Military divorces might vary in terms of the process to complete, but they still bring the same level of pain and stress to military families.
If you are going through a divorce where a spouse is active duty military, you may be concerned about the procedures and outcome. Whether you live in Virginia Beach, Richmond, or anywhere else in the state, learn how a military divorce attorney at Melone Hatley, P.C. can make sure that you get what you deserve in your case. For a consultation call us at 800.479.8124 or fill out our online form.
This guide will teach you how to identify and avoid the ten most common mistakes people make in a divorce.
Military divorce law is a bit different from normal family law and can require some specialized knowledge to tackle the legal issues involved. Two major acts under federal law affect military divorce cases. The first is the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA), and the second is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
The USFSPA entitles the former military spouse to receive a portion of military retirement pay, health care benefits, exchange, and commissary after the divorce. The SCRA offers protection for servicemembers against default judgments, foreclosures, evictions, child custody determinations, and divorce determinations while on active duty.
Virginia also has a state law that affects divorce involving military service. The Virginia Military Parents Equal Protection Act addresses issues related to parental deployment, visitation, and custody.
Just like any divorce, the length of a military divorce can vary widely. If both spouses are in total agreement, the divorce is uncontested and can go very quickly. To achieve this kind of divorce, however, you need to agree on everything from alimony and spousal support to your military pension, military retirement pay, marital property division, child support, and child custody. If you agree on these issues, your Virginia divorce can resolve smoothly and quickly.
If, on the other hand, you disagree on any aspect of the divorce, it becomes contested. This can result in a drawn-out process that can take months or even years. In this case, it is often essential to contact a law firm whose service areas include years of experience in military divorce.
Our law offices have seen clients from Virginia Beach to Newport News and here at home in Richmond. If you need legal advice or help, a military divorce attorney at Melone Hatley, P.C. is ready to listen. Just reach out today at 800.479.8124 , or fill out our online contact form for an initial consultation with one of the client services coordinators at our offices.
The USFSPA allows each state to apply its individual family law to military pension division in divorce. Virginia specifically allows the courts to divide the military pension between spouses and treat a military pension just like any civilian pension or retirement plan. In our state, a military pension is a standard marital asset.
Military retirement and pension awards can include TSPs (Thrift Savings Plans), FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System) plans, Roth IRAs, and any other retirement plans you may have.
The spousal share of this pension is calculated using a fraction based on the length of service and the length of the marriage. The exact amount you will receive is impossible to say because it involves many factors including the length of time the service member has served, whether there are premiums for survivor benefits, disability benefits, qualified deductions, and annual cost of living adjustments.
The courts will also take into account the spouse’s employability, standard of living, training costs, whether both spouses are working, and other factors. These factors become a battleground all too often. Your military divorce attorney at Melone Hatley, P.C. can advise you how much they think you might be entitled to if you decide to hire us after your initial consultation.
This can get tricky because normally spousal support and alimony combined with child support cannot exceed 60% of the military member’s gross pay and allowances. Under Virginia family law guidelines, however, spousal support awards can exceed this limit.
You can also negotiate the amount your spouse is entitled to collect, and an additional court order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is required to distribute the ex-spouse’s share. All of these are reasons why it is important to have a divorce attorney who is well-versed in military law in your corner to protect your rights and avoid burdensome obligations you cannot meet.
Questions regarding military divorce issues? Contact our office today to schedule a call with one of our client services coordinators.
Ordinarily, combined spousal support and child support cannot exceed 60% of gross pay and allowances. In Virginia, it is unusual for child support to exceed this level in any case. Sometimes, however, unfair rulings are passed, and this is an area where family law and military divorce law differ.
If you do not have a qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced Richmond military divorce attorney in your corner, you could end up adjudicated for a lot more than you are capable of paying.
Not all family law attorneys are qualified to handle divorce proceedings involving military members. It’s important to find a Richmond law firm capable of giving you the right legal advice that can guide you through these complex processes. Choose law offices that offer experience and knowledge in these types of cases.
The right law firm knows how to deal with issues like the SCRA and USFSPA as well as state laws that regulate military separations. They can help you avoid critical mistakes, protect your rights, and help you achieve a fair division of physical property, alimony, child support, child custody, estate planning, military retirement benefits, health care, and other aspects of shared marital property. They also understand military culture, which makes a difference when addressing these issues in negotiations or court proceedings.
At Melone Hatley, P.C., not only does our law firm offer experience in handling military divorce cases, but we also put our client relationship ahead of everything else. We have represented clients across the state, including in Northern Virginia, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Fredericksburg, Fairfax, Chesapeake, and at home in Richmond. Call us at Melone Hatley, P.C. or fill out our online form today for a consultation. There are no disclaimers or obligations. Our team is ready to listen to you.
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