Serving in the military can put a unique strain on a marriage. The family faces challenges that others do not. Unfortunately, the military divorce rate is high because of the sacrifices that service members and their families are required to make for their country. The actual divorce process itself can also be difficult. There are special considerations that apply of which you must be aware. Attorney Matthew Davis has served in the military and knows what you are facing.
If you are dealing with a military divorce, you should hire a lawyer early in the process. At Davis Curry Law, we can represent you in all phases of your military divorce case, including litigation. Our Hendersonville divorce attorney is are well-versed in issues impacting military families. Call us today to discuss your case.
Special Issues in a Military Divorce
There are unique issues that come into play in a military divorce that can include:
Retired servicemembers are entitled to a pension after a certain amount of service. The spouse who did not serve could be legally entitled to part of this pension under a federal law called the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act. First, they will need to establish that the pension is marital property. The court will use principles of equitable distribution under North Carolina law to divide the pension.
The same best interests of the child standard that applies to every custody action will apply to a military divorce. However, there are unique issues because of deployments and travel schedules. Even if a servicemember does not get custody of their child, they should still have the right to visitation based on a reasonable schedule.
Military parents are required to move often. Usually, parents will need to go through the court to relocate with the child. The separation agreement would need to address issues relating to relocation and visitation if one parent must move (even if that parent is not the one with physical custody)
If one spouse will receive benefits for service-related disabilities, these do not get the same treatment as a pension. Veterans’ disability payments are not considered marital property that is subject to division.
Calculation of child support
Servicemembers receive more than their basic pay. They are also paid housing allowances. There may be disagreements about what is considered income for purposes of calculating child support owed.
Even if you have access to military counsel, the help that they can provide you is limited. If your case is contested, they will not be able to represent you in court.
A military attorney could also have a very busy caseload that may affect their ability to give you the personalized attention that we can. You need an attorney who can fight for your rights if necessary, who is able to work on your case from the beginning. Thus, you should consider hiring a military divorce lawyer to get the most effective legal help.
Understanding the Military Divorce Process
Military life could make some of the divorce procedures difficult. Here are some unique issues that relate to the process for military divorce:
- In order to file for divorce in North Carolina, one must have resided or been stationed in the state for at least six months. Jurisdiction can be an issue when the divorcing couple has recently moved.
- The spouses may live in different states, and there may be an issue about which state’s laws will govern the divorce.
- A spouse who is on active duty may be able to file for a stay of divorce proceedings, depending on the circumstances. There is a federal law called the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that provides conditions for lawsuits against active duty servicemembers. Your attorney would consult the law to determine how it could impact your case
If you are able to file for divorce, there would be two ways of resolving your case:
- You can reach a marital separation agreement with the other spouse and file for divorce in court
- You could file the case in court (when there is no agreement between the spouses, and you are able to sue the other spouse)
You can begin the divorce process by contacting an experienced military divorce lawyer. We will speak to you to learn the specifics of your situation and identify any issues that could affect your divorce.
Contact a Military Divorce Lawyer in Hendersonville, NC Today
At Davis Curry Law, we understand the unique situation that military families face in divorce because we are veteran-owned.
Our experience enables us to anticipate and effectively deal with issues on your behalf. The best thing that you can do is get the legal help you need in your divorce process. To speak with an attorney, you can send us a message online or call us today at 828-900-2420.