Lawrenceville Military Divorce Lawyer
Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County Lawyer for Military Divorce
Being in the military and getting divorced is not quite the same as a civilian
divorce. First of all, in a civilian
divorce, failure of one party to answer a divorce complaint presented by the other
party will result in a default action, meaning he or she will likely lose
any rights to contest the divorce. But what if a spouse is serving in
the military and currently deployed out of the country, especially if
he or she is engaged in combat overseas? The spouse may not be able to
respond to it in a timely manner, much less even be aware that a divorce
complaint has been filed. Therefore, there are specific state and federal
laws that pertain to military divorces. A divorce lawyer in Lawrenceville
can help you understand the facts about filing for divorce from a spouse
active in the military, including how assets could be divided. You should
not let an attorney who is not familiar with military law handle your case.
What Makes A Military Divorce Different?
If the spouse being served is on active military duty, it is possible that
a divorce proceeding may have to wait until the spouse returns. This could
be for the whole period the spouse is gone, with an additional 60 days
added when he or she returns. This stipulation is covered under the Soldiers
and Sailors Civil Relief Act, 50 UCS Section 521, and is in conjunction
with the discretion of the Georgia court. On the other hand, the spouse
being served also has the right to waive this postponement. In order for
a Georgia court to have jurisdiction over the party serving in the military,
that party must be served with a summons and a copy of the divorce action.
An exception to this is when the divorce is uncontested. If this is the
case, all the military spouse has to do is file a waiver affidavit. This
will serve to acknowledge that he or she is not contesting the divorce.
In Georgia, there are certain requirements that must be followed in a military
divorce proceeding. First, one or the other spouse must reside in Georgia,
or one or the other must be stationed in Georgia. With regard to
property distribution, the normal Georgia laws govern this. However, there are additional laws
for military personnel when it comes to dividing the military retirement
benefits. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act (USFSPA)
is the military's governing body that oversees how much of the military
retiree's pay is allocated to the former spouse, as well as seeing
that the amount is paid. First and foremost, the parties must have been
married at least 10 years during the time the member was on active duty.
No more than 60% of the member's pay and allowances may be paid out
to the former spouse. If there are children under 18 involved, the amount of
child support is determined by Georgia laws regarding this matter.
Additionally, there are circumstances where a former spouse of a military
member may continue to receive certain benefits after a divorce. These
include being eligible to use the commissary and exchange as well as health
care benefits. It is incumbent on the spouse of the member to prove that
the marriage was intact for at least 20 years, and that the member served
for at least 20 years of honorable service, and that the duration of the
marriage overlapped the period of service for at least 20 years. The law
firm of Fox Firm, P.C. also serving Gwinnett County, is expert in military
law. It has happened that clients utilizing lawyers not experienced in
military law have not received all the benefits due him or her. Don't
let this happen to you.
Contact a Lawrenceville divorce lawyer who knows this area fully and can help you retain all of your rights.