Long Island, NY Military Divorce Attorneys
Protecting the rights of service members in Nassau and Suffolk Counties
Individuals in divorce cases where one or both spouses are in the military have a lot to consider. Similar to civilian divorces, military divorces must deal with issues like spousal maintenance, child support, child custody and visitation, and property distribution. Unlike civilian divorce, military members receive considerations protecting their rights while they actively protect ours.
Residency requirement for military divorce
Similar to civilian divorces, a residency requirement must be fulfilled in order for a court to establish jurisdiction over a case. When military members actively serve, frequent moves and temporary periods outside of the United States makes the divorce process complicated. Accordingly, residential requirements are more lenient for those in the military. Under current laws, a military member or spouse can file for divorce:
- In the state where the couple has legal residence
- In the state where the military member claims legal residency
- In the state where the military member is stationed
Serving papers to a service member
Service members must be served divorce papers just like a civilian. When a spouse is an active member of the military, serving divorce papers becomes complicated. Most bases across the country have a designated official who is responsible for law enforcement. Sometimes, if a member is overseas, it may be more difficult. The spouse must be willing to accept the serve. Whether one requests service through a military authority or sends the papers certified mail, the service member must willingly receive the service.
Service members are protected against default judgments
A major difference between civilian and military divorces is the protection against default judgments. A default judgment is a binding legal verdict in favor of one party based on the inaction of the opposing party. In most cases, a default judgment is awarded because the defendant did not show up for court. An active member of the military is protected against default judgments under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act. Accordingly, a service member cannot be judged unless present or counsel has been acquired to represent them. This is the case for all matters related to the divorce, especially child support and custody.
Long Island child custody case protection
Child custody is a major factor in a divorce. When a member of the military is getting divorced, the complication to the matter is related to serving the United States of America. The law protects service members who are absent for 30 days or more because of deployment or in recovery of a service-related ailment from permanent loss or change of custody while unavailable. The law also provides flexibility for issues like temporary custody modifications and hearings.
Military pension explained
Dividing a military pension in a divorce is also complicated by service in the military. According to the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act of 1982, state courts are allowed to treat military pension as marital property. The 10/10 rule, a part of the Act, states that you are eligible for a portion of the divided military pay sent to you directly from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service if:
- You were married to your military spouse for at least 10 years
- Your military spouse served creditable military service for at least 10 years
Contact our Long Island attorneys to protect your rights while you protect us
If you are in the process of a military divorce, you deserve the quality legal counsel of The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. Our committed Long island attorneys are available to protect your rights, property, and family while you are an active service member or divorcing from one. Divorce can be an emotional ordeal and having one party in the military only complicates the process. Let us guide you towards the most positive outcome possible. Contact The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. for your consultation.