Military Divorce

If you're one of the men and women serving your country in the military, divorce can seem like a particularly difficult process. Your marriage may be complicated by issues not normally faced by civilian divorces, because of the unique circumstances involved in being active duty, guard, reserve, or retired military personnel. The San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel can help.

The Complications of a Military Divorce

There are certain things that make a military divorce more involved than a civilian divorce. Because of these complications, it's important to be aware that it may take longer for a divorce involving a military couple. An active duty assignment in a far-flung part of the world, or residency at a permanent base overseas can make a divorce even more complicated than it already is.

Where Do I File for Divorce?

One of the biggest concerns surrounding a military divorce is in which state to file. Because service personnel often serve on overseas bases or in war zones, it may not be immediately apparent where you should file for divorce. There are a few different options, and the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel can help you decide which is best for you. You can choose to file for divorce in:

  • The state where you reside.
  • The state where the military member is stationed.
  • The state in which the military member claims legal residency.

Your divorce will be subject to the state divorce laws in the state in which you file. The terms of child support, property division, and child custody will be determined by these state laws.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act

A divorcing service couple needs to be aware of not only the rules pertaining to a regular divorce, but also the unique laws which pertain to a divorce involving the military. Like a civilian divorce, you will have to be concerned with the divorce laws in the state in which you're getting a divorce, but also with the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA), a federal law passed in 1982 which applies to all active duty, reserve, guard, and retired military.

Under the USFSPA, the spouse of a serviceman or woman can be awarded up to 50% of the retired military pay, or up to 65% with child support. The USFSPA was drafted to provide for formers spouses who had loyally supported their husband or wife's military career.

Contact Us

If you or someone you love is a serviceman or woman going through a divorce, contact the San Diego military divorce attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP, by calling 760-722-7646.

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San Diego Family Law Blog

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