military family lawyer


Legal Representation From Former Service Members Legally and practically speaking, military families live in a different world than those families who aren’t affiliated with military service. When matters boil over in military families, you need a lawyer with experience in the ways the military works who understands the subtleties of how divorce or legal conflict can impact your professional career. Civilians aren’t subject to the UCMJ. They don’t have branch-specific instructions and guidance on how to conduct themselves during divorce proceedings and their jobs usually don’t require Family Care Plans. For the most part, civilians don’t have to worry about the interplay between security clearance and job role/mission. When a military member or their spouse is seeking to dissolve a marriage, or a military parent is in a dispute over their kids, the world needs to be viewed through a very different lens.

Military Members: Thank You-You have served and defended our country with honor…now allow us to do the same for you.Active duty military personnel have unique family law issues that require an experienced attorney. Between overseas divorce, the establishment of paternity involving out of state service members, and the potential high conflict regarding custody of minor children, military families require special assistance through their family law matters.For military personnel stationed out of the area, it is even more important to have representation from an attorney who can effectively communicate with clients and give them timely updates regarding their case, regardless of whether the client lives down the street or in another country.The Law Office of Cristin M. Lowe prides itself on using the latest technology in order to provide exceptional customer service to clients. Virtual servers allow for simultaneous viewing of your court documents in real time, and emails are delivered at the same speed whether you’re a few miles away at Travis Air Force base, or thousands of miles overseas. Equally important is our firm’s commitment and dedication to protecting the rights of military personnel.Coming from a strong family military background, Attorney Cristin M. Lowe knows the sacrifice and dedication it takes to serve our country. As such, she strives to express her gratitude for their service by returning the favor to the firm’s military clients, including a free initial consultation and a 25% discount off of the typical hourly rate.

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.

If the servicemember spouse filed for divorce in another state and the civilian-respondent was served in Arizona, can the civilian spouse file for divorce in Arizona after having been served already? Yes. The jurisdictional rules for Arizona require a party to have lived in the state for 90 consecutive days and any minor child to have lived in the state for six consecutive months. The rules for military members getting divorced can be different, though. A service member can typically file in his or her state of domicile even when that is not the place where the service member has lived recently. ARS § 25-312. A service member need not be stationed at Luke Air Force Base, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, David Monthan Air Force Base, Camp Navajo Army Base, or Fort Huachuca Army Base for a military divorce to be filed in Arizona. Stewart Law Group provides representation in family law and divorce cases filed in Arizona where clients are stationed here, in other states, or outside the U.S. or overseas.    


Go to the Armed Forces Legal Assistance website. This site contains a locator based on zip code. Even if you do not live close to military installations, start with the locator. There may be a smaller legal assistance office nearby which you are unaware of. If there are no legal assistance offices near you, consider contacting a local legal clinic, which are often sponsored by law schools and offer free legal services to military personnel. Another option is to contact your local legal aid office or your local bar association to see if either offer free or low cost services to military personnel. Finally, find out if your state attorney general’s office provides free civil legal services to military personnel. You can check out the state-by-state listings of such programs on our Directory of Programs.

Referred by friend, very glad she did – I had been through 2 previous attorneys in my case that was approaching 3 years. I left both who were dumbfounded and ill-equipped to provide effective legal strategy and forward thinking. Thank God a good friend referred me to Jan who gave me confidence, stuck to our strategy, executed a direct game plan and came out of a difficult situation with multiple victories. Definitely a must hire for you in your most difficult situations. Matt

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.

So now the child. Well, we, my parents let me move to Georgia. But now my parent is moving to Korea. Now, where am I going to go? Am I going to stay in Georgia or am I going to go back to Phoenix? So those issues are unique to military families. But in general, the whole issue of relocation is very similar to a civilian family, just the frequency that is the issue. In general, they want to keep things as stable as possible for the child.

