Albany Military Divorce Lawyer
For a couple with at least one spouse who is an active military service member or a veteran, the divorce process can be slightly different than normal. There are extra benefits to consider, as well as some altered rules to accommodate those who are off on active duty. If you or your spouse is a member of the United States Armed Forces, consider hiring an Albany military divorce lawyer. A competent divorce lawyer could advise you on which bases to cover and what to expect during the proceedings.
What Constitutes a Military Divorce in Albany?
A “military divorce” is a divorce where at least one of the spouses is a current or former member of the armed forces. A military couple would file in the same manner as any other divorcing couple. They must file on a fault or no-fault grounds and in the jurisdiction where they reside. The major difference is that the benefits that come from military divorce could differ from that of a civilian couple.
The 20/20/20 Rule
One of the unique aspects of military divorce is the so-called 20/20/20 Rule. This rule determines if the spouse of a service member or veteran is eligible to receive certain benefits in a divorce, including military discounts as well as medical benefits under the TRICARE health plan. In order for a person to receive these benefits, the following criteria must be met:
- They must have been married for 20 years
- Their spouse must have served in the military for at least 20 years
- There must be at least 20 years of overlap between the marriage and the military service
- If only a 15-year overlap exists, the spouse could still be entitled to TRICARE coverage for one year after the marriage ends
If the spouse remarries, they lose the TRICARE benefits. The children of the couple are also covered by TRICARE until the age of 22.
Default Judgments in the Case of Active Duty
If a service member is unable to be properly served the divorce papers because they are on active duty, then the court cannot issue a default judgment. The court would stay the matter until they are able to respond with the aid of an attorney. If a default judgment somehow occurs while they are on active duty, they could have the case reopened when they return, as outlined in the Service Members Civil Relief Act. An Albany military divorce lawyer could ensure that an active duty service member does not miss out on their rights.
What Kind of Lawyers Are Used in a Military Divorce?
Military spouses may be eligible to have the services of a Judge Advocate General (JAG) – a military lawyer. However, it is still common to hire a civilian attorney.
For the spouse who is not in the service, there are many intricacies of the division of assets, health insurance, child support, pensions, and retirement benefits, and the presence of a knowledgeable divorce lawyer could greatly reduce the stress of having to sort it all out. This is especially true because these benefits come through the military and the federal government, which will have numerous rules and regulations to consider.
Child support calculations are slightly different for military members because they receive additional benefits such as housing allowances and hazard pay. It is helpful to have a knowledgeable military divorce lawyer at hand to help with calculations in this unique situation to ensure children are properly cared for.
Retain the Services of an Albany Military Divorce Lawyer
To navigate the complex world of divorce, it would be wise to work alongside a military divorce lawyer in Albany. They could use their past experiences to account for the special benefits and unique rules that you may encounter in this difficult process. Call today for a confidential consultation.