Military Divorce Lawyers in Atlanta Giving You Peace of Mind During a Hard Time
Military service members are to be applauded for their work in protecting our rights and our freedoms. However, they’re human, just like the rest of us, and they can run into marital problems just as easily as someone not in the service. While there is no special court that oversees a divorce involving a military service member, there are certain laws in place which may affect the divorce when one or both parties are past or current service members.
Whether you are in the military or your spouse is serving, you should know what laws can affect your case in state courts and what to do moving forward. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to go through the process alone. You should speak with a skilled attorney who can help you navigate the legal system with your best interests in mind.
Military divorce is a unique process and one that can be fraught with emotion. If you are considering or in the middle of a military divorce, it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side who understands the ins and outs of these cases. Atlanta Family Law Group LLC has years of experience helping military service members and their families through the divorce process. We understand what you are going through, and we want to help you get through this tough time as smoothly as possible. Contact us today at (404) 963-9452 for a consultation. We are here to help.
What Does the Military Divorce Process Look Like?
The process for military divorce is generally the same as any other divorce, but there are some key differences to be aware of, especially if you or your spouse is still in the service.
One of the biggest differences is that a civilian spouse can file for divorce in the state where they live, even if their military spouse is stationed elsewhere. The service member can also file for divorce in their home state or the state where they are stationed.
However, if the civilian spouse wants to file in their home state, they will likely have to prove that the state has jurisdiction over the case. This can be done by showing that one or both spouses have lived in the state for at least six months. Another key difference is that, unlike civilian divorce cases, service members are not required to provide a reason for the divorce.
There are a few other factors to keep in mind during a military divorce. For example, child custody can be more complicated if one parent is deployed or stationed overseas. The court will also consider things like where the children went to school or whether either parent has family nearby who can help with childcare.
Finally, there are additional financial considerations to be aware of in a military divorce. For instance, if one spouse is in the military and the other is not, the non-military spouse may be entitled to spousal support (also known as alimony). The size of the military pension can also affect how property is divided during the divorce.
What is the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act?
The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) is a federal law in place that provides specific benefits to those who have divorced military members. The former non-military spouse may be eligible to receive portions of various benefits that the military member receives. For instance, the former spouse may be able to receive a portion of:
- The military member’s retirement payments
- The military member’s commissary benefits
- The military member’s healthcare benefits
When navigating a divorce in Georgia, it’s essential to understand state law, but you must also keep the USFSPA in mind. There are certain factors that this act brings into play, and they can affect the outcome of your divorce. You should have a lawyer to help you understand the benefits you or your former spouse may receive and how to protect your rights whether you’re a military member or the spouse of the service member.
The USFSPA allows for the following:
- Retirement pay: The act may allow the state courts overseeing the divorce to use military retirement pay as part of the property division process. In some situations, the former spouse may receive payment straight from the government.
- Medical care: The act may allow the former spouse of the military member to receive healthcare at military medical facilities.
While these benefits may exist in military divorces based on the USFSPA, it’s not always the case. The act does not require the state courts to divide military retirement pay, nor does it provide a formula to determine how much the former spouse should receive.
There is no amount of compensation predetermined by the act; rather, it states that some spouses may recover benefits. It is important to have legal counsel who is familiar with military divorces to ensure that benefits, such as military retirement, are calculated accurately and ensure that only overlapping years of service are included in the property division.
Who Will Get Custody in a Military Divorce?
Custody can be a difficult process to navigate in any divorce, but it can be even more complicated when one or both parents are in the military. In these cases, it’s important to consider the best interests of the child. As with any divorce, the main focus should be on what is in the best interests of the child.
The court will look at various factors when making this determination, including each parent’s ability to provide for the child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs. Deployment schedules are also considered. If one parent is deployed or set to deploy soon, this may affect custody arrangements. The court may decide that it is not in the best interests of the child for that parent to have primary custody if they are regularly deployed.
The court may also consider the child’s relationship with each parent, siblings, and other family members when making a custody determination. Ultimately, the goal is to maintain stability for the child and ensure that their needs are being met.
Georgia’s Military Parents Rights Act
In days of old, the time that a military parent spent away from home was time counted against him or her under custody agreements. However, the new Military Parents Rights Act protects the rights of military parents. The non-military parent cannot use service duty as a reason to request a custody modification.
In addition to the above, judges must not issue custody orders while the military parent is actively serving and deployed or within the 90 days immediately following the military parent’s return home.
Military divorces are serious matters, and they require knowledgeable representation to get through difficult times. As such, those involved should speak with a legal professional with experience helping both military and non-military spouses. This not only favorably positions your divorce but also allows you to protect what rights you may have under the various federal and state laws concerning these unique circumstances.
How Does a Lawyer Help in a Military Divorce?
A military divorce lawyer can help in several ways. First, they can ensure that you are getting all the benefits to which you are entitled under the law. This includes things like making sure that your retirement pay is calculated correctly and that you are receiving the correct amount of medical benefits.
Second, a military divorce lawyer can help you navigate the custody process. They can help you determine what is in the best interests of your child and how to create a custody arrangement that works for both you and your ex-spouse.
Finally, a military divorce lawyer can help you understand the unique laws that apply to military divorces. These laws can be complex, and it is important to have someone on your side who understands them.
At Atlanta Family Law Group LLC, we have the experience you need and deserve. Our Atlanta military divorce attorneys are ready to help you with the complexities and nuances of this challenging situation. You can rely on our determined and passionate team to be your voice when you feel no one is listening. Call our office today at (404) 963-9452 to learn more about your rights and what can be done to help you through your military divorce.