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The legal rights of a military spouse who is abandoned

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2020 | Military Divorce

In the best of circumstances, marriage presents many challenges to spouses over the years. Military marriages in Kentucky and elsewhere face additional challenges that those in civilian marriages may not experience.

Education on the difficulties of marriage and a number of resources available to military spouses may help reduce the divorce rate.


Abandonment happens when a spouse leaves another without consent or notification and with no likelihood of returning to the marriage. In a military marriage, according to the Military OneSource website, the abandoned spouse still retains all of his or her military benefits in this situation. These benefits may include military housing, medical benefits, military ID card privileges and child care and counseling services. Ensuring continued financial support may require filing a court order or going through chain of command procedures. Until a divorce is finalized, an abandoned spouse is still legally married and should receive all the legal advantages of marriage. Each branch of the military service has specific policies to help spouses deal with issues of marital separation.

Financial support

An abandoned spouse of a service member, according to Military OneSource, has the option of setting up a financial allotment to keep money coming in to the household.  A voluntary allotment occurs when the service member agrees to send an agreed upon amount to the abandoned spouse. If this is not possible, the abandoned spouse may seek a court order to compel an involuntary allotment. A civilian court order directs a set amount of the service member’s pay to an account. This court order requires the allotment to continue until further legal action stops or suspends the allotment.