When one person in a couple is in the military, their divorce may be substantially different from a traditional civil divorce. Military divorces are handled in a special way because of specific laws and regulations that apply to service members. While the fundamental nature of the divorce will remain, certain aspects of the process can be different. Understanding the differences between a military divorce and other types of divorces can help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
What Are the Differences?
A military divorce is different from a traditional divorce in several ways. One of the main differences is that military divorces are governed by federal laws, rather than state laws, which can make the process more complex. Additionally, there are unique factors that can come into play in a military divorce, such as the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which can affect the division of property, alimony, and other aspects of the divorce.
One of the key differences between military and traditional divorces is the jurisdiction. In a conventional divorce, the parties are governed by the laws of the state in which they reside, and the divorce is typically filed in a state court. In a military divorce, however, the parties are governed by federal laws, and the divorce is typically filed in a federal court. This can complicate the process, as the parties may have to navigate a different set of rules and procedures.
Another difference between military and traditional divorces is the division of military pensions. In a traditional divorce, the division of pensions is governed by state law, which can vary depending on the state where the parties reside. In a military divorce, however, the division of military pensions is governed by the USFSPA, which allows for the allocation of a portion of a military member’s retirement pay to a former spouse. This can be a complex process, as the parties must determine the amount of the pension, the length of the marriage, and other factors to reach an agreement.
In addition, a military divorce can be affected by the SCRA, which provides certain protections for military members who are deployed or on active duty. The SCRA can delay the proceedings in a military divorce if the military member is unable to participate due to their service, and it can also protect the military member from default judgments if they are unable to respond to the divorce promptly.
Overall, there are many differences between a military divorce and a traditional divorce. Understanding these differences can help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible and that all of the relevant laws and regulations are taken into account. It is important for those going through a military divorce to work with an attorney who is familiar with the relevant laws and can provide guidance on how to best navigate the process to avoid any risk of negative consequences or unnecessary delays in the proceedings.
Q: Can a Military Member Get a Divorce While on Active Duty?
A: Yes, a military member can get a divorce while on active duty. However, the SCRA can provide certain protections for military members who are deployed or on active duty, such as delaying the proceedings in a divorce if the military member is unable to participate due to their service. Those going through a military divorce should work with an attorney who is familiar with these specific military regulations to ensure their rights are protected throughout the process.
Q: Who Can File for a Military Divorce?
A: Either party in a military marriage can file for a military divorce, regardless of whether they are the military member or the civilian spouse. However, the party who files for the divorce must meet the jurisdiction requirements for filing in federal court. The parties will be subject to federal laws governing military divorces, such as the USFSPA and SCRA.
Q: How Is Property Divided in a Military Divorce?
A: Generally, any property or assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property and subject to division in a divorce. However, the parties must consider any laws or regulations governing military property, such as the USFSPA which can dictate how a military pension is allocated in a divorce. The SCRA can provide certain protections for military members who are deployed or on active duty. The parties must understand their rights and obligations under the applicable laws to ensure a fair property division in a military divorce.
Q: Can a Military Member’s Spouse Get a Portion of Their Pension in a Military Divorce?
A: Yes, a military member’s spouse may be entitled to a portion of their pension in a military divorce. The USFSPA allows for allocating a portion of a military member’s retirement pay to a former spouse. The amount of the pension and the length of the marriage are among the factors that will be considered in determining the allocation.
Q: How Much Does a Military Law Attorney Cost for Divorce?
A: The cost of hiring a military law attorney for a divorce can vary depending on several factors, such as the complexity of the case, the attorney’s experience and reputation, and the location of the practice. In general, however, military law attorneys typically charge an hourly rate for their services, ranging from $150 to $500 per hour or more. Additionally, some attorneys may require a retainer fee upfront, which can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. It is important to discuss the fees and payment terms with the attorney before hiring them to ensure you understand the costs and are comfortable with the arrangement.
Experienced Military Divorce Lawyers You Can Trust
To secure the best outcome in your military divorce, it is important to consult with a qualified and experienced Midwest military divorce lawyer from Stange Law Firm. Our experienced attorneys are familiar with the complexities of military divorce and can provide valuable guidance throughout the process. We understand the relevant laws and regulations, and we can help you protect your rights and interests. With our assistance, you can ensure your divorce is handled efficiently and effectively without unnecessary delays or complications.