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Columbia Military Divorce Lawyer

How Is a Military Divorce Different?

In most respects, divorce for military personnel is the same as for anyone else, but certain factors can complicate the situation when either of the spouses is an active duty servicemember or retried member of the Armed Forces. Before taking any action on filing for divorce, consult with a Columbia divorce attorney from Masella Law Firm, P.A. to learn about your rights in the situation and to begin working on a strategy to achieve a successful dissolution of your marriage.

Servicemember's Civil Relief Act

Serving active duty or being deployed overseas can cause dramatic disruption in every area of civilian life, from pulling you away from your civilian employment and making it difficult or impossible to pay your rent or mortgage, to exposing you to the possibility of a default judgment if you are being sued in civil court. Under normal circumstances, when one spouse files for divorce, the other spouse only has 30 days to file a counter-complaint-otherwise, the judge may rule in favor of the plaintiff on matters ranging from child custody to alimony and property division. The Servicemember's Civil Relief Act provides protection for a military servicemember by suspending any action for divorce until after the defendant has returned from active duty.

Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act

Under state law, any assets which are classified as being marital property are subject to property division in a divorce, so anything which has been acquired during the marriage or which has increased in value during that period may be claimed by either spouse. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act, the spouse of a service member may claim military retirement pay as community property and the court may award a percentage of this pay in alimony or property division. It is also possible for some military spouses to receive continued benefits such as commissary, exchange and medical benefits, provided that the marriage lasted for at least 20 years concurrent with 20 years of creditable service.

To learn more about the SCRA, the USFSPA and other factors which may influence your divorce, contact us today.

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