Military Family Law Representation Our law firm assists military personnel, military spouses, and military families in a variety of divorce and family law matters: N Child Support Determining child support can be more challenging in a military divorce or for non-married parents. Our law firm can help you navigate the military child support process, ensuring that your child’s best interests are being served. We can also assist with modifying child support if a reduction or increase of child support is warranted. N Child Custody Because military personnel frequently relocate, establishing a workable child custody plan can be a challenge. Our lawyers can help identify a child custody and visitation arrangement that serves the best interests of the child or children involved. N Alimony/Spousal Support There are special rules applying to awards of alimony, or spousal maintenance, in a divorce involving military personnel. We can protect your financial interests whether you are seeking alimony or being asked to pay it. We also assist with modifications of spousal support. N Property Division We assist with the division of military pension benefits and other military benefits, as well as other marital property. We understand the challenges of deployment, and strive to make our legal services convenient for you no matter where you are located. We are often able to communicate solely via e-mail or over the phone with our client.

Home Practice Areas Family Law Military Divorce Military Divorce San Antonio, Texas divorce lawyer J. Michael Clay has successfully represented military service members and military spouses involved in divorce cases and other family law proceedings in Bexar County, Texas, and in surrounding counties. Divorce suits and other matters involving military service members, and/or their spouses and/or former spouses, present special challenges and require detailed knowledge of Texas divorce law and federal law on the part of the attorney for a service member and/or military spouse or former spouse. J. Michael Clay has the knowledge, skill and experience to represent military service members in divorce and all other types of family law cases.The primary issues which often come up in divorces involving military service members are:Retirement issues, including SBP elections, and other issues;Computation of child support obligations;Unique child custody and visitation issues in the case of overseas deployment or TDY; andInvocation of rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.Military retirement is the single most misunderstood issue by military clients. Many service members mistakenly believe that his or her spouse is not entitled to any share of the service member’s military retirement unless the parties have been married for at least 10 years. This is simply not true. Whether or not military retirement benefits, or any portion thereof, is divisible as community property is left up to the individual states, subject to certain limitations. For example, federal law provides that VA disability benefits are NOT subject to being divided as community property. Federal law also provides that the Department of Defense cannot pay the non-service member spouse directly unless the parties were married for 10 years or longer, during which time the service member served 10 years of more active duty. The survivor benefit plan election is another very misunderstood element of military retirement, and should be thoroughly discussed and explained by the divorce attorney to the client.The invocation of rights under the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is very important and prevalent when the country is at war, as well as when it is not. The SCRA is federal law which protects service members from being unfairly treated when they are unable to attend court proceedings due to deployment which prevents them from being granted leave to attend such hearings. Any service member who is deployed overseas should ask that this law be explained thoroughly and completely by his or her divorce lawyer.Enforcement issues regarding military retirement arise most often when a service member begins receiving retirement and the former spouse is not receiving her share of that retired directly from DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service). It is usually very difficult for either party to determine exactly how much, if any, the retired service member is required to pay to the former spouse, and litigation often results. There are some very important filing deadlines of which it is critical for the former spouse and retired servicemember to be aware. If a former spouse waits too long to bring an enforcement suit after a service member retires, he/she may give up his or her rights to a substantial amount of benefits. For this reason, it is important for a former spouse to be aware of a retired servicemember’s retirement date and to consult an attorney immediately if he or she believes the retired servicemember is receiving benefits and not paying the appropriate share to the former spouse. Conversely, it is important for the retired servicemember to determine exactly how much he or she should be paying the former spouse, if anything, to avoid being in violation of the order.J. Michael Clay has the experience, knowledge and skill necessary to successfully represent military service member clients. J. Michael Clay is highly experienced in working out amicable solutions to military divorce issues and other family law proceedings involving military service members, including child custody, child support, enforcement, modification, and adoption issues. The Law Office of J. Michael Clay crafts plans to protect the rights of military service members and/or their spouses. We work with our clients and the Texas courts to assist our clients and find the solutions that are right for them. In the event that amicable solutions are simply not possible, J. Michael Clay also has the knowledge, experience, and aggressiveness necessary to effectively represent military clients in court.J. Michael Clay represents both in-state and out-of-state clients. In fact, the Law Office of J. Michael Clay currently represents clients located all over the world, including many military service members. If you are a military service member, or if you are married to a military service member, and have an issue involving divorce, child custody, child support, child visitation, or adoption, contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to answering your questions and finding the legal solutions that are right for you. Contact Us Free Consultation 210-694-5205 Name (Required) Email (Required) Phone (Required) Message Submit Practice Areas Family Law Military Divorce Divorce/Dissolution of Marriage Paternity and Challenge of Paternity Child Custody Child Support Enforcement & Modification of Child Custody and/or Child Support After Judgment Spousal Support & Maintenance (Alimony) Orders of Protection & Restraining Orders Adoption Change of Name Annulments Family Law Articles & FAQs If you want to know more about family law in general, you are invited to consult the Texas Family Code which contains most of the laws which govern divorces and other family law matters in the State of Texas. Please be aware that the version of the Texas Family Code to which this hyperlink takes you is the most current version available online , but is subject to legislative changes every two years (and sometimes even more often). Therefore, you should not take any action (or fail to take any action) based on the information you find in that version unless you have first received advice from an attorney of your choice and verified that the relevant section of the Texas Family Code is the most current.

