Many of the same issues arise in a military divorce as in a civilian divorce. Child support, child custody, alimony and even the division of marital property are affected by the enlisted or commissioned status of one or both spouses. For example, military divorces are affected by the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) and its implications for health benefits, retirement pay and eligibility for commissary.
At the law office of David P. Beeson & Associates, our attorneys work closely with military servicemen and servicewomen, as well as civilian spouses, in military divorce cases. We explain how employment in the armed services impacts all aspects of a separation or divorce, including the division of marital assets, child and spousal support, child custody, and pension and retirement benefits.
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Divorce Lawyers for Active Duty and Retired Military in California
Protect your rights and interests in military divorce cases — contact the family law attorneys at the law office of David P. Beeson & Associates today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Military Divorce and the Issues That Arise
At the law office of David P. Beeson & Associates, we represent servicemen and servicewomen, as well as their spouses, in addressing:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Division of marital property
- Division of marital debt
- Pension and retirement benefits
- Continuation of medical benefits
Gilmore Election, Military Pensions and Military Divorces
Under the Gilmore case, 29 Cal. 3d 418, a nonmilitary spouse can elect to receive his or her share of the armed serviceman or servicewoman's retirement pay when the armed services spouse is eligible to retire — whether or not they actually retire. Most service personnel become eligible to retire after 20 years of service. However, if the nonmilitary spouse decides to take his or her share once the military spouse reaches retirement eligibility, the amount awarded will not include any pay or promotion increases earned after such election is made.
Tucker v. Tucker, Military Pensions and Property Division
In the Tucker case, 226 Cal.App.3d 1249, a military spouse requested the trial court to set aside military retirement benefits as separate property in divorce. In Fletcher, the appellate court affirmed the decision that USFSPA grants service members the authority to consent or not consent to jurisdiction over military retirement benefits.
20/20/20 Spouse Rule, Medical Benefits, Military Divorce
The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) provides protection of medical benefits and other military benefits to the non-service member in divorce.
- 20/20/20 rule (full benefits): Former spouses of military service persons are entitled to full military benefits (including lifetime medical benefits) and installation benefits if the duration of the marriage was at least 20 years, the service member had at least 20 years of credible service, and there was at least a 20-year overlap between the marriage and military service.
- 20/20/15 rule (transitional benefits): Former spouses of military service persons are entitled to transitional military medical benefits for a period of one year if the duration of the marriage was at least 20 years, the service member had at least 20 years of credible service, and there was at least a 15-year overlap between the marriage and military service.
- 20/20/10 rule (full benefits in special circumstances): In special situations, former spouses of military service persons who have been subjected to documented domestic abuse may be entitled to full military benefits and installation benefits if the duration of the marriage was at least 20 years, the service member had at least 20 years of credible service, and there was at least a 10-year overlap between the marriage and military service. This provision allows an individual to get out of a physically abusive marriage without the penalty of losing benefits.
In cases where a serviceman or servicewoman is married to a noncitizen overseas spouse, child custody decisions and financial matters are a function of any treaty in place between the United States and the non-citizen's home country. In child custody cases, the Hague Convention often comes into play with international divorces. If a noncitizen spouse is from a country that does not have an enforceable treaty with the United States, the State Department or U.S. Embassy officials may need to be involved. Our lawyers can advise you of your rights under international law and help coordinate legal action between you and U.S. officials when necessary.
Contact Military Divorce Lawyers at David P. Beeson & Associates Today
The issues that arise in a military divorce can be quite complicated, especially when dividing marital assets or dealing with a noncitizen U.S. spouse. We have the resources and experience needed to ensure your rights and interests are protected. To schedule a free consultation and discuss your case, contact military divorce attorneys at David P. Beeson & Associates today.