Things to be Aware of During a Military Divorce
- Posted on: Jun 26 2023
Going through a divorce is a whole different undertaking when divorce involves a member of the military. The main difference to understand is that jurisdiction will always fall under federal law as opposed to state law. Because of this, the divorce could become complex in nature. For this reason it is a good idea to have an attorney who is experienced in military divorces. Besides the jurisdiction another intricacy is the dividing of any pension or retirement the service member may be entitled to. Below, we list a few things to be aware of during a military divorce.
Military Divorce is Governed Under Federal Law
Under the uniformed services former spouses protection act there are military spousal protections as well as challenges. These involve how payments are made. retirement division, and child custody. When you get a hold of an experienced military divorce attorney, they will have a complete understanding of the process.
Dividing Military Pension
When it comes to retirement and pension, the military pension is not considered marital property. However, the military retirement pension can be divided following the guidelines under the uniformed services former spouses protection act. The main guideline that must be followed is obtaining a special court order. Because of the need for a special court order, your attorney needs to be knowledgeable about the court order and what it needs to include. The calculation of the military spouse’s pension can also be complicated because of several methods that can be used.
Where To File for Divorce
Under normal circumstances your divorce can be filed in the state of residence. It is different for a military divorce. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the divorce must take place where they are stationed at the time of filing regardless of what their state of residence is. So if the military member is in California and the spouse is living in Florida, then the spouse will need to file for divorce in California.
The Length of Time You Were Married
The amount of years that you were married is an important part to consider due to its financial impact. With that said, there is a rule known as the 20/20/20 and it pertains to the benefits the non-military spouse is entitled to if a divorce takes place. Basically, the marriage must last for 20 years, the service member must have served for at least 20 years, and 20 years have overlapped. When these circumstances take place there will be certain benefits the spouse will be entitled to, such as healthcare and the commissary.
Spouses who meet this rule may also be able to obtain their spousal payments through DFAS. Plus, if the marriage lasted for 10 years with 10 years of service, the spouse may still be eligible for payments.
Get the Representation for Your Military Divorce
When you are experiencing a military divorce and you need somewhere to turn to, get in touch with us today. We have the experience in military divorce that will ensure that your outcome is favorable.