San Jose Military Divorce Attorney
Helping Members of the Armed Forces with Legal Issues Related to Military Divorce
When you are a member of the military or married to a servicemember, your life is often significantly different than the lives of civilians. Not only are there unique issues concerning your freedom to live wherever you want and potential deployment, but military members are also subject to laws that do not apply to the rest of the population. As a result, when a member of the military decides to end his or her marriage, there are often issues that arise that are not present in a non-military divorce.
If you are going through a military divorce, it is critical to retain an attorney who understands these issues and who has an insider's perspective on the way the military operates. As a former Marine, California attorney and Dominion Law Group, LLP Partner Kevin Hutcheson has the skill and experience required to protect your rights in even the most complicated military divorce.
Issues Particular to Military Divorce
Residency and Filing for Divorce - Generally speaking, you must file for divorce in the state in which your spouse is domiciled, which can be complicated for military members who move around often. In addition, if a military spouse is deployed, it may not be possible to initiate divorce proceedings due to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which allows active duty service members to delay civil actions in some cases.
Military Pensions and Benefits - Military members generally have benefits such as retirement pay, life insurance, and medical coverage. In most divorce cases, these benefits are subject to division, and there is a federal law that entitles spouses to a continuation of benefits after a divorce. Also, the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) allows former spouses to receive a portion of military pension payments if certain criteria are met. An attorney familiar with military divorces will know how to obtain the proper judgment and to communicate with the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) to ensure a pension is divided fairly.
Child Custody - Child custody is challenging in many divorces, but it may be especially complicated when one or both spouses are members of the military. Those who are in the armed forces often move around quite a bit and may be subject to lengthy deployments, and these issues must be taken into consideration when members of the military who have children decide to end their marriages. Simply because a parent is in the military should not mean they cannot have custody or visitation rights. Instead, a parenting plan should specifically address deployments and other times in which the military parent may not be available.