Divorce is a challenging enough issue to have to work through without having to work through additional, complicating factors such as military service. Military service provides a wide range of benefits that include military pension, disability, TRICARE and PX access. Those benefits may be part of the marital estate and may need to be divided. If you are facing divorce and you or your spouse has served in or is currently serving in one of the branches of our Armed Services, you owe it to yourself to work with a team of divorce lawyers who understand the various intricacies that military divorce entails.
Military Divorce Lawyers | Representing Service Members & Their Families
Divorce can be a challenging and emotionally charged experience for anyone, but when one or both spouses are members of the military, it introduces a unique set of complexities and considerations. Tennessee, with its strong military presence, has its own distinct laws and regulations governing military divorces. This is why it’s imperative to hire a team of Clarksville divorce lawyers who are well-versed in military divorce law.
Unique Considerations for Miltary Divorces
Military divorces involve all the same issues that civilian marriages do, such as child custody, alimony, property division, and more. That said, military divorces often involve a wide range of other unique considerations, such as:
- Residency Requirements: Tennessee requires at least one spouse to be a resident of the state for six months before filing for divorce. However, for military members stationed in Tennessee, there are exceptions. Discussing this with an attorney is crucial to determining eligibility.
- Division of Military Pensions: One of the most significant considerations in military divorces is the division of military pensions and benefits. Tennessee follows the “marital portion” principle, which means that only the portion of the pension earned during the marriage is subject to division. An experienced attorney can help ensure a fair division.
- Service of Divorce Papers: Serving divorce papers to a military spouse can be challenging, especially if they are deployed or stationed overseas. Compliance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is essential to avoid legal complications. An attorney skilled in military divorces knows how to navigate this process efficiently.
- Child Custody and Deployment: Military service often involves frequent deployments and relocations. These factors can significantly impact child custody arrangements. Creating a flexible and realistic parenting plan is vital to ensure the well-being of the children involved.
- Military Health Care Benefits: The non-military spouse may be entitled to continued access to military healthcare benefits under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) if certain conditions are met. Understanding these conditions and advocating for your rights is crucial.
- Military Allotments and Support: Military members can set up automatic allotments to provide financial support for their spouses. An experienced attorney can help ensure that these arrangements are in place and fair during the divorce process.
- VA Disability Benefits: VA disability benefits are generally not considered marital property in Tennessee divorces. However, any confusion or disputes regarding these benefits must be carefully addressed to protect both spouses’ interests.
- Temporary Orders: Military divorces can take longer due to deployments and other service-related obligations. Temporary orders for child custody, support, and alimony may be necessary to provide stability during the divorce process.
- Relocation Issues: If one spouse is required to relocate due to military service, it can impact the custody arrangement and visitation rights. Proactive legal measures are essential to address these potential challenges.
- Pension Garnishment: Enforcing the division of military pensions may require the garnishment of payments directly from the military member’s pay. Ensuring compliance with federal and state laws is crucial for a smooth process.
In all, military divorce demands a thorough understanding of both state and federal laws, along with the unique challenges faced by military families. Hiring a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney experienced in military divorce is the key to navigating these complexities successfully.
Contact Our Military Divorce Lawyers Today
At Fendley & Etson, we offer family law representation that has a deep understanding of the issues military couples face as they divorce. We can help you secure the divorce you need and protect your interest in the various benefits that are part of military service. While these situations can be complicated, our firm has the decades of experience necessary to be able to help military couples leave their marriages in the best possible circumstances. Contact our Clarksville, Tennessee military divorce lawyers today so we can get started working on your case.