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South Dakota Military Divorce Lawyers

Kelli Hanley Crabb avatar
Ms. Crabb has focused her practice on family law matters, including dissolution, paternity, custody, step-parent adoption, etc. for over twenty years. Ms. Crabb...
Amanda Brandy Van Wyhe avatar
While in law school, Mrs. Van Wyhe was an active member of the South Dakota Law Review and volunteered as a C.A.S.A. (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for abus...
Lindsey R Buchheit avatar
Prior to founding Buchheit Law (June, 2013), Lindsey worked as an attorney for two Sioux City law firms from 2007-2013. Lindsey is the President of the Siouxla...
T. Cody Farrens avatar
Attorney Cody Farrens was raised in Decatur, Nebraska working on the family farm. He attended college at the University of Nebraska at Omaha before attending la...
Brooke Swier Schloss avatar
Brooke Swier Schloss leads Swier Law Firm's Family Law Practice Group and focuses her practice on divorce, child custody, child support, elder law, spousal supp...
Elizabeth S. Hertz avatar
Sioux Falls lawyer Elizabeth Hertz joined Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP in the litigation section in 2010, and became a partner in 2016. She received h...
Robert Pasqualucci avatar
Aggressive legal representation focusing in the practice of criminal law, family law, divorce, custody, DUI, business law, real estate law, probate and business...
Joel Arends avatar
Joel Arends offers his clients substantive experience in a wide range of fields including personal injury, family law, estate planning/probate, real estate, gov...
Eric M. Schlimgen avatar
Eric Schlimgen, a Black Hills native has been practicing since 2016 with measurable success. He prides himself on a deep tradition of excellence, ensuring only ...

If you are seeking to end your marriage, and you or your partner are currently serving in the military or are retired veterans, you should seek the help of a South Dakota military divorce lawyer.

Legally, military divorce cases are more complex than civilian divorces because the processes are guided by both state and federal law. For instance, a spouse on active duty can use the civil relief act to delay divorce or custody proceedings. In addition, the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA) has provisions guiding states on how to treat custody matters and military pension benefits during the divorce. Specific to military divorce, USFSPA classifies retirement pay as property and not income, which means that under certain circumstances, the court may require its division between the couple as they would require for other properties.

What is a Military Divorce Lawyer?

A military divorce lawyer is an attorney who specializes in divorce cases where at least one spouse is a service member or a retired veteran.

What Does a Military Divorce Attorney Do?

A military divorce attorney will help you in the process of divorce. Specifically, the attorney will:

  • Determine the right state to file for divorce and assist you in navigating the process;
  • Draft agreements such as separation, spousal, child custody, and maintenance agreements;
  • Provide proactive counsel and respond to any questions or concerns you may have concerning the divorce process;
  • Advise on the financial implications of the dissolution of marriage, including pensions and property rights after the divorce; and
  • Inform you of your rights in the divorce process.

When Should You Hire a Military Divorce Lawyer from South Dakota?

If you or your spouse are serving in the military or retired veterans, consider hiring a military lawyer if you think you have sufficient grounds to seek a divorce. Some examples of acceptable legal grounds for divorce include:

  • Impotence, mental illness, or mental incapacity at the time of marriage
  • Marriage consent obtained as a result of force or fraud
  • Cruelty, abuse, abandonment, or desertion
  • Criminal imprisonment or conviction
  • Bigamy, cheating, or adultery
  • Drug or alcohol addiction

If the divorce is filed in a state that allows for no-fault divorce, then simply having irreconcilable differences between the two parties which is not attributed to another's actions is sufficient. You should also consider working with an South Dakota military divorce attorney if you are only seeking legal separation and not a divorce.

How Can You Find a Lawyer for a Military Divorce?

You can find the best military divorce lawyer in South Dakota through the Lawrina directory. First search for a qualified attorney by area of practice or state. The directory has profiles of attorneys, including details such as their area of practice, contact information, and their respective resume. We suggest noting the names and contacts of approximately four potential lawyers to consider.

How Do I Choose a Military Divorce Attorney from South Dakota?

First, look for a lawyer for military divorce in South Dakota and prepare the list of best candidates. Consider the following about each and how these factors may affect how you work with your lawyer:

  1. State of practice - The most crucial decision is the state in which you want to file for divorce. Military families may live in a state different from their resident state or the state(s) where they own properties. Due to such dynamics, one may file military divorce papers in:
    • The last state where you lived for more than six months;
    • Your home state where you have been paying your taxes; or
    • The state where you are currently stationed, even if you are not a resident of that state.
  2. Specialization and experience - Always choose a lawyer with experience handling cases similar to yours. For military divorce, lawyers with divorce and family law experience are capable of handling your case. During your initial consultation, ask the attorney if they have experience specific to military divorce.
  3. Social proof - Consider working with attorneys with positive reviews and recommendations on their profiles. Other sources of review include if the attorney has received awards and recognition for excellence in their area of specialization.

How Much Does the Military Divorce Lawyer Cost On Average From South Dakota?

The average cost for a military divorce lawyer is $300 per hour. The hourly rate is simply the cost for their professional fees and does not include direct costs of handling the case, such as filing fees, mediation fees, or expert consultation fees.

The complexity of your case will be based on whether the divorce is contested, which in turn will determine how much time your attorney spends working on it. Uncontested divorce processes, where the couple agrees on critical issues such as custody and division of property, typically cost less and take a shorter time to process. A no-fault divorce is also cheaper and less time-consuming than a fault-based divorce.

Do Military Divorce Attorneys Usually Charge for Consultations?

A military divorce attorney may not charge you for the initial consultation since it is the opportunity for them to understand the facts of your case and determine if they can help you. At the same time, you will also get a chance to gauge their suitability by examining their candor and asking questions about their experience. During this initial consultation, the attorney will likely give you a cost outline of your case. Be sure to directly inquire if there will be any charges for the initial consultation, as some attorneys may charge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need a Reason to File for Divorce?

It depends on the state where you file for divorce. For instance, in some states that allow for an uncontested divorce,  the main reasons for seeking a divorce will not affect the outcome, even if infidelity takes place. However, if the cheating spouse spent marital funds on the extra-marital relationship, the court can take this into account when dividing the assets. 

What Is the Difference Between No-Fault and Fault Divorce, and Why Does It Matter?

In the case of fault divorce, the spouse filing for divorce argues that the other spouse is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. In the case of the no-fault divorce, there is no attribution of blame, and the main grounds for divorce are irreconcilable differences. 

What Is the Difference Between a Contested and Uncontested Divorce, and Why Does It Matter?

In an uncontested divorce, the couple proactively agrees on the divorce details such as child custody or support, debt, and assets division. In contested divorces, the couple does not agree and requires the judge to decide on the details of the divorce agreement.