We Understand Military Divorce
Any divorce is challenging. A military divorce can be especially challenging. Whether you are an active duty service member, serving part-time in the National Guard or Reserves, or the spouse of a service member, there are extra issues that you must deal with correctly to preserve your future. In any divorce, you want to obtain a resolution that is in your best interests and our attorney at N.D. Lewis Law Firm can help you protect your future.
Beyond the emotional stress, a military divorce involves issues of jurisdiction, special concerns for child custody and visitation, complex property division rules and pension issues, and eligibility for military health care under TRICARE. Depending on your specific situation, these issues can all differ, and you want knowledgeable advice before you make any decisions or choices. We can help you deal with each of these matters, whether you are the service member or the spouse.
Do You Have The Correct Jurisdiction?
Jurisdiction is whether a court can hear a case. If a service member is living at LRAFB, jurisdiction in Arkansas is probably proper, but if they are overseas or deployed, serving papers can be difficult. Nathan understands the nuances of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) that allows deployed service members to delay civil court actions, including divorce and family law issues.
Child Custody, Visitation And Deployment
If you have children, custody issues can be complex. Creating a workable schedule for the children when one parent may be deployed can be difficult, but Nathan can help. He has experienced the stress and emotional issues as a child with divorced parents, and his goal is to help you develop a child custody and visitation plan that will work for your children, no matter your situation. Just like military operations, the key to success is careful planning and attention to detail.
For many service members or spouses of service members, the property settlement can be particularly complex when dealing with issues of health care and pensions. The military is subject to specific rules governing issues like TRICARE eligibility and how a pension may equitably be divided for a couple.
One of the most important aspects of a military divorce is the property settlement. This is because having a career or having worked 20-plus years as a service member allows them to retire with a substantial pension, typically half of their final pay. Since they could be in their late 30s, the pension may last for another 40 or 50 years. For a former spouse, it is very important to make certain your property settlement encompasses this substantial asset.
The 10-10 Rule And Other Pension Issues
In Arkansas, as with most states, a spouse is entitled to a share of the marital assets. In a divorce involving a military service member, their potential pension is a valuable asset and needs to be properly accounted for in the property settlement.
The 10-10 rule is significant because it allows garnishment of the service members’ pay by the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS). For the spouse, this means that you do not have to rely on your former spouse to transfer money and this prevents any manipulation of your payments by that spouse.