Military Divorce

Federal Employee Divorce

One of the most substantial considerations in a divorce involving a federal employee is the division of retirement benefits. In an equitable distribution state like Virginia, spouses must split their marital estate equitably in divorce, but not necessarily equally.

This includes retirement benefits that accumulated during the course of the marriage, but many federal retirement plans have strict rules regarding vesting, accumulation, and distribution. Failure to adhere to the strict rules surrounding federal retirement benefits can result in serious tax and financial consequences. If you use a lawyer without experience in federal employee divorce cases, you could risk severe penalties and other issues with your retirement benefits.

Property division, alimony, and child support may also be affected in a federal employee divorce. Pay grades, advancement schedules, and accumulated leave may all factor into negotiations during a federal employee divorce, and you need a lawyer who has experience with it all.

Federal employees who have children may face additional issues in their divorce if the federal position could result in a transfer to another office or division. We can craft a parenting plan that maximizes the amount of time that you spend with your child and create a custody schedule that best fits the unique needs of your family.

Military Divorce Considerations

Military divorce comes with its own unique challenges, especially if one or both spouses are on active duty. Procedurally, military families need to check that they meet the residency requirement before filing for divorce in Virginia. If the spouse not filing is on active duty, serving notice of the divorce petition can be difficult.

There are laws that protect military spouses from default judgments in divorce in these situations as well as provisions that allow for a stay of proceedings until that spouse returns from active duty.

Child custody and support also require special consideration. This is particularly true if one or both spouses are transferred to another base or deployed on active duty. This may include discussions about sole or joint custody, the allocation of legal and physical custody, visitation schedules, travel arrangements, and more. Once the divorce is finalized, our office can continue to assist clients of military divorce with modifications to a parenting plan as relocation or deployment occurs.

Military divorce also requires special considerations for retirement and benefits. The Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) entitles a non-military spouse to a share of these benefits if certain requirements are met, and military pensions also come with their own rules on distribution in divorce cases.

Legal Experience You Can Trust

At Select Law Partners, PLLC our office has the knowledge and experience you need to manage the special considerations that come with your military or federal employee divorce. We pride ourselves on our transparency and open communication with clients.

Sarah Goding has successfully facilitated federal and military divorce cases through alternative dispute resolution methods. This includes divorce mediation and collaborative divorce. If your case demands it, we handle complex divorce litigation as well.

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