Military families are just like regular civilian families, having to deal with a lot of the same issues and challenges, in addition to extra ones such as constant relocation as the spouse currently serving is transferred from station to station. As such, when a couple decides they wish to divorce, there are a few differences in the process that could impact the way your case proceeds, particularly around a number of important issues.
In order to be able to file for divorce under Californian jurisdiction, you or your spouse must either reside in California, or you or your spouse must be stationed in California. Those serving at McLellan or Beale Air Force Bases should keep that in mind.
Child Support & Alimony
In California military divorces, child support and alimony payments are restricted to being no more than 60% of an active military member’s pay and allowances. The worksheets and formulas normally used to determine these amounts are still used, but with a cap on this 60% amount.
Serving Your Spouse
Serving an active member of the military is required, and must include both the summons and a copy of the divorce action. According to the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, a divorce proceeding may be delayed for the entire duration of an active military member’s duty and up to 60 days after.
It is possible to waive this in the instance of an uncontested divorce by filing a waiver with the court allowing the proceeding to continue while you continue your service.
Both of these options prevent an active service member from being held in “default” from failing to respond to a divorce summons.
The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act governs how military pensions and retirement benefits are distributed during a divorce. This also the governing body that authorizes a direct payment of a portion of a retired military member’s retirement benefits to a former spouse. However, federal laws also do not divide or distribute retirement benefits to a spouse unless they have been married for 10 years or more.
If you need assistance with a military divorce, the Rocklin family attorneys at the Law Offices of Keegan & Myers, P.C. With more than 25 years of combined experience and a family law mediator who has been Board Certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization on staff, our firm has the knowledge and skill you need to navigate through your divorce case.Schedule your consultation with the Law Offices of Keegan & Myers, P.C. today by dialing (916) 634-0067.