how do i prepare to meet with lawyer about a military spouse divorce

by Prince Hane 3 min read

Make sure your client is prepared to prove when the military plan was funded. Any spouse’s retirement plan – military or civilian – could be funded before the marriage, after the marriage, or both before and after. Each retirement asset must be analyzed independently to determine its marital property component if any.

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How to find a military lawyer for a divorce?

Military lawyers — called judge advocates, or JAGs — also are available to help you and your spouse understand the legal implications of your divorce. To find a military divorce lawyer on an installation near you, visit the Installation Program Directory. Dealing with the emotional stress of divorce No doubt about it, divorce is a challenging time.

What kind of legal advice can a military spouse get?

Advice on legal issues, including divorce and child custody, income taxes, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Actand wills Military lawyers — called judge advocates, or JAGs — also are available to help you and your spouse understand the legal implications of your divorce.

How can Military OneSource help with a divorce?

No doubt about it, divorce is a challenging time. Even if you feel confident in your decision, take advantage of available support to help you through the process. Military OneSource offers these resources: Non-medical counseling:Talking to a counselor can help reduce stress and keep you mission-ready.

How much does a military spouse get paid after divorce?

The remaining $1,000 that makes up the $3,000 total entitlement would also go to the military spouse, as that represents the 10 years of service that was earned outside of the marital time period. That all being said, it is a bit more complicated than that because of the Frozen Benefits Rule that went into effect December 23rd of 2016.

What is a military wife entitled to in a divorce?

A spouse is entitled to one year of transitional medical benefits under the 20/20/15 rule, which requires at least twenty years of marriage, at least twenty years of military service, and at least fifteen years of overlap of the marriage and the military service.

Does Army JAG help with divorce?

Can a JAG help you with your divorce? Sort of. The legal assistance office won't actually help you file for divorce. However, they will be able to give you military-specific divorce advice on issues such as benefits and pensions, Reid said.

What benefits does a military spouse get after divorce?

After divorce, the former spouse is entitled to the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP), which is the Tricare version of “COBRA” for three years. And as long as the spouse remains unmarried and was also awarded a share of the military retirement or SBP, the former spouse may remain on CHCBP for life.

What to do when you get divorced in the military?

So, it's usually best to file in the United States. Laws allow service members and their spouses to file for divorce in either the state where the service member is currently stationed, the state where they claim legal residency or the state in which the nonmilitary spouse resides.

What is the 10 10 Rule military?

Here is a brief description of the “10/10 rule”: If the marriage lasted 10 years and the service member or former service member served at least 10 years in the military during that marriage, then the former spouse shall receive those pension benefits from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS).

How much is spousal support in the military?

Navy and Marine Corps Family Support Rules Spouse only — 33.3 percent of gross pay. Spouse and one minor child — 50 percent of gross pay. Spouse and two or more children — 60 percent of gross pay. One minor child — 16.7 percent of gross pay.

How long does a military spouse have to be married to get benefits?

20 years20/20/20 Benefits To qualify, the couple must have been married for at least 20 years overlapping the member's military career. For more information, see the Military Health Benefits for Divorced Spouses article in the Military Divorce Guide.

Can my wife get my VA disability if we divorce?

VA Disability Payments Cannot Be Divided As Marital Property in a Divorce. First off, VA disability payments cannot be divided in a divorce.

What is the 20/20 15 rule for military?

20/20/15: Under the 20/20/15 rule, you keep all TRICARE health care benefits for one year if you were married to the service member for at least 20 years, the service member served in the armed forces for at least 20 years, and the marriage and the period of service overlapped for at least 15 years.

How much of my military retirement is my ex wife entitled to?

50%The maximum amount of pension income an ex-spouse can receive is 50% of the military retirement pay. Once the order is filed with DFAS, it will take three months (90 days) for the direct payments to begin if the ex-spouse is already receiving their pension.

What is the 20/20 rule for military?

All three criteria must be met for you to have access to the same benefits as your military spouse: Must have been married for at least 20 years. Spouse must have served in the military for at least 20 years. 20 years of the marriage must overlap 20 years of the spouse's military service.

How long does a spouse get TRICARE after divorce?

one yearYou're TRICARE eligible for one year from the date of the divorce/annulment.

