A military divorce lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in divorce proceedings for spouses in a branch of the US military. Military law is different from civilian law and thus it is important to find a military divorce lawyer to help you deal with your divorce proceedings.
Why Use A Military Divorce Lawyer?
- The laws surrounding military pensions and benefits are complex
- Residency laws and requirements vary widely
- Divorce papers while deployed
- Custody issues
One of the first difficulties of a military divorce is where to file the paperwork. Military families often move around constantly and various states and counties require a certain amount of residency before a divorce can be filed. Two widely different examples include Colorado and Texas. Even if you do not plan to make Texas your permanent residence, you can file for divorce there if you have been in the state for at least six months and in a specific county for 90 days. On the other hand, you cannot do the same in Colorado unless you plan to live in the state permanently or you have a civilian spouse who has lived in the state for 90 days or more. A military divorce lawyer can help you sift through all these residency requirements and find the best avenue to proceed.
Custody and Deployment
Issues under this heading can include:
- Visitation rights after deployment
- Response extensions if served while deployed
- Other arrangements if both you and your spouse are deployed
Just like residency requirements, custody issues can get complex very quickly. Normal custody and visitation rights may not apply if you are on active duty and deployed. It gets even more complex if your spouse is also deployed. Whose relatives get custody in such a case? Support agreements are important as penalties for not paying support are far more severe in the military than they are for civilians.
Benefits and Pensions
One of the biggest and most problematic issues with a military divorce is the financial one, and include the following.
- Division of pension as property
- Continued payments or lump sum
- Retirement shares
- What exactly gets divided
Some of these issues even vary by state, such as in Texas where only the paying parent’s income is considered in support. However, in other states, both parents’ incomes are considered. Extended benefits to former military spouses go by the 20/20/20 rule. The marriage and spouse in active duty must both last 20 years and it requires a 20 year overlap before a divorce. A military divorce lawyer can help you make sense of this complicated system.