PopularHow To Get A Divorce In The Military

How To Get A Divorce In The Military

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What Happens To My Military Benefits And Pension

How to Win at Military Divorce

Military benefits represent significant assets. When going through a divorce, your military benefits are subject to property division, but they are not subject to state property division laws. Instead, the division of military benefits and pensions is governed by military and federal laws. When it comes to determining how military benefits and pensions are handled in a divorce, several things are considered.

Considerations when dealing with military benefits and pensions include:

  • How long you were married
  • The date of dissolution
  • The military servicemembers record
  • Any residence or jurisdiction issues of either party
  • What benefits are involved
  • Related protections under the Civil Relief Act

During a military divorce, it is also important to understand how the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act will affect the handling of military benefits and pensions. Under this act, states are allowed to divide military disposable retired pay as marital property and allows some spouses to receive their portion of awarded retired pay directly from the government. It also allows former spouses to access medical care and other benefits, among other protections. However, it is important to remember that the USFSPA does not automatically entitle a servicemembers former spouse to these things.

Va Disability Benefits Are Exempt From Division

The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act gives the partners of service persons a legal right to potentially access military pensions. It doesnt give them the right to VA disability benefits.

VA disability benefits arent considered an asset during divorce proceedings. Theyre legally looked upon as being different to retirement benefits, meaning that spouses have no right to them. But this doesnt mean VA disability benefits arent part of the conversation during a divorce. The reason for this is that they form an important part of any discussions that concern child support. This is because they represent a replacement of salary for military personnel whose ability to work has been impacted. What this means is that the courts will use VA disability benefits to help determine if youre able to support your children financially, something that will influence their custodial arrangements.

This makes it vital that you establish if youre getting the correct amount of benefits and VA Claim Pros can help you with this. VA Claim Pros helps military personnel to get the benefits theyre entitled to, providing a range of resources and support to help you establish this. If you have children then make sure you check that youre getting the right level of VA disability benefits before entering into divorce proceedings.

Related Content

From Where You File For Divorce To The Issue Of Benefits Weve Covered Four Things You Should Know About A Military Divorce

By Stevie NicksUpdated: November 03, 2020Categories: Considering Divorce, Military Divorce,

The terms on which a relationship ended play a big part dictating how the divorce proceedings go, but its not the only factor. There are also any shared assets, entitlement to income and benefit, and the potential matter of child custody. These things play a role in a military divorce, some of them uniquely so.

From where you file for divorce to the issue of benefits, weve covered four things you should know about a military divorce.

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Understanding Divorce In The Military

Some of this content is provided courtesy of USAA.

Legally, military personnel who are getting divorced are no different than anyone else, so the procedural process is the same. If you are in the military or are a military spouse, there are some additional factors that can affect your divorce.

For instance, the process may take longer if one of you is on active duty in a remote area or have a permanent station overseas. Some states have relaxed the residency requirements for active duty service personnel who want to file for divorce in the state he or she is stationed.

Besides understanding the basic divorce process, military couples should be knowledgeable about the role of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act. The USFSPA provides a federal statute for the military, guiding them to accept state statutes on addressing issues, such as child support, spousal support and military retirement pay/pension. While states have always had the authority to treat retirement and pension plans just like any other marital asset, the USFSPA permits the states to classify military retired pay as property, as opposed to income.

Military Divorce Laws In Florida

How to Get a Divorce While in the Military: Who Keeps the ...

The first unique hurdle members of the military and their spouses encounter when wanting to file for divorce is deciding where to file. Many states provide exceptions for residency requirements for active duty service personnel who prefer to file in the state he/she is currently stationed. However, members of our military and their spouses are not limited to filing only in the state in which they are based. You can also file where you have permanent residence, where you own property, or where you last lived as Husband and Wife. Usually the state in which you have the most ties to the best place to file but you may want to look up the different divorce laws in each state and make the determination according to the laws that best accommodate your needs and desires.

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Where Do Military Servicemembers File For Divorce

Military families tend to move around a lot. Additionally, when one person is deployed, figuring out where to file for divorce can be difficult. Civilians are limited to filing where they live. But, if you are a military servicemember and need to file for divorce, you have a few options. You can file in the state where you are officially domiciled or where your spouse resides. You may also select another jurisdiction that you both agree on.

