Military couples have the same rights as civilian couples and are governed by the same regulations and divorce law. However, there are many considerations and processes that must be observed. Military spouses have certain benefits that civilian spouses do not, and active duty can make the process of a divorce complex. It is, therefore, essential that divorcing military couples partner with an Ellicott City military divorce lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced in the complexities involved with military divorces.
Our team at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, represents servicemen and women from all branches of the military, as well as spouses and dependents of military service members. We’ve represented divorce cases involving complex matters, including military pension protection, child custody arrangements, and filing for active-duty members who are on assignment overseas.
Our attorneys can be trusted to listen to you and assess the needs of your case, offering strong legal counsel and guiding you through the Ellicott City, MD divorce process. Whether you have been served a petition for divorce or wish to initiate a divorce filing, we can help you.
Military divorces are those between couples for whom one or both spouses are members of the military. These function nearly the same as any other divorce, with a few notable exceptions. Whether you are an active serviceman or woman, or you are the spouse of one, it is important to know how being a military member will affect your divorce, including residency, active-duty deployment, and child custody arrangements.
For couples to be eligible to file for a divorce in Maryland, at least one member must be a current resident of Maryland. There is no minimum time you need to be currently living in Maryland to qualify as a resident; however, the ground for divorce must have occurred within the state. If the ground for divorce occurred outside of Maryland, there is a six-month minimum required residency before you are eligible to file in the state.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act allows those on active duty or who are stationed overseas to stay or postpone divorce proceedings until they have returned home and can represent themselves and protect their rights. If they choose this option, they will have 90 days following the termination of their active-duty service to respond to a filing.
Additionally, state law requires all divorce petitions to be hand-delivered. For a servicemember stationed out-of-state or overseas, this can be difficult to do. If you are attempting to serve divorce papers to a spouse on active duty, it is easiest to enlist the help of a qualified attorney who can make the proper arrangements.
With military couples, it is common for one or both spouses to relocate frequently. In a military divorce, this is likely to continue to be the case, complicating the process of arranging for standard child custody plans and making them difficult or impossible. It is imperative in divorce cases where there are shared children that you work with your military divorce lawyer to pursue the most favorable outcome for child custody and visitation.
As attorneys with an extensive background in family law and child custody cases, our team at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, PA, can help walk you through all considerations to ensure you continue to be a part of your loved ones’ lives.
A military spouse is generally entitled to several benefits and protections in a divorce. Most notably, they are entitled to up to 50% of their spouse’s military retired pay. A former spouse may apply for direct payments for the retirement from the Defense Finance & Accounting Service (DFAS) if at least ten years of marriage overlapped with ten years of credible military service. Lastly, the Continued Health Care Benefit Program is offered to former spouses for at least three years.
Military divorces include the same processes as civilian divorces, with a few notable differences. For example, a service member can request a stay or postponement of all court hearings until 90 days after they have completed active duty. This allows for the opportunity to protect their interests by reviewing the divorce petition, hiring a divorce attorney, and reviewing their own options. Assets and benefits will be divided and assessed during the proceedings, including military pension and healthcare benefits.
The 10-year rule for military divorce, also known as the 10/10 rule, refers to a former spouse’s ability to receive their portion of the retirement benefits paid directly to them. Those whose marriage overlapped with at least ten years of military service are eligible. It does not, in fact, determine eligibility to receive those benefits, as all former spouses of a military marriage are entitled to up to half of any military retirement pay.
Getting a divorce in the military can involve several steps that will potentially add time, complicate proceedings, and require additional information. To start, a petition to divorce must be delivered by hand, and finding a servicemember while on active duty can be difficult. Next, there will be a potential waiting period until their active duty has terminated. Finally, additional matters, such as child custody, are more difficult to arrange for military divorces, given the frequent nature of relocation.
The many considerations and potential complications involved in a military divorce should be handled with the help of an experienced Ellicott City military attorney like those at the Law Offices of Todd. K. Mohink, PA. We understand the unique needs servicemen and women and their spouses have when considering a divorce and can provide compassionate support and counsel. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you in your military divorce.
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