The Choice for Military Divorce Attorneys in Chesapeake
Military families face unique challenges that frequently lead to divorce
The concerns of a military spouse who is considering divorce far exceed those of a nonmilitary spouse in the same situation. A military divorce involves one spouse who is a service member on active duty, a reservist, a guard or who is retired. The family lawyers at Shannon & Bedois, P.C. serve Chesapeake, Norfolk and the surrounding areas, are military spouses who personally understand the difficulties military families face.
If you are in a military marriage and need legal help, call the attorneys at Shannon & Bedois, P.C. at (757) 228-5529 or contact them online.
Federal laws protect military service members and their families
Laws designed to protect military service members and their families add to the complexity of obtaining a divorce and include:
- Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act (SSCRA): This act prevents spouses of service members who are on active duty from obtaining a divorce by taking advantage of the service member’s distance, general inconvenience and inability to respond to a divorce petition at home. The law allows the service member on active duty an additional 60 days to respond. However, if divorce is consensual, this period can be waived and the court may proceed.
- Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA): This act applies in the division of property by providing former military spouses with up to 50 percent of a service member’s retirement pension payment. The length of marriage is used as a factor in determining post-divorce eligibility to military benefits by a former military spouse.
State law issues in military divorces
The federal laws applicable to military divorces do not preclude the application of state divorce laws. So, in addition to all of the circumstances that lead a spouse to seek a divorce, military spouses must also consider the following:
- In terms of where he or she will file for divorce, a military spouse may choose between the state where he or she resides, the state where the military member is stationed or, if it’s different, where the military member claims legal residency.
- If there will be difficulty obtaining a valid service of process on the military member who is on active duty and if the safeguards allowed by federal law will delay divorce proceedings are important issues to keep in mind.
- Grounds for filing for divorce will differ depending on the state where the filing spouse ultimately chooses to file.
- The method of division of property upon divorce can also change with the state where the divorce petition is filed. While Virginia applies an equitable distribution standard to marital property, other states like California apply a community property standard through which marital property is divided equally, save for some exceptions.
Our attorneys, Kristen M. Shannon and Erin Bedois, bring a unique perspective to their work in assisting military spouses and service members with their divorce. Even though they provide compassionate advice to all of their clients, as military spouses themselves, they understand your unique family law situation and needs.
Contact us if you are a military spouse contemplating divorce
When representing military spouses in divorce matters, the family lawyers at Shannon & Bedois, P.C. apply their personal knowledge as military spouses to provide you with sound legal counsel and peace of mind. Our Chesapeake office is located near I-64 and free parking is available. Call (757) 228-5529 or contact us online for an appointment.