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Military Cohabitation Laws

Cohabitation laws vary from state to state and should be understood if you are planning to cohabitate. Many people are unaware of the complications that can arise when they choose to cohabitate rather than marry. Many times, benefits and liberties are lost from cohabitating. Below are some of the top questions answered by Experts on issues related to military cohabitation.

If a soldier is still married, but separated, can they get in trouble for cohabitating with a soldier from a different platoon?

If you are married and you are having sex with a person who you are cohabitating with, you could be facing punishment from the military. In order for the UCMJ to prosecute you on charges, they will have to prove three things.

1. That you are having or have had a sexual relationship with the room mate
2. You were married at the time of the sexual relationship with the room mate
3. That you knew your conduct was wrong but continued the wrongful act and that it brought discredit to the armed forces.

It will be difficult to prove the last factor because the military will have to show that your actions affected your unit or attracted negative attention to the military. You can learn more about this topic by going here: http://usmilitary.about.com/od/punitivearticles/a/mcm1342.htm

Of course, if the cohabitation didn't involve sexual acts with the roommate, there won't be a case. If there was sex, you probably will be facing charges. You may want to speak to someone at TDS about your best options in the event your command pushes for an Art 15.

Will the widow of a retired veteran lose TRICARE if they cohabitate with a person instead of remarrying?

Unless you live in a state that recognizes common law marriage, there shouldn't be an issue if you are cohabitating. The law says that any un-remarried widow is eligible for TRICARE. If you remarry, your benefits to TRICARE are gone. This is because TRICARE is a benefit for the widow of a veteran and will end upon the widow remarrying.

In Texas, would the Marine Corps acknowledge a common law marriage or will they require a certificate?

The Marine Corps will need a form or certificate showing your marital status. In the state of Texas, the common law marriage goes by a different name, known as an informal marriage. Under § 2.401 of the Texas Family Code, an informal marriage can be established either by declaration (registering at the county courthouse without having a ceremony), or by meeting a 3-prong test showing evidence of (1) an agreement to be married; (2) cohabitation in Texas; and (3) representation to others that the parties are married.

In order to get a certificate or form of marital status, you can go to your court house and register your marriage. Once your marriage is recorded, the court clerk can make a copy of the declaration for the Marine Corps.

When writing a letter of remorse for an article 15, how should the letter be worded?

The best approach to writing the remorse letter is to be sincere. The reason for a remorse letter is to attempt to reduce punishment. The remorse letter may not do anything to lighten your punishment but you need to try. You need to attempt to express three points in your remorse letter. The first step is to sincerely apologize. You need to be honest about your apology and explain why you are apologizing. The next step is to explain what you have learned from the experience. The third step is to give a plan of action for your future. Mean what you say and make sure you express how sincere you are.

Ca you receive military benefits while cohabitating? A woman has lived with her husband for 13 years but only married for 9 years.

The military doesn't provide benefits for the time that you cohabitate, only for the years of marriage. Usually, the amount will be 50% once you have been married for at least ten years, but this will be decided by the courts in the event of a divorce settlement. You can learn more about this topic by going here: http://www.dfas.mil/militarypay/garnishment/fsfact.html

Cohabitation is a popular choice of many couples who prefer an uncomplicated living arrangement. A few states still acknowledge common law marriage, so if you plan to keep a status of unmarried, you need to know the laws of your state. If you are in the military and unsure about your cohabitation laws, it's always best to contact an Expert in Military Law.
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Recent Cohabitation Questions

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    Applicant requested a summary and value for 'division of pension' of Respondent's military pension. Answer and value amount received.
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