Military Divorce beharris
Why is Military Divorce Different?
Military lives are different. Civilians do not face the same challenges. You know what it means to serve, and it’s an honor to serve you.
The first issue is to consider jurisdiction. A member of the armed forces who has been stationed and residing in Virginia, and has resided in Virginia for at least six months immediately preceding the commencement of divorce suit, is presumed to be domiciled in Virginia to have been a bona fide resident of Virginia during that time. Also, a member of the armed forces who is stationed in a territory or foreign country when the suit begins and was domiciled in Virginia for the six months immediately preceding being stationed in said territory or foreign country is deemed to be domiciled in and to have been a bona fide resident of Virginia. This includes, but is not limited to, a member of the armed forces who is stationed or is residing upon a ship, having its home port in Virginia, or a naval or military base located within the Commonwealth of which the United States enjoys exclusive federal jurisdiction. If you deployed or stationed overseas, or if you spouse is living abroad, you might face additional problems of court action which must comply with the Service Members’ Civil Relief Act.
After determining jurisdiction, then there are all of those special military acronyms (e.g. LES for Leave and Earnings Statements, DFAS —Defense, Finance and Accounting Service), and other specific issues especially relating to income and retirement benefits of the military. Generally, in regard to retirement, if you meet the “1010 Rule” (10 years of marriage, 10 years in the military), the government will send a proper proportion of military retirement benefits to the former spouse directly. If the 10-10 Rule is not met, then the agreement as to disbursement of retirement amounts to one spouse paying the other spouse directly.
Other issues which need to be considered are: (i) life insurance; (ii) health insurance; (iii) military I.D. cards; plus, (iv) any other issues that specifically relate to your individual situation.
For example, If you have been married over 20 years, under the “20-20-20 Rule” (20 years of marriage, 20 years in the military, and 20 years of overlap between the marriage arid service time), a divorced military spouse can keep medical coverage and military benefits under current law.
Attorney Ralph Nichols, Jr. has been doing military divorces for decades. Please call to learn about reduced fees for active-duty military.
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638 Independence Pkwy, Suite 240
Chesapeake, VA 23320