Family & Relationships
You're part of a military family that numbers in the millions. You share common experiences, values and feelings of being in this together. That’s community. To support and bolster your own family, lean on your military community – including Military OneSource – to find answers and guidance from those who have been there, done that.
An Overview of Special Education
Special education is designed to meet unique needs of children with special needs, ages 3 through 21.
Children with Special Education Needs
When a family member has special needs, you need extra tools for special education–including help with your individual education program, transferring to new schools, all the way to graduation.
Managing Your Emotions When Your Spouse Is Deployed
Having your spouse deployed can bring up a wide range of emotions, starting when you first learn about the deployment and continuing until well after your spouse has returned home.
Staying Resilient While Your Partner is Deployed
A big part of staying strong while your partner is deployed is being positive. Staying positive can help make things a little easier on you and family members.
Supporting Your Military Children Through the Deployment Cycle
As parents, we want to be good role models for our children. When word of a deployment comes, you’ll get a chance to show your kids what it takes to be a good guardian of your family.
The Family Advocacy Program
Whether or not you've experienced domestic abuse personally, you probably know that it can have devastating consequences. Victims carry the emotional scars of abuse long after they're out of harm's way. And abusers, if not stopped, can escalate the violence until they and their victims lose everything — family, career, self-respect, and even their freedom.
The Exceptional Family Member Program: for Families with Special Needs
When your family member has special needs, you have an extra roster of must-do's to be a good guardian of your family. Think about enrolling in this program as one of them.
Exceptional Family Member Program Family Support
Exceptional Family Member Program family support teaches military families with special needs the skills they need to make the best decisions for the person they’re supporting and gives them the confidence and strength to improve their quality of life.
How Military Insignia Works
You might be wondering what those stripes and bars are on your spouse’s uniform. Those symbols represent rank — the higher the rank, the more responsibility.
Understanding the Role of the Casualty Assistance Officer
In its effort to ensure that military families have support in their time of need when a service member is declared deceased, whereabouts unknown or missing, the Department of Defense's Casualty Assistance Program assigns a dedicated casualty assistance officer to advise and assist the primary next of kin.
Your Checklist: Questions to Ask Before Marriage
Thinking of marrying a service member? There are lots of great reasons to marry — and some reasons that may not be strong enough for a lifelong commitment.
9 Tips for Keeping Your Relationship Strong and Healthy
Relationships are like military missions in that they require strategy, foresight and effort.
Dealing with Military Divorce
Deciding to end your marriage can feel like the final step on a long journey.
Recognizing the Signs of Stress in Children After a Disaster
Even the most well-adjusted children may experience stress following a disaster or traumatic event. It's important to understand how to recognize and address signs of stress so you can help your children cope with their feelings.
Rights and Benefits of Divorced Spouses in the Military
Ease the time, expense and emotional strain of divorce by learning about unique legal issues due to military service.
Welcome to Military Life: Support Resources for Military Families
If you’ve recently married into the military, or you or your spouse has just joined, you may be feeling both nervous and excited about the future. During the adjustment period, spouses take on new roles, adapt to new schedules and learn new ways of handling many of life’s obstacles.
How to Strengthen Your Relationship: 14 Ways
Whether your marriage is strong, rocky or somewhere in between, the fact is many could stand to strengthen their relationship. A loving, resilient marriage is a source of personal happiness and family joy. A solid relationship also lets service members focus on their mission and daily duty requirements.
Scholarship Opportunities for Surviving Family Members
One way of taking the first step to your new normal is by following your own educational dreams. If you or your children are interested in pursuing higher education, there are several scholarship opportunities available from both private organizations and federal programs providing financial assistance.
Moving After the Death of Your Loved One
Moving after the death of a loved one can be an important step toward creating your new normal. However, it can be emotionally exhausting.
Understanding the Probate Process, Survivor Benefits and Resources for Financial Planning
While no actions can erase the pain you feel after losing a family member or loved one, getting your financial and legal affairs in order can be a small step in the right direction and can provide some peace of mind during this difficult time.
Signs of Child Abuse
Child abuse offenders come from all ranks, races, religions and income levels. As hard as it can be to imagine, an abuser can be your neighbor, co-worker or even friend.
How to End an Abusive Relationship
It’s never easy to end a relationship. But the decision is even harder and more complicated when your partner is hurting you either physically or emotionally.
Guarding Against Child Sexual Abuse
You can help protect your children from sexual abuse by providing careful supervision, establishing open communication and giving them the information they need to be safe.
Moving to America and Adjusting to Life
Adjusting to a new culture and language takes time and a dose of patience. We are here to ease your transition and point you to resources that will help you adjust.
