Divorce and Separation Counseling

The Army recognizes that divorce or separation is one of the most challenging events a person can encounter in their life. The effects of a divorce or separation are wide ranging and can affect many aspects of life such as mental well being, availability for work, child care, finances, housing, security clearance and more.

The Army's most immediate challenge is the effect a divorce can have on manning and mission accomplishment. The first step that should be taken is to notify your chain of command so that appropriate actions can be taken.

The Soldier's most pressing need is to resolve the issue. Warning: When a Soldier is faced with a separation or divorce, he or she will often try to resolve the issue alone. It is not uncommon for Soldiers to go AWOL in order to pursue their spouse. Or they make take other actions in an attempt to get kicked out of the service so that they can return to their home of record and work things out. Although these actions are somewhat understandable, they are detrimental to the Soldier's career and, by extension, his or her dependents.

The Army is on your side and wants to help you. Accepting the services the Army offers is the best thing a person in this situation can do. It gives the Soldier the advantage because the Army provides access to expert legal help, financial counseling, workcenter support, scheduled leave, etc. It is truly the best option.

As your supervisor, I will inform the chain of command of this situation and I will follow up as often as necessary to help in this process. This will most likely not affect your clearance or your career so don't worry about that. You have enough to deal with as it is. In addition, you should know that your privacy will be respected and only those persons or agencies with a need to know will have knowledge of your status.

I will make an appoinment for you to see the Chaplain. I know you are normally strong and resilient, but in these situations, even the bravest of us experience thoughts of despair and even suicide. Attendance is highly encouraged.

I will make an appointment for you at the legal office so that you can be educated on the legal ramifications of a divorce and ensure you are prepared for any eventuality.

Resolving an issue like divorce takes time, sometimes months or years. Often one or both partners change their mind and choose to stay married or alter their relationship in a way that satisfies both parties. However, if a divorce actually takes place, you'll need to take actions to adjust your marital status in the military.

Visit the Legal Office for relevant advice

Update DEERS to remove dependents from dental and TRICARE benefits

Visit Pass and Registration to have dependents' ID cards invalidated

Update your SGLI coverage (if required) and remove your spouse as beneficiary

Update your DD Form 93 Emergency Data card

Note: While the military recognizes separations are a serious disruption to a person's life, standards must be upheld. There is no excuse for missing scheduled duty or violating the UCMJ. On the other hand, we will do our best to provide leave and time off and any resources you need so that you can work through this.

Please keep me informed of your situation and let me know if I can be of any assistance in the future and I will do my best to help.

Image of Page Divider Line
Image of red X

To contribute examples, enter them below and click Submit.