Military retirement pay and divorce virginia

For example, The Federal Service Members Civil Relief Act of requires any person seeking a divorce to state that their spouse is or is not currently a member of the United States armed forces.

Divorce & Military Pension: Determining the “Marital Share”

This is meant to prevent spouses from seeking divorces from service members who would be unable to attend divorce proceedings. A common challenge presented by military divorce is jurisdiction - where the divorce should be filed if the service member isn't at home.


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A divorce may be filed at home or where the military member is stationed, both in the United States or abroad. Calculating the income of a member of the military requires specific knowledge and expertise, as service members are paid in a number of ways, including basic allowances for housing, expenses, and their basic pay.

Military Divorce Lawyers in Northern Virginia

A servicemember who has served 20 years is entitled to receive a military retirement. Jurisdiction over a service member is a prerequisite for dividing a military retirement.

If retirement pay is determined to be at least partially a marital asset, DoD Regulation The first involves a sequential process and the second involves a formula based on your circumstance, and handles many more circumstances of life, and correctly handles Reserve military members.

All three methods give the same result, and 6 years after they were published, the promotion enhancement set-aside was embodied in Federal law with NDAA Sec [11]. If a military member is promoted after divorce, the promotion enhancement due to retirement would be a non-marital asset as recommended by a Department of Defense report to Congress about the USFSPA law.


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Courts have struggled to understand how to implement this. The result is that many times the military member's promotion enhancements, due to sole effort after the divorce, are divided to the ex-spouse. The Area Method is a straightforward method to equitably divide retirement pay in this situation for an Active Duty or Reserve retirement.

Military Retirement Pay and Divorce - Hofheimer Family Law Firm

For Reserve military officers, a retention benefit program was implemented providing possible early retirement if certain types of duty is done after January 28, This benefit does not cause the amount of retirement checks to increase, but it can cause an increase to the number of retirement checks to be paid prior to age If a marriage was entirely prior to January 28, , all of the extra checks should equitably belong to the military member, and a division order needs to state this.

If a marriage was entirely after January 28, , all of the extra checks should be divided in the same manner as the payments at age 60 and beyond.

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All family members retain I. Going through a divorce is a complex topic and legal representation is often times needed in order to have someone advocate on your behalf. The military provides free legal assistance in many matters including divorce or even separation. Unfortunately, Veterans are not eligible for these services. Most groups that are eligible include active duty, reservists, retirees and military dependents, including military spouses.

Legal assistance offices are available on almost every base, camp, installation or ship.