Los Angeles Military Divorce Attorneys
Divorce can be a confusing and stressful time for military couples. Understanding the complex issues in a military divorce will lead to better decisions and fairer outcomes. A military divorce is not exactly like civilian divorces; it involves additional legal issues. For help with understanding these complex issues, contact an experienced military divorce attorney in Los Angeles.
If you are in the military and going through a divorce you need an attorney who understands the military concepts and has years of experience handling military divorce cases. The Los Angeles divorce lawyers at Boyd Law will effectively resolve the legal issues of your case. Our firm offers clients personalized and aggressive legal representation for military divorce issues. We are equipped with the skills and resources to resolve even the most complex disputes.
While filing for a military divorce is a lot like the same process as a civilian couple, there are unique legal issues which may apply as a result of military service. These issues may include review of the LES, TSP, and pension benefits, determining the custody of children, calculating child and spousal support and determining if any post-divorce benefits apply.
What state should I file divorce?
The law typically allows for the filing of a divorce in the state where either the husband or the wife has a legal residence. The person starting the divorce usually files in the state where he or she lives. It’s important to know how the state handles the division of military pensions. The federal law governing the division of military pensions is the “Uniformed Services Spouses’ Protection Act” (USFSPA). USFSPA expressly states that “disposable retired pay” received as non disability military retirement and earned during marriage is community property subject to division on divorce.
So, before filing a divorce in any state, you need to know how that state might handle your divorce and the division of the military pension. If you are in Los Angeles, California contact a Boyd Law family lawyer in LA for help with your divorce. It is often the case that military clients are stationed in California rather than natives of the state. You must reside in California for at least six months to file for a contested or uncontested divorce in the state. One of the parties must currently live in California.
Most uncontested Dissolution of Marriage cases are filed according to a “no-fault” ground. In the state of California the “no-fault” grounds are as follows:
Dissolution of the marriage or legal separation of the parties may be based on either of the following grounds, which shall be pleaded generally: (a) irreconcilable differences, which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage. (California Code – Sections: 2310).
California is considered a “community property” state. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on how the community property will be divided, the court shall use a three step process. First, it will determine what property is community. Second, it will put a value on the community property in an equal fashion.
Another unique aspect to military divorces is the right of service members to adopt the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act in their military divorce case. This act provides certain safeguards to prevent a default judgment being rendered against a service member. It also provides the service member the ability to stay the proceedings of the divorce case while they are overseas.
Tucker v. Tucker
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.
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 20 year overlap between the marriage and military service.
Former spouses of military 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 the military service.
In special circumstances, 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.
The Los Angeles military divorce attorneys at Boyd Law understand the legalities of a military divorce in California and the legal rights of military service members and their spouses. At Boyd Law, our family law attorneys in Los Angeles, CA have the experience and detailed knowledge required to handle these cases with the care and attention they deserve. Learn more about how our experience can be put to work in your situation by contacting us at 310-777-0231 for a free consultation.