military divorce lawyers


Military retirement is complex. It can be costly to approach a military divorce with an attorney who is unfamiliar with the nuances of military retirement and disability. Once a divorce is final, it is very difficult to change the terms. Tully Rinckey PLLC’s military divorce attorneys are knowledgeable, experienced and able to assist service members or their spouses. Call us today.

support to be calculated to be kind of a Band-Aid until the final numbers are calculated, until the final divorce is drawn. And this is called temporary child support. A military parent can do the same thing. Military parents could go to the court and say, we’re in the middle of a divorce I would like some child support calculated. But what the military parent has that the civilian parent doesn’t have is the military on their own can order the service member spouse to start paying support to the nonce service member spouse.

Parent has, you know, less than 50 percent time. And as you pointed out, divorces could go many months. Sadly, many years. So what happens while that divorce is going on? These are called temporary orders. The parent, either parent could go to the court and file what’s called a motion for temporary orders and asks for some temporary child

In essence, the chain of command itself is making a temporary order that can be done. Ironically, sometimes that number is lower than what the civilian court would calculate, the regular family court. So before that, I’ll say financially dependent spouse.


When electing SBP coverage, the service member chooses a “base amount.”  This base amount can be as high as 100% of the member’s retired pay or any amount down to as low as $300.  The Plan pays 55% of the selected “base amount” to the beneficiary.  For those retiring from active duty the cost of SBP is 6.5% of the base amount; for Guard/Reserve retirees, it’s about 10% of the base. This premium is deducted from the member’s retired pay.  

Let me rephrase that more accurately, that the parent that’s making less money is entitled to child support, even if it’s equal parenting time. The parent that makes less money is entirely up to child support. Obviously, if there’s equal parenting time, the child support is less then than the parent who’s paying child support.

So, before filing a divorce in any state, you need to know how that state might handle your divorce and the division of the military pension. If you are in Los Angeles, California contact a Boyd Law family lawyer in LA for help with your divorce. It is often the case that military clients are stationed in California rather than natives of the state. You must reside in California for at least six months to file for a contested or uncontested divorce in the state. One of the parties must currently live in California.

They might want to see what the civilian number, for lack of a better word, what the civilian number would be. And that’s usually the better way of doing it, is doing it through the civilian court, the family court. They’re set up to do it. They can calculate it quickly, even though divorces take a long time. We can usually get a temporary orders hearing done pretty quickly so that that is the one other difference that a military parent might have that civilian parents don’t have.

*You cannot order DFAS to shift the premium to the other spouse, but a change in the percentage or amount granted by court order for pension division can, in effect, shift the premium costs to the other party. The parties may agree to a direct reimbursement for the cost of SBP also, or the court may order this.

Can I get custody of my children while on active duty? When considering time-sharing arrangements for children, Florida courts will always prioritize the best interest of the child, no matter if one of the parents is on active duty or not. While it can be difficult for a child to suffer the parental absences required by military duty, you still have parental responsibilities and a basic right to see your child. Because your military service will always be considered a key factor in time-sharing arrangements, however, it’s important to review your case with a qualified lawyer who can protect your rights.

These are complicated issues that civilians simply do not encounter. Tully Rinckey PLLC’s military divorce attorneys can represent service members or their non-military spouses in New York, Texas, California and Washington, D.C. If you are located elsewhere, we can advise your matrimonial and family law attorney on the unique nuances of military child custody issues. We can help you navigate the complex issues surrounding child custody and child support for military families. Call us today.

Many service members train in the field for extended periods or are deployed overseas often enough to have no real ability to maintain a parenting schedule. The question for these military parents is whether they really want to devote resources to obtaining equal parenting time and joint legal decision-making knowing there will be no continuity to their parenting. The court considers a parent’s ability to provide a stable home for the child. The service member should carefully consider what custody orders are reasonable, even possible, when active duty and deployment are controlling circumstances. This is an important discussion to have with an experienced military divorce attorney. What can parents do to arrange temporary custody during deployment? One option is filing consent orders transferring custody prior to deployment. Before the service member mobilizes, seek a consent order transferring custody to the civilian parent for the duration of deployment. Even when divorce is pending, this can be the better option for the child. The order is based on an agreement between the parties to transfer custody to the other parent before mobilization and transfer custody back after mobilization ends. When the service member returns, the child is immediately returned to him or her. The consent order would include a description of the deployment circumstances necessitating the custody transfer and a date when the service member expects to return. So this does not inadvertently become a permanent custody transfer, discuss it with an attorney.

