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Military Marriage Laws

A marriage is about celebration, new beginnings, hope, some anxiety, and the start of many nice things for the couple getting married. A military marriage though can also be hard on the couple when a spouse is deployed or when the base is away from home. Distance, separation or disagreements during a marriage can cause issues that can have legal implications. There are also differences in the way military law deals with situations as compared to civilian family law. All this can lead to questions about military marriage laws, like the ones below that have been answered by Experts.

Does the military allow spouses to be stationed close to each other during their tours?

Each branch of service has an assignment program called, “JOIN SPOUSE”. Under this program, the military does try to place spouses at the same base or at least within 100 miles of each other. There is no guarantee that a couple will be stationed together. While the military tries to place the couple together, it cannot create a new position for JOIN SPOUSE. In order for the couple to be placed together, there needs to be an existing position available. To increase your chances of being stationed with your spouse, you need to contact your branch manager and notify them that you will be marrying someone from another service. Once all of the information has been supplied, the military will try to place you and your spouse at the same base. Of course this depends upon each spouse’s duties, individual branches and the availability of positions. Generally, your chains of command play a large part in arranging the reassignment.

If a married military officer has a miscarriage, can they receive a hardship discharge based on emotional issues?

Usually, a miscarriage would not be deemed a hardship and may not qualify for a hardship discharge. This is more likely to get classified as an emergency leave. However, if you are experiencing emotional issues from a miscarriage, you could request a discharge. There is a drawback to requesting a discharge based on emotional distress. There is no detail mentioned aside from discharge for emotional instability, which may impact any future employment opportunities that you may consider. If this aspect of the discharge doesn’t bother you, you should discuss your situation with a doctor about your emotional state.

If a person marries a retired military officer and the entire marriage income was military retirement pay, which purchased a home and vehicles; would any of this be considered community property in Texas?

The retirement funds would be considered separate property because the spouse acquired these before the marriage. It would be unlikely to qualify as marital property; therefore it would not be community property. Items that were purchased by both spouses during the marriage may be considered marital property. Any income prior to marriage would be separate, however any items bought during the marriage even if they were bought with the retirement funds would be community property.

What is the punishment for a person who is accused of submitting a fake marriage license to a military unit, and who would prosecute, the state or the military?

In order to prosecute, the military would have to show that you were responsible for submitting the fake marriage license. The same rule would apply to any local or state prosecution. They will have to prove that you knowingly submitted a fake document, or that you had someone else do this for you. The military can take actions and process you for administrative separation. Usually, the military waives off any criminal prosecution if the state chooses to prosecute. However, the military can still take administrative action against you. As far as the punishment goes, this usually depends on the type of evidence against you.

Is it legal to marry a person in order for them to receive military health benefits and Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)?

It is considered illegal to marry in order to claim marital benefits under false pretense and not live with your spouse or partner. If you marry for money or medical benefits you are running the risk of committing BAH fraud. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) fraud is a UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) offense and can result in a court martial.

Many issues can arise with military marriage due to the stress sometimes places on the servicemen and women. Whether it is to do with a civilian marrying a military spouse or marriage between two military members, the laws governing military marriage can be confusing. When these issues arise many individuals turn to the Experts for insight and answers.
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