Military couples have the same legal rights under divorce law as civilian couples, but their divorces involve specific considerations. As a result, divorcing military couples should seek a qualified and skilled Clarksville military divorce lawyer with experience in all of the unique characteristics associated with military divorces.
The lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, have proven to offer strong legal counsel and comprehensive guidance for all divorce cases we’ve handled throughout the Clarksville, MD area. Whether you have been served a petition for divorce or are seeking to file for divorce, our team can be trusted to listen to your side and assess the needs of your case.
Our team has represented servicemen and women from all branches of the military, as well as their spouses. As men and women who have already sacrificed so much for our country, we believe that you deserve particular attention and advocacy from a qualified attorney. Though the military offers free legal counsel, our attorneys can go well beyond what the military can provide by representing you and fighting for your rights.
Divorces involving couples in which one or both spouses are a member of the military present unique circumstances that can potentially complicate standard divorce proceedings. Understanding these circumstances is important to prepare for how involvement with the military will affect filing for divorce, whether you are an active serviceman or woman or are the spouse of one. For comprehensive guidance, legal counsel, and representation, let one of our military divorce lawyers assess your situation and provide you with a proper expectation of what’s ahead.
Divorce proceedings will not begin until the paperwork for the divorce petition has been delivered to the other party by hand. When one spouse is on active duty or is stationed overseas, it can be extremely difficult to accomplish this in a standard timeframe. It is usually most effective to get help from your divorce attorney when filing to ensure timely delivery.
Additionally, those on active duty or overseas on assignment are permitted by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to request a stay of divorce proceedings to allow them to return home, prepare, and consider their rights. Under this protection, they have 90 days from the date on which their active-duty service has been terminated.
It is common for one or both spouses in a military couple to relocate frequently. When it comes to arranging for standard child custody agreements, which typically split visitation, the difference in geography can complicate matters. Courts have an understanding for servicemen and women in this regard, but you will want to partner with your military divorce attorney to ensure the most favorable outcome that provides what is right for the child and protects your rights as a parent.
In a divorce, the spouse of the military man or woman remains entitled to certain benefits following a divorce. They include, but are not limited to:
The military will help you with your divorce proceedings by offering free legal advice and certain protections; however, the military is not directly involved in managing divorce cases. Instead, the military takes on a supportive role, communicating legal implications associated with divorce and making the process easier. For example, active-duty members can request a postponement of divorce proceedings while they are away on assignment. Also, the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act permits state courts to divide military pensions.
In a divorce, a military spouse is usually entitled to half (50%) of their spouse’s military retired pay acquired during the marriage. In cases where at least ten years of marriage overlapped with ten years of military service, former spouses may apply for direct payments from the Defense Finance & Accounting Service (DFAS) for their retirement. Additionally, the former spouse is entitled to the Continued Health Care Benefit Program (CHCBP) for at least three years, continuing their access to healthcare.
The cost of a military divorce is similar to that of a civilian divorce. Since you must file for divorce in the state in which you reside, this subjects cases to Maryland divorce laws. In Maryland, the average divorce cost ranges between $10,000 and $15,000. This includes attorneys fees, court filing fees, any necessary mediation or arbitration costs, delivery fees for serving divorce papers, and additional costs that may be necessary in order to complete all proceedings.
The speed of a divorce in the military is influenced by several factors and can last anywhere between a couple of months and two years. An active-duty military member is provided 90 days from the end of their active-duty service to respond to a divorce petition. While the servicemember can waive this right and respond without delay, divorce proceedings should not be expected to begin for at least three months after active duty has concluded.
If you or your spouse are an active member of the military and are considering filing for a divorce petition, it is imperative you understand what is involved in the process. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, understand the unique considerations involved in a military divorce and can provide compassionate counsel and support as we meet the particular needs of both servicemen and women and their spouses. Learn more about a free consultation by contacting us today.
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10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
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