Overview of Casualty Assistance
The Department of Defense's Casualty Assistance Program makes sure that military families have support in their time of need, including understanding all benefits and other forms of assistance. Although the term "casualty" is usually associated with death, casualty support to eligible family members also means support after injury and illness, and when a service member is missing.
After the death of a loved one, the last things you want to think about are taxes. However, your loved one may be entitled to certain benefits, including tax forgiveness. Here are answers to some common questions about tax liability and forgiveness.
Gold Star and Surviving Family Member Representatives
The National Defense Authorization Act 2014, Section 633, requires each secretary of a military department to designate a specific member to assist spouses and other dependents of service members, including Reserve Components, who die on active duty.
Bereavement Camps: An Opportunity to Grieve and Heal
Grieving can be a lonely experience. Being with others who are grieving can reassure you that what you're feeling is perfectly normal. Bereavement camps, seminars and retreats offer opportunities for you to connect with people who understand how to help you move forward in your grief journey.
Deployment Planning: Your Relationship Checklist
Have a deployment in your future? This is where you and your partner team up for relationship resilience. Plan, trust, communicate—and be confident you're ready to support your partner and keep your long-distance relationship strong.
Benefits for Families with Special Needs
There are federal and state programs committed to providing additional assistance for families with special needs. As a military family, you also can count on the support of the Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, and Military OneSource special needs specialty consultants.
Financial Planning and Assistance for Families with Special Needs
When you have a family member with special needs, financial planning is vital. Be prepared to take good care of your family member by tackling the money issues today.
Employment Resources for Family Members of Deceased Service Members
Joining the workforce after the death or disability of a loved one can ease financial strain and provide a way to find your new normal. When seeking employment with the federal government, military family members may be eligible for special preference programs. While these programs don’t guarantee a job, they provide a qualified candidate entry into the applicant pool.
MilParent Power Tips
Parenting is a perfect example of family readiness and resilience – it’s an “always-on” job. Like a military mission, responsible parenting requires attention, smarts, skills and support. Here are 19 tips to help you step up your parenting and improve your childrearing skills. Everyone wins with responsible parenting.
Preparing Your Family Care Plan
Whether it's a deployment or training, sometimes your military career obligates you to leave your family and loved ones for an extended period of time. While being away from home is never easy, creating a family care plan can give you some peace of mind while you’re gone.
Finding Support After the Death of a Loved One
After the death of a loved one, you may experience a wide range of emotions. That is natural. Finding your new normal after the death of a loved one is not the same for everyone.
Funeral and Burial Benefits for Service Members
The Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs ensure that service members who die on active duty receive recognition and dignified burial services. Furthermore, survivors are offered care and help.
Grief and Loss of a Loved One
Grief is a natural response when a loved one dies. How you grieve depends on your personality, your life experiences, the nature of your loss and your coping style.
The Unit Chaplain: Roles and Responsibilities
Chaplains are the military's religious leaders, responsible for tending to the spiritual and moral wellbeing of service members and their families. The chaplain's responsibilities include performing religious rites, conducting worship services, providing confidential counseling and advising commanders on religious, spiritual and moral matters.
Tax Extensions for Survivors
If you're a survivor of a service member who has died on active duty, you may have the option of taking extra time to file your tax return.
Making Funeral and Burial Arrangements
Your casualty assistance officer, or CAO, or mortuary officer is there to assist you with making funeral and burial arrangements in honor of your loved one's service and sacrifice. He or she can provide you with available burial options provided by the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs. The CAO or mortuary officer will help with the government entitlements and reimbursements for the costs associated with these services.
Understanding the Survivor Benefit Plan
The Survivor Benefit Plan, or SRB, allows retired service members to allocate a portion of their retired pay to a spouse or other eligible beneficiary after their death. Every retiring service member with an eligible spouse or child receives automatic enrollment in the Survivor Benefit Plan at the maximum level
How to Help Your Children Protect Themselves From Sexual Abuse
Talking to your children about their bodies can help protect them from sexual abuse. From the time your children are quite young, have a conversation with them about who can touch them and what to do if they are uncomfortable with someone's touch.
Domestic Abuse: Military Reporting Options
Deciding whether to report domestic abuse can be difficult. Victims of domestic abuse may feel confused, alone or afraid to get help. If your partner is abusive, knowing your reporting options may help you decide what's best for you and your family.
How to Help Service-Connected Victims of Domestic Abuse
No one ever deserves to be abused. Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse — a friend, relative, neighbor or co-worker. Once you understand domestic abuse, you can support victims safely, confidentially and at their own pace.
