Military Divorce Lawyer in San Antonio Representing You With All Military-Related Family Law Matters
Divorce can be a confusing and stressful time for military couples. However, gaining a general understanding of how this process works can greatly reduce the time, expense, and emotional strain. While you will largely follow the same process and procedures as a civilian couple when filing for divorce, there are unique legal issues that may apply.
Generally, the military views divorce as a private civil matter to be addressed by a civilian court. Commanders rarely get involved in domestic situations except in limited cases.
For military divorce or legal separation situations that require representation in civil court or involve contested issues such as child custody, spousal/child support, or division of assets like retirement pay, it is recommended that you consult with a civilian attorney who is knowledgeable of the divorce laws of your particular state and has extensive experience with military-related family law.
While service members and their spouses can file for divorce overseas, the courts of the United States may or may not recognize the ruling.
Generally, if either you or your spouse is living in the jurisdiction that grants the divorce, and there is proper service and notice, then that court (foreign or domestic) will have the power to grant the divorce and the U.S. courts will recognize it. You can avoid this potential issue by filing for divorce in a state, rather than through a foreign country.
With so many details involved in a military divorce, you should seek the help of an experienced military divorce lawyer in San Antonio. The laws in this area are complicated and evolve constantly.
At the Laura D. Heard Law Firm Inc., we provide experienced military divorce representation for clients throughout San Antonio, Texas, and the surrounding areas.
Our law firm understands that every family is unique with individual needs and desires. We offer personalized attention instead of cookie-cutter advice concerning all aspects of family law so you can get the best possible outcome for your situation, whether it involves child custody or equitable distribution of property or debts under Texas state law.
We can help you through all stages of the divorce process, including establishing the grounds for divorce, property division, spousal support (also known as alimony), child support, child custody and visitation rights, post-decree modifications to your existing court order related to these issues if circumstances change, and other military family law matters.
Contact our firm today for assistance by calling 210-655-9090 to get the representation you deserve.
What is the Difference Between a Normal Divorce and Military Divorce?
Divorce is never easy, but it’s even more complicated when you’re in the military. There are many similarities and differences between a civilian and military divorce that can affect your legal representation and determine if you have to file for divorce domestically or overseas.
In general, a divorce case follows the same procedure whether you are active-duty military, retired from the service, or a family member of an active-duty soldier or retiree.
Generally speaking, there are two types of divorce proceedings: contested actions and uncontested actions. In most cases, divorces filed by civilians fall under one of these categories. If your spouse files for a contested action while you file for uncontested, then they will usually be combined into one case with both issues being handled in the same trial.
However, where a military divorce differs is when it comes to benefits a former spouse can receive following a divorce. Under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act, a former spouse of a military member is entitled to benefits such as medical benefits, commissary, exchange, and theater rights under the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program.
Navigating this process and understanding your rights as both a member of the military of the spouse of a military member can be difficult. Our law firm works hard to ensure you don’t have to deal with the stress of a complicated military divorce.
Is Getting Legal Help Necessary?
For a military service member that has disposable retired pay, a military pension, and other retirement benefits, understanding what happens next in the midst of a divorce can be challenging to deal with. For a military spouse, there are certain requirements that need to be met to get the benefits of a military member following a divorce. These requirements include:
The former spouse needs to have been married to the service member for at least 20 years when the divorce is finalized
The service member must have served at least 20 creditable years to determine eligibility for military retired pay
The former spouse was married to the service member for a minimum of 20 years during this creditable serving period
As a service member, you also have rights that are given to you by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This act helps ensure your rights are a service member aren’t infringed upon while serving active duty. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, you aren’t subjected to responding to a petition of divorce under the normal amount of time and you are also afforded additional protections.
No matter where you stand in a military divorce, our law firm can get to work for you to ensure you get the representation you deserve.
How Can a Military Divorce Lawyer Represent Me?
We are experienced in helping military members and families with their divorce proceedings. The most common issues that arise for our clients include:
Alimony, or spousal support – This is often referred to as alimony, also known as “maintenance.” It may be paid by the service member to the spouse during the time of separation, after the finalization of the divorce, or until a specific date. In some cases, it may cease upon the death of either party.
Child support – This type of alimony is reserved for children from a previous marriage to one parent involved in a new relationship. Usually, this type of support will continue until the child turns 18 years old. Payments from one parent to another can range depending on income and other factors.
In addition to these issues, we can help you with the process of determining whether or not you’re entitled to receive certain benefits from your spouse’s military service.
If a divorce is filed against a service member while they are active-duty serving in the Armed Forces, then the divorce must be set aside until they have been discharged from duty unless both parties agree it can continue without their involvement. Our law firm works hard to ensure that your rights as a service member or as a spouse are fully protected and that our clients understand what is happening throughout this complicated time in their lives.
Your future may seem uncertain right now but at least there is one thing you can know for sure: you don’t have to go through this alone.
We can help you navigate this process and answer any questions that may arise along the way. You deserve military legal assistance that will work hard to get you the results you want from your case while also ensuring all your rights are protected along the way.
When Should I Hire a Military Divorce Attorney?
If you are contemplating a divorce from your military spouse, hiring a lawyer to represent you is necessary. When going through a divorce, it’s not enough to have an idea of what you want – it’s important that the judge understands the situation as well.
There are rules and laws that apply specifically to divorcing a service member or their spouse and therefore, it is important that these laws are understood by your attorney.
Our law firm has worked with many military members over the years so we understand how divorce can impact you as a service member and as well as your family.
It is crucial that our clients choose the right legal representation for their case so they know there will be someone fighting on their side. If you need help understanding your rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, contact our service as soon as possible so we can begin building a case for you.