On its own, divorce is a very complicated matter. When one or both of the parties involved in a divorce are members of the military, the situation may become significantly more complex. Despite the fact that service members must address all of the same issues as civilian divorces, they may be faced with additional complications. Depending on the service member, he or she may be involved in training or a deployment in a place that may make the divorce more difficult. A military member may be unavailable for days, weeks, or months at a time, making it near impossible to serve papers or meet for counseling sessions. If you are getting divorced as a service member or the spouse of one, it is important to have a Rockland County military divorce attorney who can represent your needs through the process. Contact The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC to schedule a consultation today.
Any couple, regardless of military status, must meet a residency requirement in order to begin the divorce. The reason for a residency requirement is simply that the state needs to determine which court has jurisdiction over the case. Often, divorcing couples get divorced in the county and state in which they currently reside. However, this is not always easy to establish for members of the military because they may not spend more than a few months in one place before moving to the next. As a result, both New York State and the federal government has provided other options. Military couples can file for divorce in the state where the couple has established legal residence, where the service member is stationed, or where the service member claims legal residency.
Child custody is often one of the most emotional topics to address when it comes to divorce. Oftentimes, servicemembers are worried that they will lose custody because of frequent time away from home. However, both parents have equal entitlement to child custody in the eyes of the court.
One of the biggest challenges that service members face as they go through a divorce is the almost impossible task of being present for all court dates due to a busy work schedule, deployments, and long training exercises. The federal government recognized this challenge and ruled in the Service members Civil Relief Act that courts are not permitted to make a default judgment in the event that the service member isn’t present because they are on duty. The law requires that either the service member or their legal counsel is present in court for any decisions regarding property distribution, alimony, child support, and child support, amongst others.
One major concern for members of the military facing divorce is the issue of pension. Many service members wonder if their military pension is marital property. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act of 1982 ruled that in some circumstances, a military pension can be divided equitably in a divorce. This is applicable when the couple has been married for 10 years during a 10-year period that they were on active duty in the military. This is known as the 10/10 rule.
When a member of the military or the spouse of one needs guidance in a divorce or family law matter, our firm is here to help. The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC understands that a difficult situation is compounded by one party being a service member. Contact The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC to schedule a consultation.