San Diego Military Divorce Lawyers
Divorce in the Military
The challenges of active duty can be difficult on a military couple. The physical separation that deployment causes may lay the ground for divorce. Many military families worry about issues such as being out of the country when divorce is filed, child custody, and property division. Our divorce attorneys have more than 35 years of experience helping military families navigate the divorce process. Call today to schedule a consultation with one of our San Diego military family law lawyers at (858) 458-9500.
Experienced In Handling Military Divorce Issues
At Huguenor Mattis, A.P.C., our lawyers have extensive experience in assisting military families through the process. This is true whether you are filing for a contested divorce or an uncontested divorce. Having an attorney who understands how California divorce laws apply to military pensions, housing allowances, and deployment issues can make the difference between your divorce being handled correctly or incorrectly.
Frequently Asked Questions About Military Divorce
Q: Are there differences between a military and a civilian divorce?
A: The answer, in theory, is no. The basic requirements for a divorce are the same, whether or not one or both spouses are in the military. The first thing you have to know is that California is a no-fault state, meaning that either spouse is able to file for divorce for any reason. Also, either you or your spouse must be a legal resident of California (and have been for at least six months) to file for divorce in California.
The form you will need to fill out is the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, which must be filed in your county’s superior court. If your spouse is stationed outside the state, he or she does not have to be in the state when you submit your petition. The main requirement is that you must notify your spouse of the divorce proceedings, even if he or she is stationed overseas.
Q: How can I serve divorce papers to my spouse stationed overseas?
A: Serving a spouse with divorce papers can be a challenge (even for estranged spouses in the same city). For spouses stationed out of state, you can serve them by mail with a Notice and Acknowledgement of Receipt, or in person with a process server or sheriff.
For a spouse stationed overseas, it can be more complicated. The first step would be to contact the office of the base commander to determine whether that location is able to receive certified mail. They will be able to inform you of what official channel you may need to go through to serve your spouse with divorce papers.
Q: How will military assets be calculated for the purposes of a divorce?
A: One of the most complicated aspects of a military divorce is a spouse’s military pension, benefits, and other assets. All life insurance, medical insurance, housing, and other benefits that come with being in the military count as income, which often gets overlooked. When it comes to spousal and/or child support, it’s absolutely imperative that an accurate assessment be made of both spouses’ income.
Another consideration is that there is a ten-year minimum for military entitlements. That means if you proceed with a divorce before ten years of marriage, you will not have access to retirement pay and other benefits. In such a situation, it may be advisable to hold off on filing for divorce, especially if you are close to reaching the ten-year mark.
Q: How will child custody get resolved when one spouse is stationed abroad?
A: If you have children together and one spouse is in the military, working out custody issues is vital. Not only must you establish who will have custody and when for periods of deployment and when the military spouse is at home, but you must also have contingency plans in place for a variety of possible outcomes, including death in combat. This becomes doubly necessary if both parents are in the military.
Because of the complicated nature of military divorces, we highly recommend that you consult an experienced military divorce lawyer to have your specific questions answered.
Certified Family Law Specialist Applying His Expertise To San Diego Military Divorces
Thomas Huguenor is one of the few attorneys in San Diego who has been recognized as a family law specialist by the California State Bar. Tom's expertise will allow him to approach your military divorce case with an understanding of complex issues which many attorneys lack. Making sure all matters are properly understood is key to your case; your divorce can have lasting repercussions on your military career and the rest of your life. Do not risk your future to a less experienced attorney. Huguenor Mattis, A.P.C., focuses on family so you can focus on the future. Contact us at (858) 458-9500 today.