Miliary couples and marriage

When you're getting married and are in the military, the marriage laws are a little different than for those in civilian locations. If both couples are U.S. citizens and want to get married in the United States, then the process is the same as normal. If you want to create a prenuptial agreement, then you still need to reach out to your attorney to do so.

However, if someone is a foreign national, then there are more challenges that you'll need to address. The marriage has to be legal in the country where it's going to take place; in some places, it might be required that the bride and groom's parents both agree to the marriage as well. In some circumstances, service members need to get the approval of their commanding officers before they can get married.

After you get married, military couples need to do much the same as civilians. If a foreign national was married, then she or he will need to apply for a visa for the spouse. Military couples may also want to change their names, which can be done with the right certified paperwork.

What's different for the military is the fact that spouses are entitled to benefits. The spouse can enroll in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, known as DEERS. This program allows the spouse access to things like dental plans, medical plans and the resources located at the military base.

Enrollment also makes sure that the military member's housing allowance is adjusted appropriately. If both people are in the military, then they can enroll in the Join-Spouse program, which helps give each spouse a commission within 100 miles of the other. This isn't a guarantee, but it can help you stay closer to your spouse when deployed or moved.

Source: FindLaw, "What Are Military Marriage Laws?," accessed April 01, 2016

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