Discover how Capps Law Firm, PLLC, an advocate for your best interests in any military divorce or family law matter in Texas. Set up a consultation with a lawyer by calling our Austin office at 512-410-2453 or send us an email.

Alimony/Spousal Support There are special rules applying to awards of alimony, or spousal maintenance, in a divorce involving military personnel. We can protect your financial interests whether you are seeking alimony or being asked to pay it. We also assist with modifications of spousal support.

Military Child Support Service members face special challenges when supporting dependents, especially when called for active duty overseas. Click here to learn about paying child support while on active duty and collecting child support from a service member. Military Child Care Act Affordable child care is elusive for many. The Military Child Care Act, however, has become a model for civilian day care centers. The Act provides for three different types of child care: Family Child Care Homes, Child Development Centers, and School Age Child Programs. Military Child Visitation Once custody is determined by a court or formal agreement, parental visitation rights can sometimes prove to be contentious. Issues like grandparents’ visitation rights, preventing child abuse during visitation and so-called “virtual visitation” options can arise.

“Duty, honor, country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.” — Gen. Douglas MacArthur, in his farewell address at West Point

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. Rita

And I think you said something like, look, they’ve been following them around throughout their career and they haven’t been able to build their own career with their own retirement. I mean, is that I don’t want to misquote you on that, though.

That is so true. And if you are self-employed, you can almost fix what you make depending on if you have employees or not. So you just pay yourself less. You can pay more employees, and then it looks like you are not as profitable during that period of time.

I’ve been working with Paul Ryan on a difficult case for over a year and he has been a God-send. He is smart, personable, very down to earth and a fighter. I had two terrible experiences previously with different SD firms, and hiring Paul has been a welcome breath of fresh air. I would highly recommend Paul, especially for active duty military and veterans. Charles

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.

Wow. That sounds very, very complicated. You know you said something really interesting the other day when we were talking about the pensions and why they are split, especially in the military with the non-military spouse.

Generally, the military services offer limited legal assistance to Guard and Reserve members during inactive duty training periods to prepare legal documents such as wills and powers of attorney needed in the event of an involuntary call to active duty. Each military service has specific regulations regarding the extent of legal assistance they provide. For further information, contact your legal assistance office.

While this section will provide you with resources and links to assist you and your family members, you should consider speaking with a military or civilian lawyer, especially if you’re facing the prospect of a separation or divorce. There are important legal issues that must be addressed during this process, such as child support payments, custody of your children and visitation rights, which also will involve a state court. If not properly addressed with the assistance of a qualified family law attorney, the resolution of any separation or divorce can continue to adversely affect your livelihood and family relationships for years to come.

