United States of America

The military views a soldier single or married. Even though the JAG office will prepare a state mandated legal separation agreement, the military does not recognize them. This means many military members are made to support their estranged spouse for periods up to a year until they are able to file for divorce.

The spouse is allowed to date other people while the service member is not allowed to date or they risk being charged with adultery.

Army Regulation 608-99:
Family Support, Child Custody & Paternity requires soldiers to pay temporary support depending upon the family situation:

Civilian spouse/children not in military housing: BAH-II (aka "BAQ") at the with-dependents rate.

Civilian spouse/children in military housing: Difference between BAH-II at the with-dependents rate and the without-dependents rate.

Civilian spouse/children not in military housing and not living together: Pro rata share of BAH-II to each.

Military spouse with no children: No support obligation.

Military spouse with children split between parties: No support obligation.

Military spouse with all children: The difference between BAH-II at the with-dependents rate and the without-dependents rate.

In-kind payments (such as buying groceries or paying bills) do not generally count towards the support obligation, except in very rare situations. A battalion/squadron commander may relieve the soldier of the spousal support obligation only in very limited circumstances, such as the civilian spouse having a higher income, being in jail, or committing physical abuse against the soldier, or the soldier having already paid support pursuant to AR 608-99 for 18 months.

Note that the soldier must still pay the same support if the spouse has the couple's children. Finally, infidelity or abandonment do NOT constitute grounds for relief.

**This means the military members estranged spouse would have an affair, but the military member has to support them during the separation period that the state requires before filing for divorce. In some states this could be up to $11,000 if the separation period in one year.**

This regulation holds up even if you have only been married for one month. Until your divorce is final you have to support a spouse you were with for even one day and then separated from because the marriage did not work out.

We, the undersigned, call on the Department of Defense to review the policy, 608-99 as to spousal support.

This policy needs to recognize state mandated marital separation periods before filing for divorce, and resolve that military members should not be required to support an estranged spouse during the separation period if the marriage lasted less than five (5) years prior to separation date and/or if there is no community property.

Furthermore, the service member should be deemed as separated from the spouse with divorce pending and not be punished if they chose to date during the state mandated separation period.

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The Military should recognize state mandated marriage separation periods petition to Military was written by Viktoria Carter and is in the category Military at GoPetition.