Claremont Military Divorce Lawyers
Service in the military is a brave and noble endeavor. Unfortunately, it can put stress on a marriage, on top of the typical difficulties that any married couple is bound to face. If you or your spouse currently serve or previously served in the military and you are considering divorce, it is important to retain the services of a divorce attorney who understands and appreciates the nuances of a military divorce. Military divorces involve special considerations and even different rules for distributing certain types of assets in a divorce.
The Claremont military divorce attorneys at Blasser Law understand the complexities of a California military divorce, both personal and legal. Our capable California divorce legal team will help you protect yourself, your assets, and your family as you move toward the next phase of your life.
Where Do I File for Divorce?
Filing for divorce when one or both parties are in the military can present many logistical issues. Firstly, where should the divorce be filed? Typically, the law allows for a divorce to be filed in a state in which either party has a legal residence. Whoever files the divorce generally gets to pick where to file, although a case could be transferred to a different jurisdiction if it makes more sense to handle the case there (for example, if there are shared children and they live in the other jurisdiction, or if the lion’s share of pertinent witnesses and evidence are located elsewhere).
If you are choosing where to file, it is important to know each state’s property division law and how each state deals with specific, important types of assets. Members of the military should take particular note of how each state deals with dividing up a military pension. A military pension can be worth tens of thousands of dollars per year if the member served for more than 20 years.
The federal Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) explicitly states that “disposable retired pay” received as non-disability military retirement and earned during the marriage is community property, subject to division on divorce. Speak with a knowledgeable California military divorce attorney to discuss how your pension will be incorporated into your divorce should you consider filing in a California court.
Military Pay Division
Military spouses considering divorce will need to deal with their Leave and Earnings Statement (LES). The LES lists a military servicemember’s earnings, deductions, years of military service, and rank. The LES will detail base pay, special pay, housing and food benefits, and others. Your attorney can help you analyze the LES issued for you or your spouse in order to properly incorporate military earnings into the divorce settlement.
Post-Divorce Military Benefits
There are laws specific to military divorces affecting the benefits to which a military spouse is entitled. The law grants former spouses of military servicepersons full military benefits, including lifetime medical, so long as they satisfy the “20/20/20 Rule”: The marriage lasted 20 years, the service member served at least 20 years, and there were at least 20 years of overlap between the marriage and the military service. Former spouses are entitled to transitional military medical benefits for one year if they satisfy the 20/20/15 Rule: The marriage lasted 20 years, the service member served at least 20 years, and there were at least 15 years of overlap between the marriage and military service. Victims of domestic abuse by a military spouse may be entitled to full benefits with a shorter overlap between marriage and service.
Call For Seasoned, Effective Help with a Military Divorce in California
For knowledgeable, understanding, and dedicated help with military divorce or other family law issues in California, contact a military divorce attorney at the Claremont offices of Blasser Law at 877-927-2181.