Military divorce

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Information about Military divorce

Published on March 20, 2014

Author: GaryStein_lgx



Having a spouse in the military can be difficult, and unfortunately it can place a lot of stress on a marriage.

What You Need to Know Before You Get a Military Divorce Having a spouse in the military can be difficult, and unfortunately it can place a lot of stress on a marriage. Long absences for tours of duty and feelings of isolation can start to take their toll. It is no surprise that some of these marriages end in divorce. The process of getting a divorce is no different for military personnel than it is for regular citizens. However, if you are considering a military divorce, there are a few things you should know that could affect your outcome. It may take longer Depending on the state, there are specific schedules you have to follow when proceeding with a divorce. For example, when one spouse “serves” the other with divorce papers, there’s a timeframe in which a formal response must be written. Because of the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA), military personnel are often allowed more time to respond to divorce filings. This is because they could be overseas or on active duty, and need more leeway to complete their side of the proceedings. Military Pensions and the “10-10 test” It’s a common misconception that in order to get a portion of a military pension, you need to have been married for at least 10 years. This isn’t true. A court is free to divide up a military pension based on whatever it thinks is fair. The “10-10 test” has to do with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), which is responsible for making direct retirement payments to former service members. The DFAS will provide direct payments to an ex-spouse if the couple had been married for 10 years of overlapping service. For example, if a couple had been married for 12 years, but a spouse was only on active duty for 8 of those years, then the DFAS won’t make direct payments to the non-military spouse. There needs to be at least 10 years of active duty while still married. However, a judge may still decide to split up a pension if the “10-10 test” isn’t met, in which case the service

member will be responsible for making payments to the ex-spouse instead of payments coming directly from the DFAS. The military can provide you with legal assistance If you need help answering questions about a military divorce, military personnel and their spouses have access to legal assistance through the military. Attorneys are present on most bases, and they are there to help out with writing letters, reviewing documents and answering questions. They can even help negotiate on your behalf. However, these attorneys won’t be able to represent you during the divorce proceedings. You’ll need to hire a divorce attorney. What about child support? Child support payments are determined by the divorce court. However, each branch of the military requires their personnel to provide support for their children, and they will make sure that payments are being made even before a court has determined the amount of child support. It’s important to hire a lawyer with experience in military divorce. If you are looking for a divorce lawyer in Tacoma, contact the Lutz Law Offices today. Photo Credit: Jonathan Kos-Read, SalFalko, Wee Lakeo

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