CA Military Spousal Support Attorney
Obtaining Alimony Benefits
Have you recently separated or divorced a military member? You may be wondering if you are eligible to receive spousal support. The answer may be more difficult than what you were hoping to hear; yes you can receive support but under very specific circumstances. Each branch of the military holds different regulations for receiving support and although the military does not completely enforce the payment of the spousal support, a local court may. It is important that if you are looking to receive spousal support, that you work with a dedicated and understanding attorney from Cutter & Lax.
From branch of service to branch of service, military spousal support will vary. Army Regulations 608-99 require a soldier pay adequate BAH Type II dependent rate to an ex-spouse. Most branches will require a specific time allotted that the couple had needed to be married in order to receive military benefits and the marriage should have overlapped with at least a few years of service. If you are unsure of the requirements for your spouse's specific branch of service, an attorney from Cutter & Lax may be able to help you.
Issues to Consider
Some of the issues that you must consider when divorcing or separating from a member of the United States armed forces include child support, child custody and spousal support. While it may seem as though you will not be entitled to any of the military benefits afforded to your spouse and his/her family after the divorce, you may have more rights than you think.
- Military Benefits: Entitlement to receive support and benefits subsequent to a divorce will depend on the duration of the marriage and how long of that time the spouse spent as an active-duty service member. If a couple has been married for more than 30 years, during which time one of the spouses was an active member, the divorced civilian spouse will be entitled to receive continued medical benefits.
- Military Retirement Pensions: Given the great value of the pension program with long-time service members, retirement pensions are often the largest asset in a divorce and are considered a part of the marital property. Factors that will contribute to the division of those pensions will include how long the couple was married, how long the service member was on active duty and how those two time periods overlap with one another.
There are a number of other issues to take into consideration when determining spousal support in a military divorce. Many military spouses do not have a financial cushion separate from their marital property because their family's situation required them to stay at home and refrain from working. Since the military spouse spends a significant amount of time deployed, their husband or wife was forced to stay at home with the children and likely does not have much work experience.
For this same reason, the civilian spouse will likely be given a significant amount of custody over the children with little visitation for the other parent because of their deployment. This will add to their financial burdens and capitalize on the fact that they have very limited means of supporting themselves. All of these issues must be considered when seeking spousal support and with the right military divorce attorney, an individual can petition for a fair and comfortable amount of support so that they will be well taken care of.
How do I know what I am entitled to?
As stated before, each branch of service will vary depending on the length of marriage, the BAH of the spouse and other financial responsibilities such as child support. In order to ensure that you receive the spousal support that you deserve, it is important you work with a military divorce attorney. Our firm has years of service in providing outstanding legal representation to military families. We proudly represent all branches of the military throughout Southern California. Cutter & Lax understands that this time in your life can be difficult and stress levels may run high; which is why we offer free case evaluations to all potential clients. Contact our firm today to speak with an aggressive military divorce lawyer.