By Akron, Ohio area attorney, Jeffrey V. Hawkins, of the law firm Slater & Zurz LLP.
Like everyone else, members of the United States Armed Forces are often faced with divorce, dissolution and other family law matters. However, a military divorce poses issues that are not encountered with civilian divorces.
These are just a few examples of the questions a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines should be asking:
- Does the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act apply?
- Can a person who is serving in the military be subject to a civil divorce action?
- How or when does a military pension become part of marital property that will be subject to division in a divorce or dissolution?
- What military allowances are and are not factored into the determination of child support and/or spousal support?
- What special needs are required in addressing the custody and visitation of children by a military member serving overseas?
The Soldier and Sailors Civil Relief Act will not apply unless it is specifically raised by the military member during the course of the divorce litigation.
Further, as a general rule, a military pension is subject to equitable division only if the husband and wife were married for at least ten years and the military member has been in the service for at least ten years. This is commonly referred to at the 10-10 rule.
As a general rule, a military member’s child support is based not only on his income as reflected in his annual W-2, but also other allowances that are not subject to taxation, such as an living allowance and/or housing allowance.
Lastly, if a soldier, sailor, airman or marine is serving outside of the United States, the court will take that fact into consideration when preparing both a custody order and a visitation order. Any aspect of a child whose parents are divorcing is premised on what is in the best interests of the child.
These are the types of issues that need to be addressed when a member of the U.S. military is seeking a divorce or who has been served divorce papers.
Due to the complexity of these issues, it can be very helpful to seek the guidance and counsel of an Ohio attorney who is experienced with the military aspects of a divorce, dissolution or domestic relations matter.
This article was written by Akron, Ohio area attorney Jeffrey V. Hawkins of the law firm Slater & Zurz LLP. If you live in the northeast Ohio area and wish to schedule a free consultation to discuss your divorce or family law matter, please call 1-800-297-9191 or visit www.dissolutionanddivorce.com. Slater & Zurz LLP has extensive experience with a wide variety of divorce, dissolution and other domestic relations matters, including military divorces.
For family law matters in the Columbus, Ohio area, please contact or e-mail the Law Offices of William L. Geary Co, L.P.A. or call us at (614) 289-1227