When figuring out where to file for divorce, it is typically recommended that you file in the state where you live. You can also consider filling in the state where you vote, have vehicles registered, etc. However, for military service members, this may not be the most convenient location. For example, if you are on active duty or deployed elsewhere, you may not be able to return to your permanent residence to attend hearings or meet with lawyers. In cases like these, you and your former partner should find a more convenient jurisdiction and one on which you both agree.

S Through A Deployment Divorce

Things werent great when your service member deployed. As the months went by, he or she became more distant, more businesslike, more disinterested. Then your service member announced that the marriage is over and that you should consider yourself left. There are months left to this deployment: What do you do now?

There are many things the spouse can do to prepare for a divorce. This time apart from the service member can be very valuable — both from a legal perspective and from an emotional perspective. These six steps can be taken before the service member returns and will help whether you divorce or eventually reconcile:

Step 1: Consult an attorney.

Many folks are apprehensive about consulting with an attorney, but they shouldnt be. Think of a consultation like a job interview — for the attorney! Just because you have a consultation with an attorney, does not mean that you need to hire that particular attorney or file any court documents.

Most consultations take about an hour. This can be one of the most beneficial hours you spend over the next few months. You can learn about divorce in your state and how best to set up your case. It is particularly important to figure out how not to waste the time you still have while your spouse is deployed.

Step 2: Find a counselor.

Step 3: Gather Documents.

Step 4: Follow the Money.

Step 5: Begin the Separation.

Step 6: The Rest Of Your Life.

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Dealing With The Emotional Stress Of Divorce

No doubt about it, divorce is a challenging time. Even if you feel confident in your decision, take advantage of available support to help you through the process. Military OneSource offers these resources:

  • Non-medical counseling: Talking to a counselor can help reduce stress and keep you mission-ready. You can access counseling face-to-face, online, by phone or by video chat.
  • Health and wellness coaching: Dont let your basic health habits slide. Partner with a Military OneSource health and wellness coach to set goals and create a plan to take care of yourself, manage stress and make positive life changes.
  • Chill Drills by Military OneSource: Pause to refresh and recharge with simple mindfulness exercises to help you relax your mind and body. Download for free on Google Play or the App Store.
  • Financial counseling: Take control of your finances and get on top of your budget as your financial situation may change in your divorce. The Department of Defense offers a number of financial counseling options to assist you in getting your finances in order to make the process easier.

Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to learn more about non-medical counseling and other services, and find support for the other members of your family.

Military Divorce Attorney In San Diego

5 Things to Consider in a Military Divorce Case

Military divorces can be extremely emotional and complex matters that should not be handled alone. At The Edmunds Law Firm, our San Diego military divorce lawyers have more than 35 years of experience helping active duty service members and their families pursue amicable divorce solutions and can provide the unshakable support you need to ensure your assets are guarded. To find out more about what our award-winning advocates can do for you, call us toll-free at 800.481.2526 or contact our office online today.

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California Military Divorce: The Basics

If you’ve been a resident of California for six months and a county resident for three months, you can file for for divorce in California by filing a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” with the county superior court. Your military spouse does not have to be in the state when you file. California law, however, requires that the non-filing spouse is notified of the proceedings regardless of where he is stationed.

Helping Your Children Deal With Divorce

Even if your children arent showing their struggle outwardly, its important to recognize how this change in your family may be affecting them.

You can help your children adjust by supporting their feelings and using available resources. Contact the Military and Family Life Counseling Program and learn more about how Children and Youth Counseling Services can benefit your child and provide the extra support they might need during this transition. You may also want to share Sesame Streets Dealing With Divorce resources with your children to start the discussion on ways to cope with the stress and changes associated with divorce or separation.

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Options For Getting A Divorce In The Military

It is clear how difficult it can be for a woman in the military to divorce, especially if there are children involved. Furthermore, the stress of trying to afford an attorney that wants a $1,500 retainer and $250 per hour can be daunting to even consider, especially on a military salary. These prospects often find women in the military giving up on their pursuit of custody or visitations, because it seems so hopeless.

