Military life is often a huge barrier to a happy marriage.  The consequences of war, deployment and so many unpredictable events in the spouses’ lives can lead the relationship to trouble waters. Military divorce is often more complicated and confusing than any other type of divorce. It’s governed by both federal and state laws and it also revolves around military policies, therefore some uncommon factors may be taken into consideration.

You don’t need to navigate these troubled waters alone. Find legal counsel from a Salt Lake City military divorce attorney . There are many questions to ask during this emotionally devastating time, and we can answer them for you.

How to file for military divorce?

Military couples are often from different states, marry in a different state, and own property in a third state. Sometimes they are deployed to a fourth state, which can complicate the process even further. It’s important to first decide where to file for divorce because these laws will govern your case. For example, in order for the court to rule on military retirement, the divorce must take effect in a state where:

Child custody and child support

Child custody is not granted to a parent that deploys frequently. Child visitation may also be less. In these type of cases, the custodial parent may receive extra child support for the extra burden placed upon him or her.

In the state of Utah, when a custodial parent is deployed, the noncustodial parent can receive full child custody during the custodial parent’s absence. When the non-custodial parent is deployed, these parental rights are transferred to family or close relatives.

Child support is always determined by laws in the state where the divorce is filed. However, there are different guidelines for each military branch. The salary, housing allowance, and other types of compensation are taken into consideration when calculating child support. The child’s health insurance and daycare payments are also included in this amount. Child support can be withdrawn from the parent’s paycheck.

In cases when the service member doesn’t honor his or her agreement, the commander officer can be contacted, but you will need a court order to enforce resumption of payments. If there are several payments already missing, wage garnishment may be ordered by the court. When both parents are service members, a Family Care Plan is needed to establish the guidelines, responsibilities, and policies regarding child care when a parent is away on military service.

Retirement, pensions, and other benefits

When a military member has been active for about 20 years, he or she is entitled to receive a retirement pension for life. This is one of the most difficult factors to take into consideration during a military divorce thus a legal advocate may be necessary. Military retirement is considered ‘pay’ with the amount determined by the specific state where the divorce is filed. Although spouses can receive half of the pension, the way it’s is divided can be quite flexible. It’s important that the time frame when the retiree will apply for benefits is specified in the divorce decree, that way the spouse knows when to receive these benefits.

Salt Lake City military divorce attorney

A good Salt Lake City divorce attorney can anticipate and handle all legal circumstances surrounding a military divorce. We have helped many military families find the relief they need during these uncertain circumstances. We’ll help you achieve your goals and reach an agreement that is both realistic and fair. Give us a call today and we’ll explain in more details how a military divorce works depending on your background and circumstances.