Divorce is never an easy process, but when one or both spouses are members of the military, additional complexities can arise. Military divorces come with unique challenges and legal issues that differ from standard civilian divorces.
1. Jurisdiction and Residency Requirements
In a standard divorce, the couple generally files for divorce in the state where they reside. However, military couples may have multiple options when it comes to selecting a jurisdiction, as they may have different legal residences or may be stationed in different states. It is essential to understand the residency requirements and jurisdictional rules for each state to determine the best location for filing. This can impact various aspects of the divorce, including property division, child custody, and spousal support. Consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney to help you determine the most ideal jurisdiction for your situation.
2. Military Benefits and Retirement Pay Division
One of the most significant differences between military and civilian divorces is the division of military benefits and retirement pay. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA) governs the division of military retirement pay in a divorce. It allows state courts to treat military retirement pay as marital property and divide it between spouses. However, specific rules and regulations apply, and the division can be complicated. It is crucial to have an attorney experienced in military divorce to ensure a fair and accurate division of these benefits.
3. Child Custody and Visitation
Child custody and visitation can be particularly challenging in military divorces due to the possibility of frequent relocations and deployments. It is essential to create a parenting plan that addresses these unique circumstances and ensures the best interests of the children are met. Courts may consider factors such as the military parent's deployment history, the potential for future deployments, and the ability of each parent to provide a stable environment for the children. A skilled family law attorney can help you develop a parenting plan that addresses these concerns and protects your parental rights.
4. Spousal Support and Child Support
In a military divorce, the calculation of spousal support and child support can be more complicated due to the various types of military pay and allowances. It is essential to understand how these benefits are considered in support calculations and to ensure that the proper amounts are included. Additionally, the military has specific rules for enforcing support orders, such as the garnishment of military pay. An experienced military divorce attorney can help you navigate these complexities and ensure that support orders are fair and enforceable.
5. Legal Representation
As mentioned throughout this article, military divorces come with unique challenges and complexities that require specialized knowledge and experience. It is crucial to have a family law attorney who understands the intricacies of military divorce and can advocate for your best interests. The Law Office of Rebecca J. Carrillo is well-equipped to handle military divorces and provide the guidance and representation you need during this difficult time.
If you are facing a military divorce, contact The Law Office of Rebecca J. Carrillo today for a consultation and the support you need.