WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT MILITARY DIVORCES?
Military divorce raises a number of distinct issues and concerns. Is a portion of the service member's pension available to the non-military spouse? Is it possible to divorce if one of the spouses is stationed overseas? What happens to the custody of the children? What about other perks like Tricare?
We are happy to address any questions one may have. Our legal team has represented a number of military service members and their spouses in asset division disputes, divorces, child custody conflicts, child or spousal support challenges, and other legal situations.
Our legal offices highly recognize the services of those deployed; therefore, we fight aggressively for all our clients' rights! We value the attorney-client relationship we provide, especially when it comes to service members who make sacrifices for the state and their families.
What Are The Requirements For Military Divorce?
One of the spouses must lawfully reside in York, PA, or be stationed there in order to file a military divorce case in the state. Before filing for divorce in Pennsylvania, either spouse must have lived in the state for at least a year. The residency requirement for military divorces can be decreased from one year to three months if both spouses live in Pennsylvania. Irrespective of whether the spouse wants to stay in the area or not, a spouse stationed at a PA military base for one year is deemed a resident of the state.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
Soldiers are exempted from divorce proceedings under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which allows them to "devote their entire efforts to the military needs of the Nation." The Act allows courts to postpone legal actions while a spouse is on active duty and for 60 days after they return. The active-duty spouse can waive his or her rights and allow the court to issue a final divorce order if the divorce case is uncontested. Military regulations oblige military personnel to support their children and spouse irrespective of the length of the wait.
Seth and his staff are very nice and helpful people. They are helping me through a very difficult time in my life and I'm glad to have them on my side to represent me. I highly recommend this firm.
- Shelby M.
Seth took the extra time to fully explain to me thoroughly in detail the answers to all of the questions i had. He sensed my urgency and immediately went to the courthouse to file.
- Michael B.
HOW TO DIVIDE MILITARY PENSIONS
The reasons for divorce in the military are the same as in the civilian world. However, there is one crucial exemption when it comes to dividing the marital inheritance. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA), 10 USC 1408, governs military pensions. The Act gives governments the option of distributing military pensions to former spouses, but it does not do so automatically. The USFSPA restricts a state court's award to no more than half of the "disposable retired pay" and forbids any distribution of a military pension except if the parties were married for at least ten years throughout the active duty spouses' time together.
What IS THE 10-10 TEST?
The "10-10" rule is a rule that causes the pension to be garnished. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) splits the monthly pension and sends the correct percentage to every party if the spouse served in the military for at least ten years and the parties were married for at least ten years throughout the spouse's military service. If the 10-10 rule is not met, the pension may still be divided by the Family Court; however, the spouse is responsible for making the monthly payments.
Military pension benefits are often not available until a service member has served in the armed forces for at least 20 years. A judge determines the soldier's disposable retirement pay after deducting advanced pay, forfeited sums and fines, deductions, and waivers when dividing a military pension in Family Courts. Even if they haven't been married for ten years, spouses may be eligible for a portion of the military pension.
HOW DO COURTS DIVIDE MILITARY PENSIONS?
A military pension can be divided in one of three ways: Courts may award a percentage of the person's pension, an exact monetary amount from the pension, or money or other assets in place of a share of a military pension.
The following factors are taken into account by the courts:
The duration of the marriage
Whether or not one of the spouses continue to serve in the military after the divorce
Adjustments in the cost of living
Disposable retired pay vs. gross retired pay
If there are any disability payments, as well as any other criteria that the court deems relevant
Child support is usually calculated depending on each spouse's income, but it is not as simple as civilian child support. When determining military income, the courts must include various factors, such as basic pay, meals, housing allowance, and hazard pay. There are federal standards that specify particular computations, but they are not always the same as the amount determined by the Child Support Guidelines in York, PA. Until the spouses can appear in Family Court, there is usually enough support imposed.
ARE YOU IN NEED OF A MILITARY DIVORCE LAWYER? CONTACT OUR LAW FIRM TODAY
Even if you and your spouse believe both of you can work out a fair and equitable division of assets, one must get qualified legal counsel for their military divorce. We know what's at risk, so put our expertise to work for you. To book a consultation, contact our law firm as soon as possible!