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How to divorce when serving in the military

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Divorce is an emotional time for any couple, but if you serve in the military you may feel that your decision needs to be put on hold until you have returned from deployment.  Sam Miles, Family Partner, here answers the questions she often faces explaining why this is not always a requirement and that you can continue with your life while continuing to serve your country.

I’m serving in the military so am often overseas or working long unsociable hours. How can I communicate with my solicitor if I cannot come to your office for appointments?

We tend to find that after your initial consultation, where we discuss the grounds for divorce and the process in more detail, the need to meet with your lawyer face to face will be limited to Court hearings or round table conferences.   In the situation where you are not able to come to the office, we can offer telephone appointments at convenient times for you, including out of our usual office hours where necessary.  During these telephone consultations we will be discussing with you any communication we have received from the other side and to receive instructions from you as to how to proceed.

What if I cannot attend Court hearings?

As long as you can let us have your deployment dates for us to avoid, we are usually able to make a request to the Court to list matters at your convenience. The Court are also generally amenable to moving Court dates if you cannot attend for work reasons, particularly if you are going to be overseas.

What if I can’t get hold of you at all due to my deployment location?

If you know this is likely to be the case, you can nominate another person who you trust to provide instructions on your behalf.  We will ask you to sign a form of authority to allow us to communicate with them and take instructions from them in your absence.  You will need to ensure that they are a trusted third party, as we will not be able to make your decisions for you so you must be confident that they can make the right choices for you and your future.

I’m worried about my pension and I have heard that military pensions are more complicated than others?

This is true as there are a number of different military pensions available and a number of different options when it comes to dividing your assets following a divorce.  However, we have the knowledge and breadth of experience to be able to advise you on this and to ensure that the outcome takes into account the difference between forces pensions and other occupational or private schemes.   You can find out more about military pensions here.

If you are serving in the military but are keen to start divorce proceedings, then you can contact Sam or the Family team on 02380 717431 or email


This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.