Can a JAG officer represent you civil matter?

The answer to this is: Sort of. Every military post has an on-base JAG assistance office that exists to aid service members and their spouses with both civilian and military legal matters. When it comes to military divorce, JAG officers can't help you file, but they can offer advice and counsel.

Does Navy JAG help with divorce?

Advice and/or service regarding the following matters are normally available at legal assistance offices: Wills with and without testamentary trusts. General estate planning advice. Domestic relations advice, including divorce, legal separation, annulment, custody, and paternity.

When can I use Jag?

JAGs can offer help in legal and non-legal matters like contract law, immigration law, divorce, wills, notary services, etc. Legal assistance staff are located on almost every base, ship and installation.

How do I contact the Army JAG?

Give us a call: 800-342-9647.

What is a military divorce lawyer?

Military lawyers — called judge advocates, or JAGs — also are available to help you and your spouse understand the legal implications of your divorce. To find a military divorce lawyer on an installation near you, visit the Installation Program Directory.

How to contact a financial counselor for military?

A Military OneSource financial counselor can assist you in getting your finances in order to make the process easier. Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to learn more about non-medical counseling and other services, and find support for the other members of your family.

What happens if my spouse leaves me?

If your service member spouse has left you, you are still technically married, have rights and are entitled to support.

How long can you buy temporary health insurance after divorce?

Health care benefits: When you lose TRICARE benefits because of divorce, you can buy up to 36 months of temporary health care coverage through the Department of Defense Continued Health Care Benefit program.

What is military spousal and child support?

Spousal and child support: Each military service has policies requiring service members to support family members upon separation in the absence of an agreement or court order. These policies are designed to be temporary. A commander’s authority is limited without a court order.

Is divorce a transition?

Deciding to end your marriage can feel like the final step on a long journey. But in many ways, divorce is just the beginning of a transition — one you need to manage well for all concerned. Military divorce has special considerations. Learn about them here.

Is divorce a difficult time?

No doubt about it, divorce is a challenging time. Even if you feel confident in your decision, know what support is available. Military OneSource can offer these resources: Non-medical counseling: Talking to a counselor can help reduce stress and keep you mission-ready.

Where to file for divorce if you are a military member?

These might include: File in the state where you last resided for six months or more. File in the home state where you pay taxes. Allow your spouse to file where he or she resides in the U.S.

What is military divorce?

Aside from a few added rules, the military divorce process is much like civilian divorce. You will need to agree on arrangements for the following: Division of homes , vehicles, money, and other marital property. Division of credit card bills, loans, and other debt. Alimony, also called spousal support. Child custody.

Where do I file taxes for my spouse?

File in the home state where you pay taxes. Allow your spouse to file where he or she resides in the U.S. If you’re stationed in the U.S., file in the state in which you are stationed, even if you’re not a resident of that state. Many military members have these additional options, because states frequently eliminate the residency requirement ...

Can a spouse in the military get divorced?

Having a spouse in active military service can affect your divorce. Even if you mutually decided to split, active military status could affect how you need to file and your case’s timeline and outcome. Whether you are looking to file a simple no-fault divorce or your case is more complex, our firm can help. We will walk you through your divorce in ...

Does a spouse get a portion of military retirement?

Military retirement pay. Under the USFSPA, a former spouse does not automatically get a portion of the service member’s retirement pay, and there are specified requirements to qualify.

Can I file for a no fault divorce?

In some states, you may file for a no-fault divorce if you and your spouse have no disputes. If your opinions differ regarding child custody or dividing assets, however, an experienced divorce lawyer can mediate your dispute and help you draft a settlement agreement. After you sign, the document is legally-binding.

Which law allows military pensions to be divided?

The law which allows pension division in military cases is the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (FSPA), found at 10 U.S. Code Section 1408; however, it only allows the division of military pensions by state courts, leaving most of the rules up to each state.

How long does it take to receive a pension after divorce?

This means 90 days after receipt of the pension division order or the divorce decree which divides the pension, or after the retiree begins receipt of the pension payments, whichever is later. Awareness of this three-month gap is important, since it should be addressed in the order or decree.

