Beverly Hills Military Divorce Firm
Helping Families of Servicemembers in Beverly Hills, CA
Divorces involving active and retired military servicemembers often present an
array of unique issues. Military divorce is familiar terrain for our legal
team at Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, where
you can count on our sensitivity to your personal priorities and our determination
to protect your future to the greatest possible extent. Our firm is a
powerful, results-focused resource for military personnel and military
spouses in need of sensitive and caring representation.
Our military divorce attorneys can provide sound guidance for matters such as:
To schedule a
case evaluation for your military divorce, call (310) 984-1411.
Protecting Military Families' Relationships & Futures
We are prepared to represent people stationed at Edwards Air Force Base,
Los Angeles AFB or any other military installation in California, as well
as those deployed overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere. In addition
to decades of experience handling divorce and other family law matters
for people across the spectrum of backgrounds and occupations.
Our strengths specific to military families include:
- In-depth knowledge of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and other related laws
- Proven ability to resolve complex child custody and visitation matters
in ways that do justice to our client's parental rights as well as
the best interests of children
Financial acumen that can be invaluable in unraveling the complexities
of child and/or
spousal support calculations when military compensation and benefits are involved
- Technological resources that support clear communication by e-mail or other
means wherever you, your spouse and children currently reside
Jurisdiction in a Military Divorce
One of the most prominent questions regarding military divorce is
where you should file. This can be a complex question—especially when
a servicemember is deployed. In most cases, the divorce action should
be filed in the state where the two parties reside; this does not mean
where the servicemember is currently stationed. For example, if the serviceman
or woman is sent to another state, they may not be able to file for the
divorce there as the court may view it as a temporary absence. However,
the court may be able to argue that the serviceman or woman’s involvement
in a case gives consent and gives recognition of local laws.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal law designed to
protect all of those who are in active military service from being sued.
This does not stop a civil lawsuit from happening—such as a divorce
action—but it does give the servicemember a chance to either delay
the legal action or participate in a different way, such as through video
Uniformed Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA)
There are countless issues that occur when a member of the military and
his / her spouse choose to end their marriage that make it more complex
than a civilian divorce. Most of these concerns are centered on eligibility
for the commissary, exchange and health care benefits, as well as the
servicemember’s retired pay. These are addressed by the Uniformed
Services Former Spouses Protection Act (USFSPA), which helps divide pensions.
Under this law, the military disposable retired pay is treated as marital
property and is thus eligible to be divided as such during the divorce
proceedings. Local courts can treat it exactly as they would treat a civilian
pension plan; for example, it could be divided during property settlement.
How the military retired pay is divided will be based entirely on state law.
The USFSPA includes the 10/10 rule. For this to be enforced during a divorce,
the marriage in question must have lasted for at least 10 years during
which military service was performed.
Survivor Benefit Plan Beneficiary Designation
Under the USFSPA, former spouses can also receive a designation as a Survivor
Benefit Plan beneficiary, which allows retired members of the military
to provide income to an individual in the event of their death. All retired
servicemembers are enrolled in this program unless they specifically decline.
In the event of a military divorce, the initial designation is terminated;
however, there are instances where coverage can be continued. For example,
it may be voluntarily continued, a court order may demand it, or it may
just honor an agreement.
Former Spouses & Military Benefits
In certain instances, the former spouse of a servicemember may continue
to receive certain benefits after a divorce. These benefits include commissary,
exchange, and health care.
To qualify, the following must be true:
- The servicemember served at least 20 years;
- The marriage lasted at least 20 years; and
- The marriage and period of service overlapped by at least 20 years.
Should the above qualifications be met, the former spouse would be known
as a “20/20/20 former spouse” and have full benefits. In instances
where the first two bullet points are true, but the period of the marriage
and service only overlapped by 15 years, the former spouse would be known
as a “20/20/15 former spouse” and would be entitled to receive
the full military medical benefits for one year after the divorce. After
the end of that transitional year, the spouse will be able to purchase
a DOD-negotiated conversion health policy.
Looking for Legal Guidance? Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law
Corporation Is Here for You.
The entire legal team at our Beverly Hills-based firm is committed to protecting
military families' stability and futures. Work with an attorney at
our firm who is committed to fully understanding your goals and finding
the best path to resolution of your military divorce.
For the well-versed guidance you need in Los Angeles,
turn to our legal team for assistance.