Contact Military Divorce Attorneys Serving St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Wichita, Tulsa and BeyondDivorce is hard and with a spouse in the military, it can be even harder. We have articles that may help you during your military divorce: My spouse is in the military. How does that affect my divorce?, Residence and jurisdiction in military divorce, and Why you should seek legal advice for your military divorce.If you’re looking to hire a military divorce attorney, contact us online or by phone to schedule a confidential consultation at any of our convenient locations.

You will not find a better family law attorney than Steven Wall! I had a very ugly, long drawn out divorce/custody battle and an ex that continued for years to harass me both personally and through the courts. Steve represented me diligently and with great integrity. There were many times I felt hopeless and so beaten down emotionally that I wanted to give up. Steve kept me going. He could see the truth and he fought for me. I will be forever grateful. He is an honest, ethical, and a truly caring man. I could not be happier!!

Excellent – I highly recommend Kimberly Anderson. She is knowledgeable, assertive, and experienced. What impressed me most about Kim is her dedication. I was able to reach her whenever there was a problem. She always responded immediately, proposed a solution, and put me at ease. The entire legal team at Anderson & Boback is superb. Lisa

She’s a Winner – Nichol was the calmest person in the courtroom; she was very natural and at ease. Nichol can think on her feet and communicate effectively while under pressure. Our opposing attorney was a bully and very dramatic, but Nichol never flinched. She is very compassionate, too, and I hope she never loses that.

A: Unless your agreement specifies otherwise, DFAS will take the cost right out of your retired pay. Since the survivor benefits are for your ex-wife’s benefit, your divorce decree should specify that she is responsible for paying the cost of the survivor benefits.

It’s worth noting that service members on active duty have some protections against court proceedings. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), for example, service members are protected from default judgment and can apply for a “stay” — a temporary halt — of any civil action, including child custody proceedings, which are initiated against them while on active duty or within 90 days from their release from active duty.

★★★★★ Absolute pro! If you need a Lawyer that truly understand law and can answer any question you present him with, Mr. Clay is your man! I am extremely happy to have him represent me! Picking a lawyer is like picking a real estate agent. So many, so it can be hard but let me tell you I am 100% happy that I picked him and I will forever use him in the future and recommended him to anyone in the San Antonio area that is looking for legal representation. P. Martinez

The law affords certain protections for military couples and caters to their special needs and circumstances. Because service members are often stationed in other states or countries, for instance, the residency and filing requirements merit special consideration. State law determines whether the court has jurisdiction (power) over the spouses in a divorce to hear the case. Federal and state laws both affect whether the court may divide the service member’s military retirement.

Our Southern California military divorce attorneys are highly experienced in these types of cases. We understand military family law and how to effectively and efficiently represent clients facing the military divorce process. With offices in Anaheim, Palm Desert, Riverside, and Temecula, we represent military men and women across all of Southern California.

According to federal law, the state of the legal residence of the military member always has the power to divide the military pension in a divorce. Therefore, if the non-military spouse files for divorce in a state that is his or her legal residence and not the legal residence of the spouse, the court might not have the authority to divide the pension.

You know, they get involved, like you said, they might just write those orders up and and make sure that if someone’s going to be behind in child support, they might just attach the wages for you. And there’s a lot of things that the military will do to make sure that they have honorable people in their midst that are working for them and that everything stays above board. I mean, do you find that to be true as well? Yes, I agree. I agree. I think as we touched on before, there are so many stressors to a military family.

On the other hand, in a contested divorce case, service of process is required. A person authorized to deliver legal documents must do so in accordance with the laws of the state where the person is located. If the military member is overseas, service of process gets complicated. Again, in my many years of practice I have never been forced to serve a military member out of the country. Once reconciled to the fact that their spouse wants to dissolve the marriage, common sense takes over and they do what is necessary to make the process go as smoothly and cost effectively as possible.

Because a military divorce requires special knowledge of laws that don’t apply to civilian divorces, it’s wise to speak with a divorce lawyer who is familiar with military divorce cases. An experienced, local divorce attorney can help you understand the different laws that may apply to your situation, your rights as member of the armed forces, and more.