How to Report Child Abuse as a Member of the Military
Everyone has a role to play in creating safe and healthy communities. This is particularly true when it comes to the health and safety of children.
How to Successfully Communicate as a Couple
For service members, a loving, resilient marriage is both a matter of personal happiness and family readiness.
Dealing With Divorce as a Military Family
Moving forward with a divorce can be the start of a new life.
Military Couples: When Both Spouses Are Service Members
Families where both spouses are service members have a unique challenge. While the dual-military life is rewarding, time apart can strain communication. Learn techniques to help you balance work and family life so that your relationship thrives. Develop strategies for dealing with stress and sacrifice so that your marriage is strengthened by your and your spouse’s service to the country.
Child Care Options For Military Families With Special Needs
Finding the right care for your child with special needs starts with asking the right questions. The military offers quality, affordable child care options, both on the installation and off.
Child Custody Considerations for Members of the Military
Many service members have custody of, or visitation rights with, children whose other parent is not the service member's current spouse. Absences due to military service can undermine and disrupt existing arrangements, creating stress on parents and children.
Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act for Divorced Spouses in the Military
The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act is a federal law that provides certain benefits to former spouses of military members.
How to Decide If It’s Time to Get Married
Deciding to get married is one of the most important decisions a couple will make together.
10 Tips for Keeping a Relationship Strong During Deployment and Separation
Whether this is the first time or the 20th time that your spouse has been called to active duty, relationships change when a spouse serves away from home.
Rights and Benefits for Abandoned Military Spouses
Family law defines abandonment as the act of deliberately leaving one's spouse without consent (or notification, in many cases) with no intent of returning.
10 Tips for Parenting While Your Spouse Is Deployed
When your partner is deployed, it can feel like you are a single parent.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or SCRA, provides financial and legal protection for active-duty service members, including National Guard and reserve members, and their families. Because details of the SCRA are complicated, service members and their families are encouraged to contact the nearest legal assistance office if they need help meeting their financial obligations.
6 Tips to Harness Your MilParent Power
As a service member, spouse or survivor you know the importance of being a good guardian — of country, community and family. Responsibility is nothing new.
Understanding Your Child's Developmental Stage
Children change quickly. It can feel like you blinked and your sleeping infant turned into an independent 3-year-old. Turn around and suddenly that 3-year-old is off to high school.
Parenting and Teen Stress
Teens juggle many things: fitting in at school, managing classwork and clubs, the daily tidal wave of hormones, and the ups and downs of high school romances.
Military Spouse Support
If you’ve recently married into the military, or you or your spouse has just joined, you may be feeling both nervous and excited about the future.
Emergency Family Assistance
All military installations are required to create and maintain an emergency family assistance plan to help protect military families and other Department of Defense personnel.
Military Youth and Teen Programs
When it comes to keeping kids busy with age-appropriate activities, military youth and teen programs offer something for every child, including organized activities, field trips, computer labs, music stations and workout rooms.
Deployment Resources for Families
While military families know how to stand strong, the stresses of deployment can bring extra challenges. At Military OneSource, we're here to help — by connecting you to a wide array of programs and services designed for military families.
Don't Get Left Behind: How to Evacuate When Disaster Strikes
Evacuations occur more frequently than most people realize. Know what protective measures to take before, during and after an evacuation.
Together While Apart, Military Families Connect for the Holidays
You can make this holiday meaningful even if you are thousands of miles apart.
Department of Defense Summer Camps
Have some activities planned to keep your kids busy, engaged and having fun when school lets out. Department of Defense summer camps may be a great addition to your child's summer lineup.
12 Can’t-Miss Parenting Resources for Military Parents
From new parent support assistance to newsletters packed with information, military parents have access to numerous resources to make your job of raising kids a little easier and a lot more fun.
You're the One Coming Home. Now What?
If you're the one who's deployed and counting down to heading home, you can do a lot to set yourself up for success at homecoming—and beyond.
You Can Do This: Your Checklist for Living Positive While Your Partner's Deployed
During deployment, your partner's not the only one who has to step up and serve. Your job is standing tall here at home. The power of being positive can go a long way to supporting your spouse. You'll find it can give you extra strength as well. Try these practical, positive tips.
Family Resilience Protective Factors
Protective factors are conditions in families and communities that increase your family's health and well-being.
Military Spouse Jobs Overseas
You’ve just found out you're moving overseas. You're shaking up your world, and new possibilities and experiences await you. Perhaps a new job awaits you, too.
Military Spouse Benefits
The military lifestyle can be an exciting adventure for spouses as long as you're prepared. Being prepared includes knowing your military spouse benefits — and where to find them — as you navigate your way through the military community.