February 06, 2009,
W.T. asks from Mc Lean, VA on June 23, 2008
My Friend's Husband Is Leaving
My new friend's husband announced last night that he doesn't want to be married anymore. He moved into a friend's house after his announcement. This is sudden and unexpected. They have 2 girls (almost 3 and almost 1). She is devestated and has no idea what to think or do right now. We live overseas and she will have to leave the country if he decides to get a divorce. She has no support here but me and another new friend. I am willing to do whatever I can to help her...but I don't know what to do to help! He apparently is not willing to talk about their problems and try to work things out. Please help me help my friend.
J.W. answers from Stationed Overseas on June 26, 2008
Well did he say why he didn't want to be married anymore. You could get them to sit down and talk about it.They could make a schudle like on Monday threw Thusday the mom or dad could have the kids and Friday threw the weekends mom or dad could have the kids.
N.L. answers from Stationed Overseas on June 24, 2008
Patricia B. is correct no one can make her leave the country. If she is a dependendant then she will already have an ID card and her husband cannot take anything away from her until they are legally divorced. She is command sponsored here and he and whichever branch of service he is with have a legal obligation under the sofa agreement to make sure this family is provided for.
But he has to be made to talk. Hopefully by now she has been to see family support and they will steer her in the right directions. But just a little bit of information to anyone based here in Germany. If you have been living in Germany for 6 months you are entitled to free legal representation if you don't have any income or limited income of your own (this does not include the spouses income). The german legal system is still archaeic when it comes to custody for mothers and wives rights but if you have been wronged by your partner it works perfectly in your favour. They are mother orientated and if the husband insists on not moving back in he will have to support her and the children under german law and it will be ALOT more money than he would ever have to give her in the states. (Had a friend go through all of this herself recently).
Hope she gets the husband to talk, once they start talking hopefully they can work things out.
I just wanted to add that someone had mentioned you can't get divorced while overseas. That is just not true. You can use the local courts if you have been in Germany for example for 6 months. Or you can use your home state, if you can find a lawyer to represent you in that way. I know this how? Becuase I know people that have done it both ways. Legally, and sucessfully.
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J.M. answers from Stationed Overseas on June 24, 2008
I have a friend who is going through the same thing. Her husband came back from deployment though so it may be a different situation. Listening is a great thing a friend can do. Sometimes it is the only thing you can do. My friend told me that inorder for the military to change the deros date for her and her children and to leave houseing(i believe) they had to go to counciling. That may be an oppurtunity for your friends husband to air what is going on in his mind. Hope this helps. J.
K.K. answers from Stationed Overseas on June 24, 2008
I went through this exact same thing with a friend about 3 years ago. Just one day out of the blue he sat his wife down and said I don't want to be married to you anymore. They had no problems before this as we were really good friends with them. He sat down with her at 6:30pm and then told the kids (5 between the ages of 2 - 14)at 6:45pm! Talk about no time to prepare yourself! For her I was just a ear to lean on as well as for her kids, since my kids were good friends with hers. Like others in this good said, try not to take sides and do not talk about anything in front of your kids or hers! But that was a civilian family in the states so the laws are different here.
Overseas, you can not get divorce. You have to go back to the states for that if they were married over there. She needs to go to JAG and see what she can do. I had friends over here that wanted a divorce but in Germany they told they could not and had to wait until they moved back. The Air Force moved him into the dorms and she stayed in the military issued housing. Luckily the time apart did them good over a year as they went to counseling and worked things out!
I wish her all the best!
P.M. answers from Washington DC on June 23, 2008
Have her contact his first shirt because he will soon need to talk to her if she wants to leave and go back to the states he will need to do paperwork so that she can return early as his dependents. I would not leave before getting some sort of support and arrangement for what goes back with her as far as funiture, she should not under any circumstance leave the base housing or off base house at this point even to go visit family for a short while. All you can do is just be there for her try not to advise her as far as her marriage but just be there as a friend listening next week they can be back together again sometimes people lose sight of things act rash and then come to their senses so you don't want to give her any advise as far as her marriage even if what he did was hurtful and selfish, she will probably forgive him so you have to stay on the fence and support any decision she makes and not be critical...
E.P. answers from Stationed Overseas on June 24, 2008
So sorry about your friend. It's especially hard when she is overseas and doesn't know many people. She needs to go see the JAG immediately, she should tell them it's an emergency.She needs to find out what her rights are. Bare minimum the military has to relocate her. Also, the military will automatically put half of his pay in her name (or whatever she is entitled to; but the kids will get child support and it will come directly from his pay into her bank account. Bottom line the lawyers will take care of it for her. She is also entitled to some portion of his retirement pay (depending on how long they have been married) Also, the JAG may require them to go through mediation which would definitely entail some sort of mandatory counseling so maybe she can get to the bottom of things. She should also make sure her name is on all bank and financial accounts. If there is any money in the bank anywhere, she needs to have that frozen or remove half of it immediately and put it in a US account in her name only. This is sad but she needs to put the needs of her children first.
N.D. answers from Stationed Overseas on June 24, 2008
First of all, I would stay neutral because there are always 2 sides to every situation to include this one. Even though he wont talk to you or her about it, well that probably means that he needs a cooling down time or just time to sort his thoughts. For instance; since they recently got here from the States, & he's in a new unit, & there are so many soldiers going over to the war, did he just find out that he's maybe one of them going? If he did, that could have a very very big impact on his decision of why he's done what he's done. I've seen it happen to many times.
Some more advice is: Get her to Family Advocacy / Family Support. Not the Chaplain really cause all they're really going to do is tell her to go to one of the ones I've mentioned above.
One of the more important reasons he maybe doing this is: (& I really don't like to mention it, but it's the facts of life) depending on how long they've been here, has he been going out much with "the guys at work"? If he has he could have met someone else, someone local as it were. That happens all the time here as well.
But as everyone else that gave advice to you said, I agree with: They should get counceling no matter the outcome, it will give them closure.
I hope this helps you & your friend
N.G. answers from Stationed Overseas on June 24, 2008
First of all, I say pray!! Does she belong to a church in the area?? I know that sounds like that's not a lot of help but I promise you it helps. It is really hard to give any advise since the husband won't communicate. She can also contact the local family advocacy so she can have someone to talk to and seek advice from.
N.G. answers from Columbus on June 27, 2008
This happened to my friend, who happened to be pregnant at the time with her second child. The man left her for another woman. My friend was allowed to stay in quarters, and he had to pay her a certain amount each month,the military has a formula they apply for how much the service member has to pay, and with her living in quarters, it wasn't much. The husband actually deployed during this time, and my friend's goal was to stay in quarters until the baby was born and could get a passport and and then she was going to return to the States, and that's what she did. It really seemed like she didn't have very many rights during any of this, and since her husband had already talked to the JAG office in our community, that meant she couldn't go there, they told her she could hire a private attorney or go to a JAG office in a different community. Since she didn't have very many resrouces she ended up just letting him decide everything,including how much he would pay for child support. I think the biggest thing you could do for your friend, besides just being there for her, would be to help her find good legal representation that can help her make sure she gets what she's entitled to and then some.