It doesn't necessarily have to impact your career — but it could.

Your career is based on more than a marriage

A military career is more than your marriage. Your marriage should support your career, but it doesn't actually have anything to do with it. Whether you're up for a promotion and married or up for a promotion and divorced makes no difference.

What will play a role in your future in the military is how you handle your divorce and the reasons for for the split. For example, if your wife or husband decides to get a divorce because of domestic violence that is later proven, you could face reprimands from the military or even lose rank.

Other things that could impact your career include:

  • DUI convictions
  • Assaults
  • Missing work without cause or approval
  • Leaving your post
  • Handling your divorce while on the job

It's necessary to keep your divorce separate from your career. Even though it's hard to do so sometimes, you need to focus on work while at work and manage the divorce on your own time.

If you need a temporary break to handle the divorce, you should speak with your commanding officer to discuss taking a temporary leave of absence. Sometimes, a leave of absence helps you clear your head so you don't make mistakes on the job.

In cases where allegations could impact your career, it's a good idea to talk to your military divorce attorney. It's possible to restrict the impact of your divorce on your career, but only if you're aware of everything that might be said in testimony or all the allegations that have been made against you.

Your career is more likely to suffer if you take time away from work without applying for leave or taking time off officially. Remember, your personal life is something the military expects you to take care of on your own time, not while you're working to protect the country.

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