Military Divorce

Virginia Military Divorce Attorneys


Top Rated Military Divorce Attorneys Providing Guidance and Protecting Your Rights During Difficult Times. Serving Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

Why Choose Melone Hatley, P.C.?
  • Experienced, aggressive and caring military divorce lawyers
  • Highly Rated By Clients
  • Big Law Firm experience in a boutique setting
  • Client focused approach with one-on-one attention
  • Cost-effective approach
  • Payment plans available

Questions regarding military divorce issues? Contact our office today or schedule a call with one of our Client Services Coordinators.


Table of Contents:

Military Divorce

Whether your case is contested or uncontested, military divorces offer unique challenges. From jurisdiction to deployment to child custody determinations, these cases have more moving parts than most. As a result, it’s important that any military family facing divorce has the knowledge and insight of an experienced family law attorney.

For any divorce case in Virginia, one party has to have been a resident for at least 6 months prior to filing the case. However, this requirement only grants the spouse the right to a divorce, and jurisdiction over child custody and property division may be held by another state.

For military members, jurisdiction may be proper where they currently reside, where their spouse currently resides, where they are stationed, or where they last resided in the United States if serving overseas. If the other spouse has no connection to Virginia, the court may not have jurisdiction to determine any property or support issues between the parties.

For military members, jurisdiction may be proper where they currently reside, where their spouse currently resides, where they are stationed, or where they last resided in the United States if serving overseas. A knowledgeable family law attorney can advise you on where jurisdiction is proper for your case.

Our Services

The attorneys at Melone Hatley, PC can help with any of the following areas:

  • Uncontested Divorce
  • Separation Agreements
  • Contested Divorce
  • Division of Property
  • Child Custody & Visitation
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support

Special Laws for Military Divorces

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) are the two most impactful federal laws on military divorce. The USFSPA allows former military spouses to receive a portion of retirement pay as well as commissary, exchange, and health care benefits following divorce.

The SCRA offers protection for servicemembers from default judgments, evictions, and foreclosures in addition to divorce and custody determinations while on active duty.

As discussed here, Virginia also offers additional protection for service members in the Virginia Military Parents Equal Protection Act, which addresses the concerns of deploying parents regarding custodial and visitation decisions.

Jurisdiction over child custody may also be an issue: just because Virginia has jurisdiction over the divorce does not mean it has jurisdiction to make a custody determination. Custody jurisdiction stays in the place where the child has resided most of the time (their “home state”), which may be another state or even another country.

Schedule a Call
with one of our Client Services Coordinators.

Support Issues in Military Divorce

Both child support and spousal support cannot exceed 60% of a military member’s gross pay and allowances. While ordinarily the child support guidelines applied in Virginia will not exceed this limit, it’s possible a spousal support award could.

It’s vital that military members understand their rights so they are not burdened with obligations they cannot meet as a result of a divorce.

Retirement in Military Divorce

After you are married, your spouse is entitled to a portion of your retirement contributions and entitlements made any time after marriage. This includes pension, TSP, FERS, and any other retirement plan you may participate in such as a Roth IRA. Your spouse’s share of a pension is calculated as a fraction depending on the length of the marriage and length of service.

If you are negotiating an agreement, you can modify the amount your spouse can take from these accounts. For your spouse to actually receive their portion of your retirement, the court will require an additional order, known as a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. If these orders are not prepared properly, the distribution will not be done.


If you are facing separation and divorce, contact our office today to schedule a call with one of our Client Services Coordinators.

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  • E.C.

    What a breath of fresh air they were. After dealing with a terrible firm that took a divorce and turned it into a year long $30,000 nightmare. Emily Vaughn turned my case around in as little as a week. All parties were talking again and it was finished a month or two after that. Eric Schell and Emily Vaughn were hands down the best to work with. I would recommend them to anyone! I am and will continue to use them in other matters in the future. They truly impressed! Great job you two!!

    E.C.
  • J.G.

    I contacted the Charlotte office with some initial inquiries and found myself in contact with Haley Acuff. I was impressed with her obvious compassion and objectiveness. Her insightful questions helped me to clarify my thought process, while also inspiring confidence that I have indeed found the caring and capable legal representation I was hopeful to find.

    J.G.
  • R.S.

    “Worked with both James and Rebecca. Both were very professional and worked hard to make sure I was taken care of with my child support cases. I fully recommend them.”

  • M.A.

    “I had started this process of going through child custody at Norfolk JDR with Mr. Hatley about 2 1/2 years ago. He had done SO much from fighting false domestic violence charges to helping me gain custody of my son. I was skeptical when I first came in years ago because I got passed off from another lawyer to Mr. Hatley.

    I was very blunt and had told him that I needed everything he had and that is exactly what he did. He was there for every phone call, every emergency, every email, every court appearance on time and dressed extremely well. He knew his stuff and he had saved me a lot of money and time staying out of court for false charges. If you ever get the unlucky chance of having to go to court you wont be unlucky if you have Hatley on your side. Thank you guys for everything you have done.”

  • D.S.

    “This is by far the #1 Law Firm! I had the pleasure of hiring this firm at the Reston, Virginia location and it surpassed all of my expectations. Melone Hatley P.C has exceptional attributes including:

    1) Customer Service- The staff is ALWAYS pleasant/warming

    2) Communication- Attorney’s are very easy to contact and the response time is rapid.

    3) Cost- The retainer and hourly attorney fee’s are very cost efficient

    4) Client Case- They work diligently on my case”

  • N.N.

    “They were so friendly and attentive to the matter I brought to them. I wasn’t just treated like “another case”. It felt like they actually cared about me and the outcome of the matter I brought to them. The positive results they got me obviously were the best part!”

  • S.H.

    “I hired MH to handle a divorce. Charles and Angela have been nothing but professional, empathetic, and timely. There isn’t another firm out there that will provide this level of care. Highly recommended.”

  • A.D.

    “Ms. Alexandra at Melone Hatley is great with her communication skills. Very honest, helpful, and keeps to her word. Flawless system that this law firm has set up. Impressed to say the least.”

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