Members of the U.S. military have the same right to get divorced as anyone else, but there are unique rules and considerations that apply. This is true whether both spouses are active duty service members or if one is a civilian. At Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C., we are well-versed in the laws pertaining to military divorce. From our offices in Charlottesville, Palmyra and Harrisonburg, we work to protect the interests of service members in regard to property division, alimony, child support and other matters.
Property division during a military divorce is governed by both federal and state laws. Virginia is an equitable property state, which means marital assets and property are split fairly, though not necessarily equally. Under the law, courts can consider military pay as property rather than income. Our lawyers work carefully to obtain fair arrangements for the division of:
We will carefully examine the specifics of your case so we can provide informed and assertive advocacy on your behalf.
In Virginia, spousal support and child support payments are calculated the same way for military members as they are for civilians. Support awards may not exceed 60 percent of a service member’s pay and allowances. In making support decisions, judges may consider the length of the marriage, each spouse’s career and educational opportunities, each spouse’s financial ability and the needs of children, among other factors. There are special circumstances to consider, as the military lifestyle may involve frequent relocations and long deployments that limit a civilian spouse’s ability to maintain a career.
According to the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act, the armed forces are encouraged to accept each state’s rules and laws governing divorce, child custody, alimony and division of benefits, such as military pay and pensions.
Virginia law requires at least one spouse to have lived in the commonwealth for at least six months and to intend to remain there indefinitely before starting the divorce process. If a service member has been stationed in Virginia for six months or more, the intent-to-stay stipulation is not a factor.
Federal law protects members of the armed forces from default judgments while they are on duty and incapable of responding to petitions. Virginia requires service members to be served in person, and divorce proceedings can be postponed for up to 60 days after the service member’s active duty concludes.
We care. We fight. We help our clients put their lives back together. To work with a knowledgeable Virginia military divorce attorney at Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C., call us at 434-973-7474 or contact us online. We have offices in Charlottesville, Palmyra and Harrisonburg.
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