Going through the end of a marriage can be an extremely challenging time for anyone. It can be even more complicated when one or both spouses are serving in the military. California military divorce cases are often difficult for civilian lawyers to manage. These sensitive cases require specific knowledge and understanding of state and federal laws, in addition to military procedures. Therefore, it is crucial to work with a qualified and experienced military divorce attorney.
At the Edgar & Dow, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to help Corona, CA, military members and their families. We can navigate the unique complexities of military divorce proceedings.
“Military divorce” describes the process of officially ending a marriage when one or both spouses are members of the military. Military divorce cases have unique legal issues. They are also subject to procedures that are not relevant in civilian divorces.
Some of the key issues that arise in California military divorce cases include:
Military service is a unique variable that impacts divorce proceedings in several ways. For example, if one of the spouses is on active duty, the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) can be invoked. This will pause all proceedings until 60 days after they have returned from their tour of duty. This important benefit is designed to give the service member time to focus on their military obligations and goals. They can then concentrate on their divorce case after they return home.
Additionally, if a service member is on duty and unable to appear in court for a scheduled hearing, the court may be more lenient in allowing for teleconferencing or video conferencing options than in a civilian case.
A key aspect of military divorce is the division of military pensions and benefits. Special federal laws govern the division of retirement benefits when a military couple divorces. For divorcing military members, it can be extremely important to work with an experienced military divorce attorney. They understand these laws and how they differ from civilian assets. They can ensure that your rights are protected.
When dividing military pensions after a divorce, “10/10” refers to two factors:
For a divorcing military spouse to be eligible for a full share of their ex-spouse’s pension, three qualifications must be met:
If eligible for these direct payments, they typically max out at 50% of the retirement pay. However, they can be ordered as high as 65% in cases of extraordinary child support or alimony needs.
The “20/20/15” or “20/15” rule refers to the duration of the marriage and military service in question. The 20/20/15 rule is specific to military TRICARE medical benefits rather than retirement accounts. A divorcing military spouse is eligible for a year of transitional benefits if they meet the criteria for the 20/20/15 rule:
At the Edgar & Dow, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to help military members and their families navigate these uniquely complex divorce proceedings. We understand the daily challenges that military members and their families face. Our firm is committed to providing compassionate, effective legal representation throughout the divorce process.
A: The 10/10 rule is a federal law that governs the division of military pensions between divorcing spouses. Under this rule, a qualifying former spouse may receive up to 50% of the service member’s military retirement pay. However, the couple must have been married for at least 10 years. The service member must also have completed 10 or more years of qualifying military service. Additionally, these periods must overlap.
A: The military does not provide any direct legal assistance for divorce proceedings. However, they may offer other types of resources and support to service members and their families. For example, on-base services and VA facilities may offer:
A: No, the United States military does not pay for divorce proceedings for its service members. Service members and their spouses are responsible for the costs associated with their divorce. These include attorney fees, filing fees, and court costs. In this aspect, a military divorce operates in the same way as any civilian seeking to dissolve their marriage.
A: The 20/20/15 rule is another federal law that allows for the division of military benefits between divorcing spouses. Under this rule, a former spouse may continue to receive TRICARE health benefits throughout a transitional period if:
If you are a military member, or married to one, and are facing the difficult prospect of divorce, it is important to find a skilled and knowledgeable family law firm that understands the unique challenges of a military divorce. The Edgar & Dow is ready to provide California-based service members with the guidance and support they need throughout this difficult time. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you navigate the process of military divorce in California.
We know every case is unique and always provide personalized counsel.
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We deliver the straightforward, honest counsel you really need.
Our priority is to help you get the results your family deserves.