Top Five Rules for Military Marriages

I believe that most Soldiers get married younger than their civilian counterparts. It’s understandable, especially for active duty Soldiers. However, there are some things you should understand. Here are my top five rules regarding military marriages.

# 1 Getting married for BAH privileges but not living together is fraud – BAH fraud is under article 132 of the UCMJ. Don’t do it! Better to actually get married because you want to be together than to try to make extra money, especially because your spouse will have rights to your money if you decide to divorce.

top five rules for military marriages

Five simple rules to have a happy military marriage and do things right.

# 2 Make sure you understand the BAH rules when you are deployed, especially if you are dual military – If you don’t have children, you will both get the BAH with no dependents rate; if you do, the higher-ranking person will get the dependents rate. Either way, I believe it is a really good deal. This is probably my favorite, because it actually favors you either way.

# 3 Understand when you should file for Family Separation Allowance – If you are on orders away from home station for more than 30 days and your family is not authorized to move with you (PCS) then you are able to file for Family Separation Allowance, DD Form 1561.

# 4 Get your spouse and yourself to DEERS – Your unit won’t do this for you. Bring your marriage license, and your spouse’s identifying documents if they are not in the military (birth certificate, social security card, etc). If you are dual military, they should just need a copy of your marriage license and both of you with your ID cards. Likewise if you get divorced, make sure you pay a visit to DEERS. Your unit may IPERM your information, but it will not go to DEERS unless you take it there yourself.

# 5 If you get married for the money, you will probably end up divorced and out even more money – Divorces are expensive. If the state awards your spouse some of your retirement pay, it’s even more expensive. Make sure you stop and think about what you are doing – get married for the right reasons. As long as you seek to do your best and have the best of intentions, when stuff goes wrong, you will at least know you were always doing your best.

Final Thoughts: Make choices for the right reasons, and be educated on what you are owed and what you need to do after you get married. Your unit can help with some of the paperwork, but some of it is up to you.

What are your thoughts?

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6 thoughts on “Top Five Rules for Military Marriages”

  1. I have no idea whether military service members get married younger than the general population or not: I have never done the research. But I would imagine that having the added pressure of deployment would make anyone reassess their priorities and not want to wait to get started on what they imagine their future to be. I cannot blame one for wanting to get married, afraid that they might not get another chance. There are plenty of bad reasons for marrying young, but there are a lot of good ones, too.

  2. I want to pipe in something that some may not understand. BAH stands for Basic Housing Allowance. It is a serious offense to apply for BAH and not live as a married couple. As Candace pointed out, don’t do it. The world is full of deceptive people and they do get caught sooner or later. Don’t be one of the deceivers. You can make it if you budget correctly without “scamming” the government and the taxpayers.

  3. These are some great guidelines. Fraudulent decisions seem to always come back to bite you in the end, not to mention it’s just wrong. Your example of divorce, which is inevitable in marriages based on ulterior motives, is a great one. In addition, I run across a number of soldiers who are not aware of the provisions of the Family Separation Act, and I am glad you noted this as well. And finally, the need to take ownership of your own information, not only by keeping track of it but also by ensuring that it is up-to-date in various systems such as DEERS, is very important.

  4. I would say that I agree with everything you wrote here, Candace. Joes get married WAY TOO YOUNG and FOR THE WRONG REASONS! And, I do believe that it is because of financial reasons…i.e. deployment, BAH, TriCARE, etc. It is just awful for both them, as Soldiers and people, and us as Leader’s who end up dealing with all the issues it creates. I have a saying when Soldiers do certain things…I call it “TOTAL JOE MOVE”…getting married before you are ready…Total Joe Move…

    1. Thanks for the comment.

      Most Soldiers do get married way to young. And like you said, it’s normally for monetary reasons (wrong reason).

      Doing that is a recipe for disaster as I see it.

      Chuck

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