The road leading to a divorce might be a long and hard one for some people, and it is further complicated when one spouse is an active-duty military personnel. If you are just starting the divorce process, you might be wondering, “How long does a military divorce take?” The path may seem like it is littered with lots of legal jargon that is difficult to understand. However, a divorce should not be that way, and anyone in the military and their spouses can get help with divorce papers by retaining the guidance of a divorce lawyer. There are a few legal issues that need to be worked out when one of the people within the marriage is in the military.
It is all about having someone by your side that understands the military divorce rate and the steps in the divorce process. Having the right legal help in the form of a military divorce attorney can reduce the stress and emotional strain on you and your family as you navigate through the local and state laws regarding divorce for military persons. Keep in mind that it will also depend on which state you reside in and the divorce laws within that state.
There are resources for military persons and their families who are going through a separation or divorce, and these resources include legal assistance, advice, financial assistance, mediation, tax help, and even help with will writing. An experienced Arizona divorce lawyer will be able to provide further assistance during the divorce process. Having a reputable law firm represent you is worth it when going through divorce proceedings.
One of the biggest issues that needs to be considered when a divorce happens involves military benefits. The spouse of a military person will be able to keep their military identification card as long as the divorce proceedings are pending but will have to give up the card once the divorce is final. When a divorce is finalized, the spouse of the military service member will lose access to housing within 30 days after the divorce decree. The nonmilitary spouse will also lose access to any healthcare benefits, but they can purchase as much as 36 months of healthcare coverage. A lawyer can also help without having to rely on a military retirement divorce calculator. Exceptions to these rules apply for longer marriage and service.
Only the spouse will lose access to healthcare. Any children of the service member will retain healthcare until they are 21 years of age, or if they are enrolled in a university, until they are 23 years old. If the marriage does end and relocation is necessary, then the military can pay for the nonmilitary spouse to return home. If the service member needs to pay child and spousal support, they will need to look at the rules regarding child support based on the type of military service they are serving in. This is only in the absence of a court order, and it is meant to be a temporary solution until a more permanent plan for spousal support and child support is determined.
There are other issues for the two people who are contemplating divorce when one person is in the military. For example, if the military member abandons their spouse without letting them know and without letting them know whether they will be returning, then the nonmilitary spouse is still considered to be married in the case of abandonment, and they have legal rights to obtain spousal and child support. It is important to note that divorces that occur outside of the United States will not be recognized by an American court.
It is advised that anyone in the military who would like to file for divorce should do so within the United States to avoid any potential problems. The military divorce laws make it possible for somebody to file in the state where they are stationed. It is also possible to file in the state where the nonmilitary spouse currently lives or the state which the military spouse has claimed as their residency.
Both the military service member and the nonmilitary spouse have legal rights when it comes to divorce. The same is true when there is a dual military divorce. It can be difficult for an active duty service member to be served divorce papers when they are overseas or during their active military duty. However, certain laws such as the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) give service members more time to respond to divorce papers. They will also be given more time for the divorce hearing in court or any administrative process that is needed to help them prepare for the divorce case. Military members are also protected from judgment against them when they have failed to respond to divorce papers or a lawsuit. This will give the military spouse time to prepare their case with a qualified divorce lawyer that is not hindered by their commitments to active duty service.
This can have implications for the nonmilitary spouse when it comes to them wanting to go ahead with the divorce proceedings. This is why it is difficult to know exactly how long it will take for a military divorce to be finalized. The nonmilitary spouse can serve divorce papers to the military spouse, but under the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA), the regular court time can be delayed, and the military spouse can ask for a delay of 90 days as they continue with their duties in the military.
A trained lawyer will be able to tell you how this will slow down the divorce process, and in some cases, the court can grant an extension to the request for divorce after the initial 90-day period. The military person may have as long as it is necessary for them to complete their military service and respond to the divorce proceedings. It might appear to the nonmilitary spouse that they have no rights, but this is not true. Non-military spouses do have access to military legal assistance to help them decide on how to proceed with the divorce. However, they will need to find a civil divorce attorney to handle their case. The nonmilitary spouse can also have access to spousal and child support. They will need a skilled family lawyer to help them with military spouse divorce alimony, child custody, visitation, division of assets, and any other contested issue that the couple cannot come to an agreement on during the divorce process. There is a federal act called the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act that can provide further assistance to nonmilitary spouses after the marriage is dissolved.
Even though divorce is seen as a civilian matter and not heard in military court, there are certain rules to consider when one of the people in a marriage is in the military. This is one of the reasons why anyone filing for divorce will need to state if the person they would like to divorce is a military service member. When a spouse is within active military service, this can affect the timeline of the divorce process. It may be that the military spouse is not able to attend the divorce hearings, and the nonmilitary spouse may also need to have the military spouse sign a consent form to pursue divorce. A military member who would like to divorce their spouse would need to consider that there are options when they are actively deployed. They will have the option to file in a state where they previously resided for six months, or they can choose to file in the state where they pay taxes. The nonmilitary spouse may also be allowed to file where they are currently residing. Many states have created laws to make it easier for service members and their spouses to file in a state where they are stationed at a military base. Some military members have been able to file in a state where they have been stationed. As stated, filing overseas is never a good idea as the divorce may not be accepted by US courts.
