March 22, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Service members calling for change to divorce pension division rules
Article provided by The Law Office of Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
Visit us at http://www.schulefandlawoffice.com
In all marriage dissolutions, the divorcing couple is required to divide their marital assets and debts in an equitable fashion. This process is called "property division," and, depending on the length of the marriage and the types of property at issue, it can often be very complicated. In some cases, one spouse may also be required to pay alimony (also called "spousal maintenance" or "spousal support") to the other.
The property division and alimony process becomes even more complex when one of the spouses has had a career in the military. This is because military pension division is governed by a special federal law called the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act. As such, property division and alimony in military divorces does not always follow the same rules that apply in civilian divorces.
Some advocacy groups want this to change. They say that USFSPA is outdated and doesn't conform to the realities of modern military careers.
Their principal objection comes from the fact that retired service members can be required to share their up to half of their retirement pay with their ex-spouses for life. Unlike traditional spousal support arrangements, the payments do not stop if the receiving spouse remarries or enjoys a substantial increase in income.
The law was created in part because military spouses traditionally had to sacrifice their ability to pursue a career in order to help their spouses succeed in the military. Many service members are required to move frequently, making it hard for their spouses to stay in one job for long. Further, during deployments, military spouses are often left to stay at home and take care of the family while their partner is overseas. A military spouse, the thinking goes, is just as much a part of a military career as the service member is.
Some service members, though, think this law treats them unfairly. After all, they say, they were the ones who put themselves in harm's way. They argue that there is no reason they should have to pay more alimony simply because they chose a career in the military. As such, some USFSPA opponents are calling on Congress to change the law to put military pension division rules more in line with the laws governing civilian divorces.
Contact a military divorce attorney
Only time will tell whether the law will be changed. In the meantime, it is important for divorcing service members and their spouses to seek the help of an attorney who is experienced in handling military divorces. The attorney can help service members or military spouses protect their rights while ensuring that the special rules governing military divorces are followed.---
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