If you are going through a divorce with a member of the Armed Forces, you should know that there are some unique laws and protections that pertain to you. Generally, the military stays out of divorces and leaves it to the state courts. However, an attorney knowledgeable in military divorces can explain to you the exceptions and special rights affecting military spouses.
Some of the common federal laws and rights that a military divorce lawyer deals with that may impact your divorce include:
- Pension and Benefits. One of the most valuable assets for a military service member is his pension. There are detailed federal laws that govern how a military pension can be divided. Considerations can include the length of marriage and even the circumstances of your divorce. You will want to talk to an attorney to learn your rights to collect military benefits post-divorce;
- Jurisdiction. It can be difficult to know what jurisdiction to file for divorce when you are married to a member of the military. After all, your spouse may be stationed in a different state or even a different country. Generally, state law will address the appropriate jurisdiction and residency requirements, but if you are unsure where you should file for divorce, you will want to talk to a military divorce attorney. There may be special rules and rights that allow a military spouse to file for divorce in certain jurisdictions;
- Housing. You may have the right to remain in military family housing. Your spouse does not have the right to kick you out post-divorce. Instead, you may be allowed to live in the housing for a given period of time while you search for a new place to live; and
- Child Support and Alimony. Each branch of the military requires service members to support family members upon separation. These regulations are very specific and you will want to confer with an attorney for more detail.
If you have any questions or concerns about a military divorce or the rights of a military spouse, get assistance from one of the attorneys at Smith Strong at 804-325-1245 (Richmond) or 757-941-4298 (Williamsburg).