There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Divorce is hard. But for many families, it is the only way to move forward with a fresh start in life. When one or two of you are federal government employees, dividing assets is even more of a challenge. Our team of attorneys at Petrelli Previtera, LLC is here to guide you through the entire process, ensuring you and your family get the best representation and fairest settlement. We are the clear choice when you need a divorce lawyer for federal employees.
Why Choose Petrelli Previtera, LLC when you need a divorce lawyer for federal employees?
We offer these guiding principles to all of our clients.
- Our team is dedicated to family law practice and our attorneys have years of experience
- Offer a range of process options, from negotiation, mediation, and litigation, to child custody issues
- Unparalleled knowledge of the federal system for pensions, insurance, and benefits
- Understand the importance of protecting children from parental conflict, and acknowledge the positive parts of the marriage
- Committed to helping you understand the divorce laws as it applies to your case
- Are empathetic to the emotional stresses that are part of a divorce
- Ethical, professional, and discreet
We Understand The Unique Needs Of Federal Employees
Unlike property settlements in the private sector, federal pensions, insurance, and benefits are regulated by federal law. Federal employees are subject to the laws of equitable distribution, and any assets and debts acquired during the marriage must be split equitably.
For federal employees, there are extra layers of complexity in determining what is equitable. Former spouses are entitled to a portion of pension and Thrift Savings benefits, which seems simple enough. However, there are several different federal retirement systems and each one has its own rules regarding vesting and accumulation. Adding to that, determining a former spouse’s benefits demands an in-depth analysis of retirement packages, pay grades, and promotion schedules. Our attorneys at Petrelli Previtara, LLC have the depth of knowledge and experience to analyze your spouse’s benefits package, ensuring you will receive everything you’ve accumulated during the marriage.
Our attorneys not only help you receive the best financial settlement but help you determine the best way to minimize your tax burden.
The Divorce Process
If you are considering the dissolution of your marriage, now is the time to learn how divorce works. It is a legal proceeding, and every state has different rules on how divorce works. The rules in Washington, DC are not the same as in Illinois or Pennsylvania–this is why determining your jurisdiction is so important. There are several kinds of divorce–mutual consent, no-fault, and fault are the most common. Then there are varying state laws on property division, as well as child support, custody, and alimony, and Petrelli Previtera, LLC can help you navigate the rules specific to your state.
Once you have decided to end your marriage, a legal separation period may be required. This generally involves one spouse moving out of the marital home (again, for spouses based overseas the rules are different, and the choice of jurisdiction can work to your advantage here) and both signing a legal document that outlines their intent to end the marriage. We will negotiate child custody, support, and property division during the separation period so that once the divorce is final, you have a clean break. The separation period is also state-specific, but a longer time frame can help you reach the best settlement outcome without a rush to simply end it.
Common Questions Our Divorce Lawyers for Federal Employees Hear
Federal employees have many of the same concerns as civilians when benefits are concerned, but the government plays by a different set of rules. These are some of the most common questions soon-to-be ex-spouses have regarding benefits. Former spouses are not automatically eligible for any portion of the service member’s retirement pay; you must meet certain requirements to qualify. The attorneys at Petrelli Previtera, LLC understand these rules and can ensure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled.
- How long will I be covered with health insurance?
You can remain covered with FEHB during the separation under Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) for up to three years after the annulment or divorce, and then apply for Spouse Equity coverage. If you have your own FEHB plan, go ahead and apply for Spouse Equity in case you lose your coverage.
- What about my kid’s coverage?
Your children remain covered under the FEHB plan until they are 26 when they roll off any family policy.
- Can I still receive pension benefits?
Pensions are considered marital property, so you are entitled to a portion of your ex-spouse’s benefits. Per the GAO, the general rule of thumb for these benefits, FSSA, (Former Spouse Survivor Annuity) is 50% after ten years of marriage. Petrelli Previtera, LLC will ensure you get the maximum pension benefits possible. The formulae for calculating benefits is complex and intricate, and your attorney should be familiar with all the nuance of the formulae that apply to your spouse. The difference in your settlement could reach into the tens of thousands if you don’t have all the information you need.
- What about disability compensation?
In some states, former spouses are entitled to disability benefits. We can help you determine if you can be considered a resident of those states, These are also intricate calculations that set benchmarks based on your spouse’s minimum retirement age.
We Are A Top-Rated Law Firm
It never hurts to have a prestigious law firm on your side, Petrelli Previtera, LLC was named one of Inc magazine’s top 5000 private companies in the US—putting us in the company of Microsoft and LinkedIn. Most of our team are recognized as Super Lawyers in Pennsylvania, and Martindale-Hubbell named founder Thomas Petrelli, Jr. their Gold Client Champion Award for client satisfaction in the legal industry.
What do all these accolades mean for you? That you are working with one of the best family law firms in the country, and you can count on both emotional and practical support while you go through this difficult and life-changing process. Our attorneys are committed to helping you make a clean break and a fresh start with the best settlement outcomes for you and your family. Call Petrelli Previtera, LLC today to schedule your consultation online to find your way forward.