In an uncontested dissolution, formal service of process (i.e., when a sheriff or process server personally hands the papers to the party or a resident where he/she resides that is over the age of 15) is not necessary. Why? Because you and your spouse have agreed how to resolve all issues over which Florida has jurisdiction and have executed and filed all required documents.

Most people going through a military divorce have no idea what may happen. They worry about the legal system, and their pre-conceived notions are not always correct. At Family Law San Diego, we believe in talking honestly with clients, so that they know exactly what to expect when facing a family law conflict.

Impressive – Had to commend Ms. Anderson. Although I was represented by someone else in the beginning of my divorce, who I believed was experienced in complex divorce cases, as they advertised. They were not. I watched Ms. Anderson in a courtroom on another matter and called her afterward to see if she would take on my divorce case as I was unsatisfied with my attorney’s representation. The Best call I ever made! I wish I had called her first, would have saved myself much aggravation, time and money.

You are welcome. So what I am told is that in your past, you were in the military and in fact, the National Guard. Can you tell us a little bit of that? Is that why you decided to specialize in this type of law?

But usually that area of concern is with the military retirement on military retirement. I like to say it is full of minefields. So it is better having an attorney that is more familiar with military marriages, military divorces, military assets than an attorney that doesn’t have that experience.

Every military divorce will have its challenges, whether filed in Arizona or some other jurisdiction. Contested or uncontested, the divorce process can be stressful and very emotional. Preparing for court proceedings, obtaining legal representation, having a legal strategy, knowing your rights and responsibilities, these will all go a long way toward obtaining the best possible results in your military divorce. Contact us.

Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. > Military Divorce San Antonio Military Divorce Attorneys Military divorces are subject to greater scrutiny and regulation than their civilian counterparts. While regular divorce only falls under the state’s jurisdiction, a military divorce will be looked at by both state and federal courts. There are special rules and requirements that make a military divorce a substantially different experience than a non-military one. For example, one may have to travel back to their home of record for a court to be able to grant a divorce, while civilians can just travel to the court where they live. To this end, the effect such a divorce has on one’s life also varies from those going through a traditional divorce, and can also introduce overwhelming stress and hardship. At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., we understand important and highly specific factors are involved in military divorces. An example of one of these factors is how military pensions or base reassignments play into such the divorce discussions. A smooth transition into your new life requires professional and knowledgeable legal representation, and you’d benefit from Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. attorneys’ experience with military personnel. Do not enter divorce proceedings unprepared—hire a San Antonio military divorce lawyer today. Contact us at 349-9933 to get the legal assistance you need. Military Divorce – The Details The benefits that members of the Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Army receive often represent a crucial part of all military divorce cases. Whether resolving issues related to GI Bill benefits, military pensions, or military health insurance, proper legal representation is absolutely necessary to defend your rights. At the Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., we handle a range of military divorce benefits, including but not limited to: Military Retirement Division – During the divorce proceedings, it is important to talk about pensions and how they will be will be handled, even if neither of the individuals involved is close to retirement age. You should discuss the Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act, regardless of which side of the table you are on. Military Custody Issues – Custody issues are always a complex matter, and they are often even more complex when base reassignments or deployment must be considered. Make sure to hire a legal team that understands the particular requirements when it comes to military service and custody resolution. Without professional legal support, you may lose your home or ability to support your family because of your divorce. Divorce proceedings are naturally emotional and volatile cases and, in this aspect especially, military divorce is no different. While dealing with the emotional toll a divorce takes on you personally, let the attorneys at the Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. take care of the legal details. Military Divorce – The Details In a divorce where one or two spouses are in the military, a service member’s pension may be divided among the individuals involved. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA) provides a federal statute for the military and guides them to accept state statutes on addressing issues such as military retirement pension, child support and spousal support. Military couples should be knowledgeable about the role of USFSPA. For example, the USFSPA permits the states to classify military retired pay as property, rather than as income. Furthermore, it allows for up to 50% of the benefits to go to the service member’s spouse. Even if retirement is not in one or both spouse’s immediate future, military pension needs to be discussed while in a divorce proceeding. Additionally, the USFSPA does not automatically entitle a former spouse to a portion of the member’s retired pay. The former spouse must have been awarded a portion of that member’s military retired pay as property in their final divorce order. Also, for orders that are dividing retired pay as property to be enforced under the USFSPA, a member and former spouse need to have been married to each other for 10 years or more, during which the member performed at least 10 years of military service creditable toward retirement eligibility (10/10 rule). The amount of military pension that is divided upon is based on a formula that may be expressed in dollars or as a percentage of the member’s retirement pay. Courts are not required to divide military pay, so it is especially important to contact a qualified attorney lawyer to discuss the essential details of your divorce as soon as possible. At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., our San Antonio military retirement division attorneys will work hard to help you get the outcome that you deserve, with the least amount of difficulty in your life. Please call our San Antonio office at 349-9933 to discuss your case today. The rules of child custody can be very complex, especially when one or more parent is in the military. When the court must also consider potential deployments or base reassignments, the process can be tedious when considering many hypothetical situations. Our family law attorneys at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. can lead you through these uncertainties in child custody, while maintaining the best interests of the child and your custody concerns. In any situation where both parents are military members or if a military parent has sole custody, a ‘family care plan’ is required. This plan is to determine what will happen to the child or children of military members in the case of deployment. The family care plans must include a short-term caretaker, a long-term caretaker and care provision details. The short-term caretaker is someone you trust to care for your child if you are gone for less than 30 days, while a long-term caretaker would be required for any military deployment of longer than 30 days. The care provision details would refer to the general instructions on how to specifically care for the child or children. A military divorce attorney can be of great assistance if you are in the process of creating a family care plan. This plan is a legal document that determines the type of care for the child, in the event of deployment of one or both parents. Important Statistics According to an April 2017 article on, about 2.6 percent of married male troops divorced last year, remaining unchanged since 2013, while the rate among female service members climbed from 6.2 percent in 2015 to 6.6 percent in 2016. The largest changes were in the female enlisted troops, traditionally showing rates more than double of the male enlisted troops. For instance, 2.8 of male enlisted soldiers divorced over 2016, compared to 8 percent of female enlisted soldiers. Further, the Marine Corps showed an overall divorce increase in 2016, with male Marines showing a jump from 2.3 percent to 2.8 percent. The female Marines showed a 6.4 percent to 7.7 percent. According to Benjamin Karney, a researcher with RAND Corp. who has studied military divorce, this could demonstrate outside pressures upon marriages in the Marine Corps, for both the male and female troops. With the stress of deployments and being away from spouses, military families are unique in their struggles to maintain a family unit. Most states have statutory provisions in place that address the rights of military parents when it comes to custody and visitation. However, with increases in deployment of the military over the last decade, there has been an increase in custody and visitation issues involving military parents. It is important to note that while some states have statutes and rules dealing with deployed parent custody and visitation issues, there are some gaps in protections for military parents involved in custody and visitation proceedings. For detailed information on the UDPCVA, it is important to consult a trained attorney who can advise you in these matters. In a U.S. Supreme Court decision on May 15, 2017, the court ruled that state courts cannot order veterans to pay divorced spouses for the loss of his or her retirement pay caused by service-related disability benefits. The ruling on Howell v. Howell clarified that disability pay is not divisible as community property. As you can see, laws are changing and it takes the knowledge and skill of a licensed attorney to assist in these types of military divorce proceedings. Contact a San Antonio Military Divorce Attorney Today When considering divorce, the attorneys at the Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. are in a strong position to guide you through each step of the process. Contact a San Antonio Military Divorce attorney at the Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. today by calling 349-9933 and speaking with an expert legal representative with years of experience handling military divorce cases. When embarking on the arduous and painful divorce process, protect yourself by hiring a trained legal representative.

Facing Military Divorce?You’ve come to the right place. Divorce involving a military spouse can be more complicated than divorce for civilians, an experienced military divorce attorney can help.Use FindLaw to hire a local military divorce lawyer to work with you on issues like community property division, debt allocation, military retirement plan divisions, military benefit divisions, child custody and support, alimony, and tax considerations.

What about preparation of a QDRO (qualified domestics relations order) to divide certain assets? How is retirement pay calculated and who makes that calculation? As for preparation of the QDRO, military or not, it is a highly complex and technical document. Most lawyers are ill equipped to deal with preparation of a QDRO and, for that reason, refer clients to outside experts. Yes, there is an additional cost (sometimes divided by the parties and usually around $500.00) but is well worth it to make sure the QDRO is prepared properly and will be accepted by the military and/or plan administrator.

Our attorneys understand that military service can bring unique problems and high stress for both the service member and his or her spouse. We provide an empathetic, compassionate environment to discuss your problems. For more information on military divorce, contact our military divorce lawyers in Houston for a discussion of your case.