Divorce Laws in the Military

Military Divorce

The actual process of divorce is the same for service members and their family as it is for their civilian counterparts. However, there are special rules that alter the specifics of a military divorce. If you live in Norfolk and are a member of the armed services, it is crucial that you try to find Norfolk divorce lawyers who know these key differences and can help you deal with them.

Divorce Laws in the Military

Since military service members are technically federal employees, federal laws must be taken into account when filing for divorce. For example, federal laws will determine where the couple will go to court and how the military pension will divide. At the same time, the federal government has no jurisdiction over alimony, child support, or spousal support, so the state determines these laws. Understanding the law is the first step in any divorce, and divorce lawyers Norfolk VA can give you all the information you need.


Filing for Divorce

States will allow service members or their families to file for divorce in whichever state they stationed. When it comes time to file for divorce, the couple has three options:

1) They can file for divorce in the state in which the military member stationed.

2)They can file for divorce in the state where the military member is a legal resident

3) They can file for divorce where the spouse resides

Once the decision is made, the divorce laws of the state where the petition was filed will kick in. Alimony, child support, and spousal support will all be governed by that state. A divorce attorney in Norfolk can bring you up to speed on the state divorce laws and help you pick the best option.

The Pension

The military pension may be divided in the case of a military divorce. The Uniformed Services Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) allows the pension to be treated either as sole or community property depending on state laws. Note that there is no federal law governing the division of the pension, so it is important to ask divorce lawyers in Norfolk VA what Virginia’s laws will mean for your pension.

In most cases, active duty servicemen and women are protected from divorce by the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The SCRA states that serving military members cannot begin divorce proceedings or be sued during active duty or for 60 days following active duty.

If the spouse and service member are married for ten years or more, then the spouse will automatically get a chunk of the retirement benefits no matter what. This is known under the ten-year rule, and the payment is made directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).

Because military members are federal employees, the divorce laws are more complicated than they are for civilians. It highly recommended that you hire Norfolk divorce lawyers to handle your case. With a good attorney, your case has a much higher chance of reaching a positive outcome.

The Firm For Men specializes in representing men in their divorce. We believe that divorce courts typically favor women and have made it our mission to ensure men receive the outcomes they deserve. If you are a man and want to make sure that the courts treat you fairly during your divorce, feel free to reach out to us at (757)383-9184.

This is not to be construed as legal advice and does not create attorney client relationship. All cases are different and should be reviewed by a lawyer to determine each person best case scenario.