By Sophie Mann, for USBA

Your spouse’s separation from the military brings lots of new opportunities for your family. However, it may also lead to a new list of challenges to overcome as a couple. Being prepared is one of the best ways to help your family ease into civilian life. Here is a to-do list of some things that you might have forgotten about!

1. Be understanding.

Transitioning from military life is a step-by-step process that shouldn’t be rushed. Whether it’s a new career, going back to school, or simply getting used to a new routine, understand that this is a completely different lifestyle than what your spouse has grown accustomed to.

2. Stay healthy.

In a stressful time such as this, it’s easy to let go of the healthy lifestyle you may be used to living. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and exercise.  Planning that time into your calendar ensures you don’t let yourself off the hook.

3. Decide what your goals are.

It is important to focus on all of the new opportunities for yourself and your whole family! You can continue your education, choose a new school for your kids, research new job opportunities, and much more. Think about what you want to focus on, and use that decision to help guide your transition.

4. Research what resources are at your disposal.

Every branch of the military offers some sort of transition assistance program to help get your life on the right track after your spouse’s military service ends. Not only do they offer counseling before separation, they can even help your spouse find a career after leaving the service. Make sure you are aware of what programs your service member’s branch offers! You can also sign up to receive free online military-to-civilian job search resources here.

5. Know which areas are high in veteran employment.

According to, big cities are great about hiring out of the military. Houston, Texas, is at the top of the list, but all areas of the country are represented. It is never too early to start thinking about your future “home base”!

6. Keep a positive attitude.

Even if things don’t go exactly as you’d planned, remember this is a team effort. Reminding your spouse of the positives can take a lot of the weight off of his or her shoulders.

7. Review your life insurance.

This is the perfect time to sit down and examine what kind of coverage you have. It is important to remember that 120 days after your spouse officially separates, the SGLI he or she was given by the military expires. Don’t worry though, organizations like USBA, a non-profit association that works exclusively with military families are out there to make the transition easier. Offering life insurance coverage for not only your service member, but also you and your children, USBA has a tailor-made plan for you. Visit their website to learn more!

Looking for a more detailed checklist to help prepare for your transition? Check this one out!

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