October 25, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Ending a marriage when one or both spouses are in the military is more complicated than the typical divorce
for several reasons. The choice of family law attorney is extremely important for any spouse who is either in the military or whose soon-to-be ex-spouse is. The laws that may come into play are very complex and a divorce lawyer with substantial military family law experience will be able to sort out the issues and explain what is at stake at each stage and with each decision.
In addition, if the parties are able to negotiate a marital settlement agreement in a military divorce
, the specific provisions included may need to be carefully worded to comply with the law and so that the intentions of the parties are carried out by the final court order of divorce.
First, a crucial decision must be reached about where to file for divorce. Because military families move around from state to state, more than one state may allow them to file for divorce there, and among those states that would allow it for a particular couple, the divorce laws may be more favorable for one spouse or the other, or both, in a particular jurisdiction.
Division of military benefits
Second, both federal and state laws impact how military benefits are divided and paid out in divorce. Some types are subject to specific formulas and eligibility of former spouses may depend on the length of the marriage, the length of military service and how much those time periods overlapped.
Examples of such benefits are military retirement pay, which is like a pension; the thrift savings plan, the military equivalent of a 401(k) retirement savings plan; the survivor benefit plan, an insurance plan that makes payments after the military member's death and for which a former spouse can be named the beneficiary; military health insurance; commissary privileges; and more.
Third, child custody
and visitation may become more complicated than usual in a military divorce. It is not uncommon for one of the parents to be deployed overseas or transferred to a different stateside base in another state. While in such situations it is often logical for the nonmilitary spouse to have primary physical custody of the children, it is important to plan for what will happen to custody and visitation arrangements when the servicemember parent returns.
A related issue is to consider how child support should vary in amount whether or not the military parent is home and has the kids more often.
Tip of the iceberg
This is a very basic introduction to the kinds of legal and logistical issues that come up in a military divorce. It is imperative that a husband or wife facing divorce in a marriage when one or both spouses are in military service, whether active or in the reserves, find a knowledgeable divorce lawyer with military experience for guidance, education and advocacy.
Article provided by Lowendick Law Office
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