Factors that Affect Military Divorces
Just as in a civilian divorce, a military divorce will involve procedural requirements, property distribution, and perhaps child support or maintenance. It is the division of military retired pay that presents some unusual considerations in military divorce.
In the process of doing discovery, your attorney will need information from you and also needs to know whether any of the factors will affect your particular situation. These factors include the following:
If you cannot answer these questions easily, then you need to educate yourself on what these situations entail. Help is available through the book, Divorce and the Military II. You can use these questions, also, when interviewing an attorney to determine whether the attorney will be suitable to handle your divorce. In addition, you need to know about the federal benefits you may lose as a result of leaving active duty early (if you are the service member, even if you are considering transferring to the Reserves) or divorcing before the 20-year point (if you are the spouse).
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A WORD OF CAUTION -- Splitting of military retirement pay is not mandated by the USFSPA (Uniform Services Former Spouse Protection Act). The divorce decree must state the percent of retirement pay awarded. Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), which processes pay claims of the Department of Defense, has very strict rules about the wording of a divorce decree.
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Divorce & the Military II
A Guide to Child Support Enforcement Against Military Personnel
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