Navigating a divorce can be difficult, even if it is amicable. The process can be confusing, the paperwork and order of steps can feel overwhelming, and emotions often run high. These stresses can multiply in a military divorce because there are additional regulations that must be followed. If you are facing a divorce as a member of the military or a military spouse, trust the Edgar & Dow for all of your divorce needs.
Every divorce in the state of California will follow a similar process. There are four major steps that must be completed for a divorce to be finalized. It is important to be aware, however, that there may be additional steps needed throughout the process. The primary aspects of a divorce in California are:
The specific details and circumstances of each divorce will differ, but they will all follow this similar process. The process is made somewhat easier by the fact that all divorces in California are no-fault divorces. This means that the party filing for divorce does not have to submit any proof of wrongdoing by their spouse to be granted a divorce. While this is the general format for all divorces in California, there are other laws that affect the processes and outcomes of military divorces.
If you are considering divorcing an individual who is in the military, there are certain things that you should be aware of. Some circumstances are under the jurisdiction of federal law rather than state law. A few of the key differences are:
If you are facing a military divorce, be prepared for it to take a longer amount of time, particularly if your spouse is deployed or stationed somewhere away from you.
A: This is one area where military regulations and California statutes are the same. California follows the guidelines for community property when a marriage is ending. This means that anything that was accrued during the marriage, both assets and debt, is split equally between the spouses. This is not true for debt or assets that each party had prior to the marriage. The one area where military regulations differ is with retirement benefits, which are divided based on the length of the marriage and length of service.
A: This rule helps to determine how much of a service member’s retirement pay a military spouse will receive during a divorce. An individual will receive medical, commissary, and exchange benefits for life if their spouse served in the military for 20 years, they were married for 20 years, and the two things overlapped for all 20 years. Only one year of benefits is offered to military spouses if their marriage only overlapped the service for fifteen years or less.
A: In the state of California, any divorce will take at least six months to complete. Regardless of how quickly the paperwork can be completed and filed, the state requires a waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. This is true for military and civilian marriages. In certain circumstances, such as a contested divorce, the process may take much longer.
A: An individual who is divorcing a military member in California needs to know what benefits they are entitled to. The divorce will entitle them to half of the property and assets that were purchased or obtained during the marriage because California is a community property state. They may also receive additional benefits, such as medical care, if the marriage lasted for 15 years or more while their spouse was serving in the military.
Even under the best circumstances, the divorce process can be time-consuming and overwhelming. The additional regulations that govern military divorce can make the process take even longer than a civilian case. If you are a military member or a military spouse considering divorce, it is essential that you have all the necessary information. With over a decade of experience, the team at the Edgar & Dow can guide you through your military divorce.
We know every case is unique and always provide personalized counsel.
We don’t drag our cases out, which saves you time, stress, and money.
We deliver the straightforward, honest counsel you really need.
Our priority is to help you get the results your family deserves.