Military Divorce Lawyers in Alpharetta Helping Service Men and Women Through a Divorce
The divorce process is never easy, but it can be incredibly complicated when a military spouse is involved. Some special considerations must be taken into account in a military divorce, and it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side who understands the unique challenges military families face.
Hecht Family Law is a divorce and family law firm based in Alpharetta, Georgia, and our attorneys have experience handling all types of divorce cases, including those involving military personnel. We understand the stress and anxiety that come with going through a divorce, and we will guide you through every step of the process, ensuring that your rights are protected.
If you or your spouse is in the military and you are considering a divorce, contact us today for legal assistance. We can also help in a divorce where one or both spouses were previously enlisted. Call us at (470) 291-5342 and get started with a consultation with our family law lawyer.
What Is the Military Divorce Process Like?
Military divorce is a complex process that is governed by both state and federal laws. Because of this, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced military divorce attorney who can guide you through the process and make recommendations about the best way to protect your property and assets as a military member.
In a military divorce, there are a few key things that you need to keep in mind. The first is that you need to have a complete understanding of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). This act provides certain protections to former spouses of military service members, and you need to make sure that you are aware of these protections.
The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act
The USFSPA is a federal law that was enacted in 1982. This law provides certain benefits and protections to former spouses of military service members. The primary benefit is that it allows for the division of military retirement pay in a divorce.
To take advantage of this benefit, you need to make sure that your divorce decree specifically states that you are entitled to a portion of the retirement pay. If your decree does not mention retirement pay, then you will not be able to receive any of it.
The USFSPA also provides other benefits, such as healthcare coverage and access to commissaries and exchanges on military bases. These benefits can be extremely valuable, so you need to make sure that you understand what they are and how to take advantage of them.
In Georgia, the first step in filing for a military divorce is to submit a complaint to the clerk of court in the county where either spouse resides. The complaint must include certain information, such as the names and addresses of the parties, the date of marriage, and grounds for divorce. Once the complaint is filed, it must be served on the other spouse.
The next step in the process is to file a financial affidavit. This affidavit must list all of the assets and debts of the parties, as well as their income and expenses. This information is necessary to determine how to divide the property and debts in the divorce.
After the financial affidavit is filed, the next step is to attend a mediation session. Mediation is a process where the parties meet with a neutral third party to try to reach an agreement on the terms of the divorce. If an agreement is reached, it will be memorialized in a divorce decree. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the case will proceed to trial.
How Does the Property Division Portion of a Military Divorce Work?
In a military divorce, the property and debts of the parties will be divided per state law. Georgia is an equitable distribution state, which means that the property will be divided in a fair but not necessarily equal manner.
The court will consider several factors in determining how to divide the property, such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s income and earning potential, each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of property, and the needs of each spouse.
It is important to note that retirement pay is considered to be marital property in a military divorce. This means that it can be divided between the parties in the divorce. To do this, you need to make sure that your divorce decree specifically states that you are entitled to a portion of the retirement pay. Spousal support, also known as alimony, can be awarded in a military divorce.
Who Will Get Custody in a Military Divorce?
When military parents get divorced, the process is generally no different than when civilians divorce. However, some key differences can impact custody arrangements. In a civilian divorce, child custody is typically decided based on what is in the best interests of the child. The court will look at factors such as which parent has more stable housing, employment, and financial resources. The court will also look at which parent is more likely to provide a loving and nurturing environment for the child.
In a military divorce, the court still considers all of these factors. There are additional factors that the court must consider. For example, one key factor is the deployment schedule of each parent. If one parent is deployed overseas for long periods, it may not be in the best interests of the child to live with that parent. The court will also look at how well each parent has handled previous deployments.
Another key factor that the court must consider is whether either parent has a history of domestic violence or child abuse. Due to the nature of military life, this is not an uncommon issue. If either parent has a history of domestic violence or child abuse, the court will not award custody to that parent.
Finally, the court must also consider the child’s relationship with each parent and sibling. In a military family, it is not uncommon for the child to have a closer relationship with one parent than the other due to the amount of time that each parent can spend with the child. The court will take this into account when making a custody determination. Military divorce lawyers can be a huge advocate during this process.
What Does a Military Divorce Attorney Do?
Due to the unique nature of military life, certain issues are unique to military divorces. A military divorce attorney is familiar with these issues and can help you navigate the divorce process.
Some of the issues that a military divorce attorney can help you with include child custody, property division, spousal support, and retirement pay. If you are going through a military divorce, it is important to have an attorney who is familiar with the process and can help you protect your rights.
If you have any questions about the military divorce process or if you need help with your divorce, please contact Hecht Family Law. We are a family law firm that has experience in military divorce. We can help you with all aspects of your divorce, from property division to child custody. Contact us today at (470) 291-5342 to schedule a consultation with our lawyers.