If you're in the military and in the middle of a divorce, make sure you have the right legal representation. You can't afford to choose the wrong lawyer to handle your divorce, especially where your finances are concerned. If you're going through a divorce, read the information provided below. You'll find three reasons to hire a military divorce attorney right away.
Understand the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
If you're serving active duty in the military right now, and your spouse has filed for divorce, you need an attorney who understands the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or SCRA. The SCRA has a direct impact on your divorce, especially if you're currently serving overseas. Under the SCRA, you can have your divorce proceedings delayed until you're able to be present in court. If your spouse has gone to court and been granted default judgments against you while you were out of the country, the SCRA can help you to reverse those judgments. To do so, you need a military divorce attorney who understands the SCRA.
Understand Civilian Divorce Benefits
If your spouse is a civilian, and wants to continue using your benefits once the divorce is final, it's time to hire a military divorce attorney. If you have been continuously married for 20 years, and you've been in the military for at least 20 years, your spouse is entitled to medical coverage, as well as commissary and exchange privileges for the rest of their life, as long as they don't remarry. However, if you didn't complete 20 years of service during your marriage, your spouse is not entitled to those benefits. If your spouse plans to fight for those benefits, a military divorce attorney can help you through the process. They can also explain your rights under the benefits rule.
Understand the 10/10 Rule
If you're in the process of filing for a divorce, and your spouse plans to go after your retirement, you need to hire a military divorce attorney. Under military rules, if you've been married for over 10 years, your spouse may be entitled to a portion of your retirement. However, they're only entitled to a portion of the retirement account you earned up until the date of marriage dissolution. That means you can continue earning retirement income that will not be part of your spouse's divorce benefits. A military divorce attorney will ensure that your retirement account is protected.
Contact a military divorce attorney for more information.