You and your spouse have sacrificed for this country. There have been countless military assignments that have kept your family apart. As a military family, you have faced a unique set of problems. A successful marriage has been more challenging for you than the average couple.
Because of the safety of our country must always come first, military spouses are frequently separated for months at a time. Duty to your country prevents you from being able to make your marriage a top priority. Then, after coming home from deployment, you must now face the ravages of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
Not only do military couples have unique emotional issues, when seeking a divorce, there are certain legal aspects which must be taken into consideration.
- Where to file for divorce
- How to divorce a spouse while deployed
- How to serve an active duty military spouse
- How to overcome the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
- How to determine the homestate of a military spouse
- How to divide a military pension
- How to treat military survivor benefits
- How to calculate Basic Housing Allowance as income
- How to calculate disability benefits as income
Where to File for Divorce
Frequently, military spouses have lived all over the country, if not the world. Military families frequently have permanent residence in a state other than where they are residing. Where the divorce is filed depends on a number of factors, including the homestate of the parties, where the children live, and whether the military spouse is deployed. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you determine where to file divorce proceedings. If you have a question about where to file your military divorce, please call our office for a consultation.
How Deployment affects a Military Divorce
Because military personnel can be deployed for long periods of time, the Federal government has enacted laws to protect them from being sued without their knowledge. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is a federal law that protects active duty military from civil proceedings. This includes divorce proceedings, which could be significantly delayed or made more complicated by the military spouse.
Furthermore, serving a military spouse may be more complicated. For instance, this sometimes must be done on a military base or overseas. As a result, serving divorce papers and obtaining a divorce from someone who is active duty military requires the help of a skilled attorney. If you or your spouse are active duty military and are contemplating a divorce, please call our office for a consultation. We can walk you through the confusing legal process of military divorce.
Dividing a Military Pension
Many military spouses have both a pension and a Thrift Savings Plan account. Federal law determines how a military pension is divided, how much money the non-military spouse should be paid, and where the legal paperwork should be filed. There may be additional benefits at issue as well, such as base privileges, insurance benefits, commissary access, military survivor benefits, and higher-education benefits. If you have questions about how to divide a military pension, please call our office for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys have handled hundreds of military divorces and can help.
Calculating Income in a Military Divorce
Military spouses typically have at least two sources of income: salary, and non-taxable benefits such as Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) and a food allowance (BAQ). Furthermore, once discharged from the service, most military personnel are entitled to disability pay. Frequently, the former service member returns to school after discharge and receives educational benefits by way of BAH. Calculating income for purposes in a military divorce can be tricky. This is why it is important to retain an experienced attorney who understands the ins and outs of military divorce. Call us now for a consultation. We can help.