I’ve made an appointment with my military legal assistance office. Will I be charged for the legal help? There is no charge for services provided by military legal assistance offices. All services provided by a military legal assistance lawyer are free to eligible personnel. If your legal problem involves costs or fees (for example, a filing fee to file a case with the court), you will probably have to pay these charges. Keep in mind that military legal assistance attorneys cannot provide you the full range of legal help that you may need. For example, the military lawyer typically will not represent you in court. If you are in need of more help than the military legal assistance lawyer can provide you, he or she may be able to connect you to a non-military lawyer who can represent you pro bono (free) or for a fee. The ABA provides a resource to military legal assistance lawyers, the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which helps military lawyers easily connect their clients to pro bono attorneys who provide representation for no fee.

Getting Married and Having Children One of the unique aspects of active duty life in the military is the opportunity to live in foreign countries and to meet people from all over the world. In many cases, service members find themselves falling in love with a foreign national. But what happens if they get married? All of a sudden a service member needs to consider whether the marriage would be recognized by the military and whether he or she can travel with a non-citizen spouse for the next tour of duty. Service members may also confront specific legal questions if they have a child born while stationed abroad. For example, would that child be considered a U.S. citizen, a citizen of the country of birth, or both? This section will address these questions as well as some of the unique issues the military’s married couples and their families face. It will also address many of the child care options available to service members. Separation, Divorce, Custody and Care It’s always a challenging time when a marriage is coming to an end. Maybe both spouses have tried everything they can and are simply unable to reconcile their differences. Regardless of the reason, there are important rules and regulations in place that can affect the process of separation and divorce for military couples, particularly when children are involved. A service member’s chain of command plays a role as the military expects service members to adequately provide for their dependents, whether they are married, separated, or divorced. There are regulations providing for specific interim child support payments which, if not followed, can subject a service member to adverse administrative actions or even a court martial. There are also state court orders pertaining to child support, custody and visitation. This section will help you understand the rules involved as well as the interplay between state law and military regulations when it comes to separations and divorces. Resources While this section will provide you with resources and links to assist you and your family members, you should consider speaking with a military or civilian lawyer, especially if you’re facing the prospect of a separation or divorce. There are important legal issues that must be addressed during this process, such as child support payments, custody of your children and visitation rights, which also will involve a state court. If not properly addressed with the assistance of a qualified family law attorney, the resolution of any separation or divorce can continue to adversely affect your livelihood and family relationships for years to come.

In family law matters, different laws apply to military personnel and military spouses. It is important to work with a lawyer who understands these differences and can ensure that your best interests are being served. At The Mandel Law Firm, we are proud to represent the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, their spouses, and other family members in a variety of family law matters. Contact a New York City family law attorney for military personnel to learn how we can assist you.

That’s a great point. And in essence, you hit the nail on the head on the concept of divorce law in general. I practice in Arizona. Arizona is one of the nine what we call community property states. And a community property state is whatever is accumulated during the marriage should be divided or allocated as equally as possible. The law says equitably, but that’s translated pretty much equally. And again, is community property concept follows this concept of common sense. What you said, if one spouse is a stay-at-home spouse and the other spouse is accumulating wealth, God forbid, in case of a divorce, why should that stay-at-home spouse be excluded from the assets that were earned during the marriage? And that is the whole concept of equitably allocating assets. And that answers the question, why is this nonparticipating spouse getting 50 percent of the service member’s retirement? And I should be careful when I say 50 percent.

We have represented members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, including permanent residents, personnel stationed in Washington State, and military people residing across the U.S. and abroad who have family legal matters in Washington.

• If living in different states, then file where the civilian spouse resides. Military families are often separated by substantial distances for extended periods. For example, a civilian spouse may reside in Arizona while the military spouse is stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (claiming Ohio for purposes of legal residency). Typically, when the civilian spouse lives in one state and the service member in another, divorce is filed where the civilian lives. When jurisdiction is proper in Arizona, the petition for dissolution of marriage is filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court in Maricopa County or another county. Visit the discussion about basic court procedures and navigating Arizona divorce.