Marriage is difficult, and the added stress of having a spouse in the military can make it all the more so. Unfortunately, many couples divorce because of marital stress. When your spouse is a member of the military, you may have questions about how the process works.
Are you considering divorce from somebody in the military? Keep reading to learn more about the process in California.
You Need to Know the Timeline
First, you need to know that divorce may take longer when you have a spouse in the military, especially if he or she is on active duty somewhere else or deployed. Residency requirements can become muddled if you move frequently, so you may need to consult with a professional about your circumstances.
Court may be confusing, especially if your spouse technically lives in California but is currently deployed or stationed elsewhere. For this reason, you are wise to speak with a professional about your situation. You may have several options for places to file, including the state of your residence, the state where your spouse lives, or the state where your spouse is currently stationed.
You May Be Subject to Some Federal Laws
Due to the nature of the military, you may have to contend with federal laws rather than simply California's laws. This may impact your approach to divorce as well as how long the dissolution process takes.
For example, military pensions are related to federal law, not state law. On the other hand, you will still go to state court to discuss issues like child support, child custody, and spousal support.
You May Be Eligible for Pension Benefits
Just like other pensions, military pensions are also divisible in a divorce. Each state treats pension differently, so you need to consult with your attorney about this matter. Generally speaking, you must have shared 10 years of marriage with your spouse that also overlapped with at least 10 years of military service.
The reasoning behind this law is that often, one party is unable to pursue their own career because they move with their spouse on military duty or take care of children when a spouse is deployed.
You Need to Have a Plan for the Children
If you have children with your spouse, you need to be prepared for the child custody proceedings. If your spouse has a job that involves frequent deployments, he or she may not have a regular custody schedule.
As a result of the custody situation, more of the childcare and expenses may fall on you. For this reason, you should get child support easily. At the same time, you need to establish the most healthy visitation agreement for your children. You may need to work hard on a visitation schedule, perhaps in mediation.
If you have a military spouse who refuses to pay child support in spite of a court order, you may be in a better position than most. Your spouse's wages are up for garnishment to meet their family's needs.
You Need an Attorney
You need a divorce attorney if you are going through a divorce, and you need to have an attorney who is different from your spouse's attorney. This is the best way to ensure that your attorney acts in your best interests.
Peter S. Aex, Attorney at Law, offers legal support and representation for individuals going through divorce. Divorce is a difficult time for anybody, but you can remedy some of the problems by speaking with a legal professional. Call us today to set up a free consultation with a divorce attorney and to discuss your options.