Dear Ms. Vicki,
I am not exactly sure if you can help me or not. My husband is a judge advocate general officer with the Air Force and is currently a captain. He began his first assignment in September 2015.
We decided as a couple that I should attend veterinary school two hours away when August came around. I moved there, and we continued to see each other on the weekends.
In October, I discovered all of my credit cards had been shut off. He told me he had ordered replacements, and they were in the mail. Two weeks later, he sent me a text out of the blue saying he wants a divorce (this was the second week of November, for reference).
I recently found out that he was cheating on me. He has now moved his new girlfriend into our home and cut me off financially.
Divorce papers have not been filed as of yet. I want to notify his commanding officer, but I do not know the best way to do so. I also do not know what my rights are as a spouse. I know he is taking a married basic allowance for housing, but I am not seeing any of that money.
He is currently using our money to take his new girlfriend on trips and work-related trips. I am blowing through what little savings I have just trying to stay afloat while my life literally comes crashing down. I just don't know what to do, and I could use any advice you have.
You definitely do have a lot of rights because you are his wife. I hear about this situation from many spouses, both male and female.
Their husband or wife (the service member) has a change of duty station, and the non-service member spouse stays at another location. At the new duty station, no one knows their service member's spouse, which makes it easy for a person who is a cheater to start a new life. It's out of sight, out of mind.
Your husband is so wrong for this. Let me say, he will continue to use his money to entertain his girlfriend if you do nothing about this. He cannot leave you destitute. He has to provide for you financially.
There are a lot of things that you can do. First, you need legal help and a legal separation. With a legal separation, he can be ordered to pay spousal support. With court-ordered legal support, he has to pay. You can also show this court order to his commander, who will make him pay.
Right now, you have nothing. Your marriage is probably over, but he still has to financially support you. You can contact his command and let them know what is going on. They could give him a command directive to provide financial support to you. On the other hand, they could do nothing.
Some spouses get help from commanders, some get legal help, some make IG complaints, and I have even heard of some contacting their congressional representative. It is totally up to you what direction you want to take.
Here is another resource: Ex-Pose (Ex Partners of Servicemembers for Equality). You can contact them as soon as you find yourself facing a separation or divorce from a service member. Their number is 703-941-5844. Their website is www.ex-pose.org. This organization can provide a wealth of information for you.
Stay in touch to let me know how you are doing and share any information with me that may help other readers. I wish you the best.
-- Ms. Vicki