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military divorce
Military Divorce

Military Divorce Lawyers in Chicago

Special rules and regulations apply to a military divorce with separate and distinct laws governing the division of military retirement pay when either you or your spouse are members of the armed services. If you or your spouse serve in the armed forces and are considering divorce, you need a military divorce attorney who understands the process and accompanying rules regarding divorce involving soldiers.

While the same requirements for at least 90 days of residency in Illinois apply to a military divorce, active duty spouses are granted legal protection during the time of active service. An Illinois court may postpone divorce proceedings under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act while the service member is away on active duty and up to 60 days after active duty ends.

Learn more from our articles on special rules applying to divorce of military service members with the results that you desire.

Special Rules Apply to Your Military Divorce

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) outlines the specific rules applying to issues that arise during the divorce of a military service member and their spouse. Issues addressed include the spouse of the service member’s eligibility for continued commissary, healthcare benefits, and one of the largest assets in the military divorce, the service members retirement pension. The former spouse of a service member is not automatically eligible to a portion of the military retirement pension under the USFSPA, this must be determined and ordered during the divorce.

This is why it is vitally important to speak with your military divorce lawyer early in the process to understand your rights and obligations.

Military divorce involves unique challenges and legal issues distinct from civilian divorces, primarily due to the implications of military service on the divorce proceedings. Here are some frequently asked questions about military divorce and military divorce attorneys:

Military divorces involve specific federal and state laws that address military benefits, pension distribution, and issues related to deployment and residency requirements for filing for divorce. These factors can complicate divorce proceedings, making them different from civilian divorces.

The choice of where to file can be complicated in military divorces due to frequent relocations. Generally, you can file for divorce in the state where the military member is stationed, where the member claims legal residency, or where the non-military spouse resides.

Military pensions are subject to division between spouses under the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). The division is not automatic and must be ordered in the divorce decree. The “10-year rule” provides a guideline for direct payment from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), meaning the couple must have been married for at least 10 years during which the military member performed at least 10 years of creditable service.

The 20/20/20 rule refers to benefits a non-military spouse may be eligible to receive if the marriage lasted at least 20 years, the military member has at least 20 years of creditable service, and there was at least a 20-year overlap of marriage and military service. Eligible spouses can retain benefits like medical care and commissary and exchange privileges.

Child support and alimony calculations in military divorces follow state guidelines but must also consider military allowances and benefits as part of the service member’s total compensation. The military also enforces support obligations rigorously, and failure to pay can result in disciplinary action against the service member.

Deployment can affect custody arrangements, but the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides protections that can delay court proceedings due to deployment. Long-term planning and temporary custody arrangements can be made to accommodate a parent’s absence due to military obligations.

While not mandatory, it is highly advisable to work with an attorney who specializes in military divorces. They understand the specific legal requirements and complexities involved, such as dividing military pensions, handling custody issues across different jurisdictions, and dealing with housing and benefits issues.

Look for an attorney who has specific experience and knowledge in military family law, understands the nuances of military benefits and pensions, and is familiar with the jurisdictional challenges posed by military life. An attorney with experience in both federal and state laws affecting military personnel will be particularly valuable.

The duration of a military divorce can vary based on factors like the complexity of the case, the jurisdiction in which the divorce is filed, and whether the military spouse is deployed. Deployments and military obligations can sometimes delay proceedings.

If a military spouse is deployed, the SCRA allows for the postponement of divorce proceedings to ensure that the rights of the military member are not infringed upon. This means that a divorce can be delayed until after the service member returns from deployment.

Deciding which state to file your divorce in could have the greatest impact on your settlement as that state will have jurisdiction, in addition to adhering to special military rules. Some military members decide to file in the state they are stationed in rather than the state they pay taxes in. It is important to speak with your military divorce attorney to understand the implications of your decisions.

Top Military Divorce Attorneys to Help with Your Military Divorce

As top military divorce attorneys in Chicago, you can count on Anderson Boback & Marshall to navigate the complexities of a military divorce. We are here to fight for your rights while you are busy fighting for the rights and freedoms of all Americans.  A divorce is an emotional and stressful time for anyone, soldiers and their spouses experience additional stresses and pressures. Contact an experienced military divorce lawyer to provide answers to your questions and help to relieve stress and uncertainty.

If spousal maintenance or child support is a factor in your divorce, the division of military pension is also governed under a separate and unique set of laws. While child support guidelines for the state of Illinois are generally followed for a military divorce, our family law attorneys are experienced with both the laws governing divorce in the state of Illinois and special circumstances applying to those in the military.

We help you navigate through the military divorce litigation and explain the process to you, helping you to understand your unique circumstances. Anderson Boback & Marshall will work with you to develop a plan to make the best decisions for your family going forward.

Kimberly Anderson and Jessica Marshall

Anderson Boback & Marshall are family law and divorce attorneys with experience and concentration on helping servicemen and women navigate through the divorce process. We understand the stresses and pressures of the typical divorce and the added pressures of active duty. Contact us today for skilled legal representation and guidance through your military divorce.

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