Unlike other divorces, a military divorce involves additional legal considerations. Having a thorough understanding of military divorce issues will lead to better decisions and outcomes. Once a divorce is final, it is very difficult to change the terms. Kanthaka Group’s Colorado Springs military divorce lawyers are knowledgeable, experienced and able to assist service members or their spouses. Call us today at (719)-633-2222.
Both state and federal laws apply to military divorce. While federal laws may dictate where divorcing couples end up in court or how military pensions are split, state laws may determine how alimony and spousal support are calculated. Divorce laws vary depending on the state where the divorce is filed.
Military members or spouses can only be granted a divorce by a court that has the authority, or “jurisdiction,” to hear their case. Generally, jurisdiction is determined by where a person lives. In the case of military personnel, the location of jurisdiction may be where the service member holds legal residence, even if he or she is stationed elsewhere.
Depending on the circumstances of a service member’s deployment, custody and child support can be complicated. A custody arrangement must account for the unique demands on a service member’s time. Custody agreements need to be carefully crafted to ensure that the service member can speak to the children while deployed and spend considerable time with them while on leave.
Similarly, if the service member is a custodial parent, it is essential that they are not faced with a petition to modify custody upon their return from deployment. Some states prohibit modifying custody orders based on a service member’s deployment, while others do not. When preparing your custody arrangement, it is vital that your attorney understands the laws in your state and is aware of potential complications.
Sometimes, misconceptions can distort the true facts of the military retirement division. Among the most common misconceptions are those surrounding military retirement distribution law. According to the law, after ten years of qualified military service, spouses of military service members are entitled to a portion of that service member’s pension.
However, parties who do not meet the ten-year mark are still eligible for retirement benefits. An individual receiving a pension in this situation is responsible for paying the beneficiary directly. Our seasoned team of Colorado Springs military divorce attorneys will help you navigate your case through the complex terrain of military retirement after divorce.
Members of the military are protected under the Service Members Civil Relief Act, which allows them to “devote their entire attention to the military needs of the nation.” This special congressional protection prevents legal proceedings from being brought against the service member while still on active duty and for sixty days following.
Certainly not. However, a service member who is served a motion in a family law matter can ask the court to “stay” the proceedings, or in other words, postpone the case. If granted, the judge may stay the proceedings for no less than 90 days.
This depends on who initiates the divorce. In a case initiated by the service member, the state where he or she is stationed can have jurisdiction over the case. If a spouse initiates a divorce, the jurisdiction may be in the state where the spouse resides. Our attorneys can explain in more detail how jurisdiction is determined.
According to the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA), a state must meet certain conditions to assume jurisdiction over retirement pay. When a marriage lasts less than ten years, the UFSPA prohibits direct payments of military retirement pay to a former spouse, but some states may still award a former spouse a monetary award for a portion of retired military pay.
Our Colorado Springs military divorce lawyers understand the unique issues facing military members and spouses. It is possible to get divorced while on active duty, but it can be tricky. Our divorce lawyers are familiar with this process and well prepared to assist soldiers with initiating a divorce, or responding to filings. For thoughtful and informed legal guidance, contact our Colorado Springs military lawyers for an initial consultation or call us at (719)-633-2222.