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Navigating Military Divorce

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Unique Challenges and Considerations of Military Divorce

Over the last 20 years, I have consulted hundreds of clients, including many in the military. These clients face unique concerns, challenges, and questions specific to their military situation. As a veteran, having served in the United States Marine Corps as a naval aviator from 1984 through 1990, I understand these concerns firsthand. I am dedicated to providing comprehensive support and guidance to my clients, extending beyond the courtroom. With that commitment in mind, I have created this guide to help military individuals navigate the complexities of military divorce. It is my hope that this guide will provide valuable information and insights, allowing you to better understand what to expect during your military divorce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, I have addressed some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that arise in military divorce cases:

How will my military service affect the divorce process?

Your military service can have various implications in a divorce. For example, if you’re currently deployed or frequently relocated, we need to consider how that will impact child custody arrangements and visitation schedules. We can work together to develop a parenting plan that takes into account your military obligations and the best interests of your children.

What is the jurisdiction for filing a divorce?

Determining the appropriate jurisdiction for filing a divorce can be complex for military families. We will consider factors such as your current state of residency, the state where your spouse resides, and any state where you have previously established a legal residence. For example, if you and your spouse currently reside in Pennsylvania but were previously stationed in California, we may need to evaluate the jurisdictional requirements of both states to determine the best option for filing.

How will child custody and visitation be determined?

Child custody and visitation arrangements can be more complicated for military families due to deployments and relocations. We will work together to develop a plan that considers your military schedule and ensures the best interests of your children are protected. For example, if you have upcoming deployment orders, we can discuss temporary custody arrangements or modifications to visitation schedules during your absence.

How will military benefits be divided?

Military benefits, such as healthcare coverage, retirement benefits, and housing allowances, may be subject to division during divorce. We will review the applicable laws and regulations to determine the fair and equitable division of these benefits. For example, if you have been married to your spouse for at least ten years while serving in the military, your spouse may be eligible for direct retirement benefits.

How will deployment or relocation affect the divorce process?

Deployment or relocation during the divorce process can present unique challenges. We will take into account your military obligations and potential limitations in attending court hearings or participating in mediation sessions. For example, if you have upcoming deployment orders, we can explore alternative methods, such as virtual hearings or depositions, to ensure your interests are represented.

What happens to the military pension in a divorce?

The military pension is considered a valuable asset subject to division during divorce. We will analyze the applicable state laws and military regulations to determine the division of the pension. For example, if you have been married for 15 years, and during that time you served in the military for 10 years, your spouse may be entitled to a portion of the pension accrued during the marriage.

Will I be entitled to any spousal support?

Spousal support, also known as alimony or maintenance, may be awarded depending on the circumstances of your case. We will evaluate factors such as the length of the marriage, each party’s income, and any financial disparities. For example, if you have been the primary financial provider for your spouse throughout the marriage, they may be eligible for spousal support during the divorce process.

How will the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) impact the divorce process?

The SCRA provides legal protections for active-duty servicemembers facing civil legal proceedings, including divorce. We will ensure that your rights under the SCRA are protected throughout the process. For example, if a divorce proceeding is initiated while you are on active duty, we can request a temporary stay of proceedings under the SCRA to ensure you have adequate time to respond and participate in the case.

Can child support be modified due to changes in military income or circumstances?

Yes, child support orders can be modified if there are substantial changes in circumstances, such as changes in military income or deployments. We will guide you through the process of seeking modifications to child support orders to ensure they accurately reflect your current financial situation. For example, if your income significantly decreases due to changing military assignments, we can file a motion to modify child support to reflect your reduced income.

Are there resources available to support military families going through a divorce?

Yes, there are resources specifically tailored to support military families facing divorce. I will provide you with information on military family support centers, legal assistance offices, and counseling services available to you and your family during this challenging time. These resources can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the divorce process.

It is important to note that the examples provided throughout this guide are for illustrative purposes and may not directly reflect your specific case. As your attorney, I am committed to tailoring the advice and guidance provided to your unique circumstances and the applicable laws governing your situation. Every divorce case is different, and I will work diligently to understand the specific details of your case and provide you with personalized legal assistance.

If you have further questions or concerns regarding your specific case, I encourage you to schedule an appointment with me. During our consultation, we can delve deeper into the intricacies of your situation and address any specific issues you may be facing.

Additionally, I invite you to explore other informative blog topics available on my website. These topics range from military-related legal issues to defending against protection from abuse (PFA) orders. My aim is to provide a comprehensive resource where you can find valuable insights and information on various family law matters.

Thank you for entrusting me with your military divorce case. I am here to support you every step of the way and to provide the guidance you need to navigate this challenging process.

Author Bio: John P. Attiani Esq. is a Family Law Attorney who has been representing clients throughout Pennsylvania for over 20 years. He graduated with a B.S. in Accounting from Villanova University and served as a naval aviator in the United States Marine Corps until 1990. In 1993, John obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Temple University School of Law and is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania.

Client Testimonials

Here's what our clients have to say about working with us. Please note, results may vary based on individual circumstances.

Melinda Previtera, Esq. came highly recommended to our family. Her knowledge base, professionalism, and compassion paved the way for a successful outcome. Melinda is efficient, detailed, and informative. She helps manage expectations, and postures her client for a fair and equitable result. We are happy to recommend Melinda!

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