However, self-representation is an option that many overlook, because they do not know what steps to take. Your local law library, the internet and court clerk’s office are great resources to start with. Additionally, there are legal document preparation firms that can assist you with preparing your case at a fraction of the cost of a family law attorney. Before you give up on your case or spend thousands on an attorney, check out your options.

Written exclusively for WomansDivorce.com. Jennifer DeBrue is the owner and operator of Cheap Legal Help. Cheap Legal Help is a legal document preparation firm that specializes in family law issues, such as divorce, child custody, child support modification and establishing, enforcing and modifying visitations. You can contact Jennifer by phone at 256-9318.

To continue this discussion of divorce in the military, please read through following articles:

Can A Servicemember Slow Down The Divorce

How To Get A Divorce In Nc Military : Military Divorce ...

Generally, when one spouse “serves” divorce papers on the other spouse, the responding spouse must file a formal response, or answer, within a specific number of days. Then the court goes forward with scheduling the next steps in the divorce . However, a federal law can change the normal court time schedule and deadlines if one party is on active duty. This law is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act,” or SCRA.

The SCRA allows active-duty service members to request a stay a divorce or other claims if their duties prevent them from participating in or responding to the court action. The initial stay is for at least 90 days. The court can grant extensions after 90 days, but one cant postpone the divorce forever. The purpose of the “stay” is to delay the court action as long as the military member’s duties interfere with their participation.

It is important to make a written request for this stay, if you need one. Go here to find a sample request and cover letter. Keep in mind that this is only a sample – to show you the types of information the court will need to decide your request. Each state has its own rules of court that may require a different format.

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Serving A Spouse On Base Or Overseas

Overseas military personnel can often be served by certified mail with return receipt to their Army Post Office or Fleet Post Office address. Be aware that some countries require service through specific channels. Not all military facilities are set up to receive certified mail or process the required return receipt. If you have any questions about a particular duty station, contact the office of the base commander or base operations manager.

What Are Contested And Uncontested Divorces

An uncontested divorce is a marriage dissolution in which:

  • Both parties agree on the conditions of the separation
  • Neither has committed a marital transgression

In this case, refer to our uncontested divorce papers article and find out if you need a divorce lawyer. Uncontested divorces are usually low-cost and quick.

If former partners cant agree on the elements of their divorcesuch as child support, custody, or splitting assetsthen the divorce becomes contested. To bypass the issues and avoid hiring a lawyer, you can try mediation because its still a more affordable option.

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Delaying Divorce For Training And/or Deployment

Everyone filing for divorce is required to file a Military Affidavit declaring whether one or both spouses are members of the military and if so, if they are on active duty. Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940 governs this disclosure. The reason for this declaration is to ensure military members are given deference when it comes to discovery deadlines, telephonic appearances, and accommodations for other court requirements. .Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940 also provides you with a means of putting your divorce on hold if you are in training or on active duty. It is not necessary, however, for you to put your divorce on hold just because you are going through training or on active duty.

Most lawyers are equipped to accommodate the gathering of discovery through electronic means such as email. However, it is very important that the military member stays in touch with his/her attorney to keep them apprised of the Orders they receive for PCS and the time frame needed for accommodations.

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Military Retirement During Your Divorce
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    What Are The Methods For Dividing Retirement Pay

    There are three ways the military will accept a military division order. You can write a percentage, you can write a dollar amount, or you can write a hypothetical award.

    A percentage can be stated in traditional form or by use of a formula that converts to a percentage like the Time Rule Formula. For example:

    Participants Accrued Benefit shall be allocated:

    If we plug in data points it might look something like this: 20 years of service earned during marriage divided by 30 years of total service equals 66% states as a percentage, and if you multiply that by 50%, the resulting percentage would be 33% of total monthly benefits.

    In addition to percentage , the Military accepts a dollar award to pay a former spouse on a monthly basis. However, for Military plans-be careful using a dollar amount because the military has regulations in place that state if a dollar amount is used, cost of living adjustments are excluded .

    For example, if you wrote into an order: Former Spouse is awarded $500 a month, plus proportional cost of living increases, the military would only pay $500 a month and ignore the rest regarding the cost of living.

    This is a different procedure than many litigants are used to with private plans-where if you write something the Plan does not agree with, the Plan will reject the entire order and tell you to re-write it to fix the sections the Particular Plan does not agree with. The military will just process parts of the order.

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