Determining where to file during the process can be complicated without the help of a divorce lawyer as some military families move around a lot. One of the best things anyone who is starting the divorce process can do is to retain legal help. Having an experienced divorce lawyer who is accustomed to military cases will make a world of difference to the process even when the divorce is amicable. Military divorces will have the same causes of divorce today as a civilian divorce, and in the same way, military members would need to come to an agreement with their spouse. The couple will need to work out how the military spouse divorce entitlements such as money, cars, or residential homes will be divided. The couple will also need to look at any debt that was acquired during the marriage, including loans and credit card bills, and how the debt will be divided between the couple. During the divorce process, it is also necessary to discuss any child support, child custody, or spousal support. You will have to consider whether you would like joint custody or if it would be better for one parent to have sole custody of the children. Some couples may decide that they prefer to go through a legal separation and may have questions such as, “what is a military spouse entitled to in a separation?” A skilled attorney can help with this. It is beneficial to have a family and divorce attorney who is familiar with the process of division of military retirement benefits and how a divorce can impact these benefits as they are considered part of marital property. This will be a key issue to consider when a couple is going through a military divorce. Keep all of this in mind when thinking about how to file for divorce in the military.
As with any divorce, one of the key things in a divorce definition is to consider what is a military spouse entitled to in a divorce? This is also true for a divorce that involves a military service member. It may be surprising to the military spouse to discover that the nonmilitary person is entitled to more than they would like to give. The laws governing a military divorce will look at the length of time the couple has been married and how long the person has served in the military. It will be important for your lawyer to determine the length of time where the marriage overlaps with the duration of military service.
A lawyer trained in military divorces will be able to guide you on what to ask for in a divorce. They will know that in the military divorce process, the current rule looks at 20 years of military service and 20 years of marriage. It is then important to consider how much of the marriage overlaps with the duration of service. For example, if the marriage was less than 20 years and the person served in the military less than 20 years, then the benefits that the nonmilitary spouse is entitled to will be reduced. However, this is in contrast to a marriage that lasted at least 20 years, and the spouse served in the military for at least 20 years of this marriage.
This is the basis for the divorce meaning of the 20-20-20 rule in which there are 20 years of active service, married for 20 years, and having 20 years of the marriage and active service overlapping. The nonmilitary spouse in this situation could be entitled to retaining as many benefits as they had before the marriage was dissolved. This may include access to full benefits.
There are extra laws that will govern military divorce and alimony, and it is important to choose a lawyer who completely understands the process from start to finish. The best thing for anyone is to set up an initial consultation to discuss a military divorce child custody case. The attorney can explain various aspects of the case and let you know what information is needed to proceed with the divorce case.
There are many reasons for divorce, and if your spouse has served you with divorce papers, your next step should be going to see an attorney right away. It cannot be overemphasized how essential it is to find the right divorce lawyer to help you on how to proceed with the case. The lawyer will usually ask questions about the marriage and the reasons for divorce. They will need to know more information about the length of military service and what benefits the service member and the nonmilitary spouse currently receive. This information can be used to help in determining spousal and child support.
It is essential for service members and their nonmilitary spouses to have a thorough understanding of the divorce process and how a military divorce will affect them. There are specific aspects that will affect them when it comes to the length of time the person has served and the benefits a spouse may be entitled to. This is why only a divorce attorney who understands military divorce rate and divorce statistics can give the best advice on how to go forward with your case.
Contact us today at Jensen Family Law if you are looking for an experienced team of divorce attorneys in AZ who will fight for you and protect your rights. We have over 30 years of experience as Arizona family lawyers and have helped hundreds of families and exes successfully settle their military divorce in Arizona and we can do the same for you.
In our experience, prolonging the divorce process makes it much more difficult for you to achieve your desired outcome. If you are currently considering divorce, feel free to reach out to our team of highly skilled family law attorneys so we can schedule a consultation. We know every case is unique and we will take the time to talk about your specific circumstances and find what works best for you and your family. You don’t have to do this alone. Give us a call today.
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Jensen Family Law in Mesa is located on 3740 E Southern Ave Suite 210, 85206 Mesa, Arizona. From Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Take S 41st St to E Sky Harbor Blvd, then head west on E Sky Harbor Blvd and Use the left lane to take the exit toward S 41st St. Then Turn right onto S 41st St. After that, Continue straight to stay on S 41st St, then Take AZ-202 Loop E, AZ-101 Loop S and US-60 E to S Val Vista Dr in Mesa. Take exit 184 from US-60 E after that Merge onto E Sky Harbor Blvd, then Use the left 2 lanes to merge onto AZ-202 Loop E toward Tempe/Mesa and Use the right 3 lanes to take exit 9 to merge onto AZ-101 Loop S. After that, Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 55A-B to merge onto US-60 E toward Globe, then Take exit 184 for Val Vista Dr. Then Continue on S Val Vista Dr to your destination and Turn left onto S Val Vista Dr. Turn right onto E Southern Ave, then turn left and Destination will be on the right.
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