Divorces are stressful and complex enough without taking into consideration the special rules that apply to service members and military spouses. Military divorce lawyers are specialized in military divorce cases and can help navigate the complex rules and legal issues that apply to aspects of military divorces, such as jurisdiction and military pension benefits that differ from civilian divorces.
If you are military service personnel or a military spouse that is going through a divorce or contemplating one, you should get the help of experienced military divorce attorneys near you. Below you can read about the role of a military divorce attorney, how to obtain the best military divorce lawyer near you, and the costs you should expect to incur to help you on your way.
A military divorce lawyer is a family law attorney that specializes in military divorce cases. They have extensive knowledge and understanding of family law and the federal law that applies to military divorces and use this knowledge to help military service members and their spouses through their divorce proceedings. The main role of a military divorce lawyer is the same as a divorce lawyer - to help you reach an equitable and fair outcome on the dissolution of your marriage. However, there are special rules and requirements that they must apply to do this.
Where civilians file for a divorce is easily determined by where they live. However, with military divorces, even the question of jurisdiction can become a complex one. A military divorce attorney is hired to advise on the determination of such issues and ultimately help you and your spouse negotiate an equitable settlement. Issues such as property distribution, child custody, and child support payments are determined by the laws of the state where the petition is filed, and a competent attorney near you will help you come to decisions on these issues. They will advise on your best interests and advocate for your legal rights, informing you also of the legal options available to you as a military service member or the spouse of a service member.
If amicable agreements cannot be made and your case goes to court, your attorney will prepare and guide you through the legal proceedings until the final judgment of your case.
For military members and their spouses, a military divorce attorney should be hired whether or not the couple sees eye to eye. This has less to do with the discourse and more to do with the complexities of the procedures that will govern your divorce.
Hiring a military divorce attorney near you is a critical first step that you should take, preferably even before you speak to your spouse.
When you are choosing a military divorce attorney near you, you should remember that a bad or unfair divorce settlement will have long-term consequences for you. Many divorce lawyers may advertise as military divorce lawyers, but you should consider some of the following factors before hiring a lawyer for divorce near you:
The average costs for military divorce law lawyers near you will vary depending on where you are and how much experience the lawyer and their firm has. The hourly rate for military divorce attorneys in the US ranges between $100 to $500+. Your total cost will depend on how many hours it takes to settle your divorce. Hiring a military divorce attorney that is experienced and knowledgeable will save you some costs. The average cost for divorces in the US is approximately $15,000, but can be significantly less where there are no disputes between the couple.
Military divorce attorneys will typically charge for consultations. Similar to costs you will be charged in the course of proceedings, this initial cost will vary depending on the law firm you choose. While some may charge their regular hourly rates for the consultations, others may charge a flat fee that will cover all initial consultations before they have officially taken your case.
While you do not necessarily need one, if you or your spouse are a military officer, it will be best to get one as there are special rules to comply with that are not as commonly known or understood. So, it is better to find a lawyer for military divorce near you
Depending on the state, the state court may treat gross retired pay benefits as sole or joint property. Consideration will then be given to how many years you were in the service, how many years you were married and how many of those years overlap.
If you are on active duty, you cannot be held in default for not responding to a divorce petition. Divorce papers must be filed on you personally to invoke the state’s jurisdiction.
To determine child support, the courts will look at both of your incomes. As a military officer, the courts will take into consideration that your qualifying income is not necessarily the amount you are required to report on your federal tax returns.