How Long Does a Military Divorce Take?

The duration of a divorce depends mostly on the issues you have with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, but being an army member or army member’s spouse can only prolong the process. If on active duty or military deployment, a service member might take much longer to respond to a divorce petition or appear at court.

Key Aspects of a Divorce in the Military With Children

Even though the state laws regulate spousal support and children-related issues, frequent relocations and long deployments influence these matters in military divorces—here’s how:

Division of the Military Retirement in Divorce

The division of military pension is regulated under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) and disbursed through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). You can receive parts of your former spouse’s military retirement pay if one of the following rules apply to your case:

Can You Get an Uncontested Divorce in the Military?

Yes, you can file for an uncontested divorce, but not every couple qualifies for a quick, cheap, and simplified dissolution of the marriage. In most cases, you’re eligible for an uncontested divorce if:

How To File for Divorce in the Military

If you can reach an agreement with your spouse, you can get a divorce without a lawyer. Here’s what the process looks like if you’re representing yourself:

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How long does a military spouse have to be married to be eligible for retirement?

The military member has performed at least 20 years of service that is creditable in determining eligibility for retired pay (the member does not have to be retired from active duty).

What services do you need for divorce?

In a divorce or family law matter, services may include: Mediation. Separate legal assistance attorneys for the service member and the spouse. Advice on legal issues, including divorce and child custody, income taxes, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and wills. Notary services.

How long does a former spouse have to be married to qualify for tricare?

The former spouse was married to the member during at least 20 years of the member’s retirement-creditable service. Former spouses may be entitled to TRICARE medical coverage if he or she meets certain requirements: The service member performed at least 20 years of creditable service. The marriage lasted at least 20 years.

What to do when filing for divorce while living overseas?

Some things to consider when filing for divorce while living overseas include: Talk with a civilian attorney or the military legal assistance office if you own property overseas , such as a house.

What is military spousal and child support?

Spousal and child support — Each military service has policies requiring service members to support family members upon separation in the absence of an agreement or court order. These policies are designed to be temporary. A commander’s authority is limited without a court order.

How long can you buy temporary health insurance after divorce?

Health care benefits — When you lose TRICARE benefits because of divorce, you can buy up to 36 months of temporary health care coverage through the Department of Defense Continued Health Care Benefit program.

How to ease the time and expense of divorce?

Ease the time, expense and emotional strain of divorce by learning about unique legal issues due to military service. Here are some items to consider as you move through this process. Be sure to contact your legal assistance center for more information on your specific circumstances.

How many years of marriage do you need to divorce a military spouse?

Regarding the 10/10 rule: When a Service Member divorces or enters into a legal separation judgment, the former spouse must have at least 10 years of marriage overlapping with 10 years of military service, in order to be eligible to receive direct payments from the military as a ‘property award’ from the family court.

How long do you have to serve in the military to get $3,000 a month?

Let’s assume a military member serves for 30 years . At the end of 30 years, the military says “thank you for your 30 years of service, you are eligible for $3,000 a month. But out of those 30 years that military member served, they were married to their ex-spouse for 20 out of those 30 years.

What happens if my spouse doesn't meet the 10/10 rule?

If the former spouse doesn’t meet the 10/10 rule, the military will not pay a former spouse directly for a property division award. However, a workaround to this rule is to increase spousal support to the former spouse.

How many years of military service do you need to get tricare?

For a former spouse to receive lifetime benefits through Tricare, the former spouse must have 20 years of marriage overlapping with 20 years of military service. It is important to note the military recognizes legal separation differently than divorce.

What is military retirement pay?

Military retirement pay generally refers to the monthly payments from the Armed Forces Retirement System after a service member has retired. The “Armed Forces Retirement System” is the formal name for the ‘military pension plan’.

How many men and women are in the military?

There are about 1.3 million men and women who currently serve on active duty in the United States Armed Forces. Another 800,000 also serve in the reserves. Just like anyone else, members of the military can wind up in unhappy marriages that lead to divorce.

Can you retire from the military with a TSP?

There are many different military benefits for servicemembers and their families. In terms of retirement plans , military members are able to participate in both a pension plan (defined benefit plan) and a TSP plan (defined contribution plan).