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Military Spousal Support Attorney

Military Divorce Lawyers for Spousal Support Matters in North Carolina and Worldwide

Military Spousal Support

At The Wilkie Law Group, our North Carolina military family law attorneys are committed to serving those who serve our nation, offering steadfast legal support for military service members and their spouses navigating the intricacies of divorce and spousal support matters. If you have questions regarding military spousal support, contact The Wilkie Law Group at (910) 333-9626 to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced military divorce lawyer today. 

Understanding Military Spousal Support

Understanding military spousal support requires navigating a complex intersection of military regulations, federal statutes, and state laws. This unique form of spousal support involves considerations not typically found in civilian divorce, such as military pensions, housing allowances, and the impact of deployments on earning capacity.

Whether you or your spouse serves in the Army, Air Force, or other military branch, meeting with an experienced military divorce attorney is crucial to discuss the support you could be entitled to following your divorce. 

Military Spousal Support Attorney

Military Spousal Support vs. Civilian Spousal Support

Military spousal support differs significantly from civilian spousal support, presenting unique challenges directly influenced by the nature of military service. Deployments and frequent relocations can impact a spouse’s ability to maintain consistent employment, affecting potential spousal support calculations and the financial stability of the non-military spouse.

Military pensions and benefits add more challenges to determining spousal support, as these elements must be carefully considered within the context of federal regulations and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). 

State vs. Federal Jurisdiction

While federal laws, such as the USFSPA, govern aspects related to military pensions, benefits, and certain protections for service members, state laws predominantly determine the specifics of divorce proceedings, including spousal support, child custody, and division of property.

This dual jurisdiction requires a strategic approach in selecting the divorce filing location, as state laws vary significantly in how they handle these matters. The right jurisdiction can influence the outcome of support awards, the division of military pensions, and other critical aspects of a divorce settlement.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) significantly impacts military divorce and spousal support by providing active duty service members with certain legal protections that can delay or affect divorce filings.

One of the key provisions is the ability to request a stay, or temporary halt, of civil court actions, including divorce and spousal support hearings, if the service member’s duties prevent them from appearing in court or materially affect their ability to prepare for the case. This means that divorce may be paused, providing the service member additional time to address their legal matters.

It’s important to keep in mind that the SCRA does not permanently prevent these actions; it merely allows delays to ensure service members are not disadvantaged due to their service obligations.

Military Spousal Support Attorneys

Types of Spousal Support in Military Divorces

In military divorces, the landscape of spousal support is governed by a blend of military regulations, federal guidelines, and state laws.

From temporary support during the divorce process to long-term assistance post-finalization, understanding the types of spousal support available is crucial for both parties involved. 

Temporary Spousal Support

Determining temporary support requires careful consideration of the service member’s pay and benefits, including basic allowance for housing (BAH), basic allowance for sustenance (BAS), and any special pay or bonuses.

The unique demands of military service, such as deployments and duty assignments, can further complicate these calculations. Temporary support addresses immediate financial needs, preventing undue hardship while awaiting the final divorce decree and permanent spousal support arrangements. 

Permanent Spousal Support

Permanent support in military divorces is designed to provide long-term financial assistance to a spouse following the finalization of a divorce, particularly in cases where the military lifestyle has significantly impacted differences in earning potential and career opportunities.

This type of support takes into account the span of the marriage, the age and health of both parties, the earning capability of each spouse, and spousal contributions to the marriage, including non-financial contributions such as homemaking and raising children.

In military cases, calculating permanent support also involves a detailed examination of military pensions, benefits, and other income sources unique to service members. 

Rehabilitative Spousal Support

Rehabilitative spousal support provides the receiving spouse with temporary financial assistance while they gain the education, training, or employment experience necessary to become self-sufficient.

This type of support is particularly relevant in military families, where one spouse may have sacrificed career advancement or educational opportunities to support the other’s military career, leading to challenges in re-entering the workforce post-divorce.

Rehabilitative spousal support is tailored to the specific timeline and resources needed for the recipient to achieve financial independence, often considering factors such as the duration of the marriage, the age and health of the spouse, and current job market conditions. 

Military Spousal Support Lawyer

How Much Alimony Does a Military Spouse Get?

The amount of alimony a military spouse receives is not predetermined by a fixed rate or formula. Instead, it is influenced by many factors. Key considerations include the length of the marriage, the service member’s rank and years of service (which affect pay and benefits), the financial needs and resources of both spouses, and any existing military child support obligations.

Military regulations, state laws, and the specifics of each case play pivotal roles in determining the final amount. The division of military pensions and benefits can also impact the alimony calculation.

Is a Spouse Entitled to Military Benefits After Divorce?

A spouse’s entitlement to military benefits after divorce hinges on specific criteria outlined by the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). This federal law allows for the division of military retired pay in a divorce and provides a framework for determining a former spouse’s eligibility for continued military benefits.

Key factors include the length of the marriage, the overlap of the marriage with the service member’s time in the military, and other specific requirements.

How Long Do You Have to Be Married To Get Military Benefits After Divorce?

The duration of marriage plays a critical role in determining a former spouse’s eligibility for military benefits post-divorce, guided by specific guidelines set forth by federal law, notably the USFPA.

Understanding these eligibility requirements is essential for both military personnel and their spouses to make informed decisions and preparations in the event of a divorce.

20/20/20 Rule Military

The “20/20/20” rule is a critical benchmark in military divorce, offering comprehensive benefits to former spouses of military members.

To qualify, the marriage must have lasted at least 20 years, the military member must have completed at least 20 years of service creditable towards retirement pay, and there must be an overlap of at least 20 years between the marriage and the military service.

When these criteria are met, the former spouse is entitled to retain full military benefits, including medical care through TRICARE and access to military commissaries and exchanges. These privileges are similar to those available to active-duty spouses, recognizing the significant commitment and sacrifices made by military spouses who have supported a military career over two decades.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA)

Enacted in 1982, the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act (USFSPA) recognizes the unique sacrifices made by military spouses and permits state courts to treat military retirement pay as property divisible upon divorce rather than solely the service member’s income.

This act significantly influences the determination of eligibility for military benefits for former spouses, including spousal support, by setting specific criteria that must be met for a former spouse to qualify for a portion of the service member’s retired pay and, potentially, other military benefits.

The division of military pensions under the USFSPA is based on the duration of the marriage, the overlap of the marriage with the service member’s military service, and other relevant factors, ensuring that the division is fair and acknowledges the contributions of both parties to the military member’s career.

Military Spousal Support Lawyers

How a Military Family Law Attorney Can Help

Having a military family law attorney by your side is incredibly important during a military divorce, offering knowledgeable legal assistance that bridges the gap between military regulations and family law. These legal professionals thoroughly understand the challenges involved, such as the division of military pensions, the calculation of spousal and child support considering military allowances, and the application of the USFSPA.

Their vast understanding of all aspects of the law is crucial for addressing unique challenges such as the division of military pensions, understanding the rights to healthcare and other benefits, and calculating spousal and child support considering the service member’s total compensation package.

By providing strategic advice and representation, a military family law attorney ensures that the divorce process is handled with a comprehensive approach that respects the distinct aspects of military service, securing a fair and equitable resolution for all those involved.

Call the North Carolina Military Divorce Attorneys at The Wilkie Law Group Today

Divorce in general can be a complicated and overwhelming process, and this is especially true when it comes to the military divorce process. That is why it is so important that those navigating divorce and spousal support matters equip themselves with the guidance of experienced professionals who understand both military regulations and North Carolina family law. At The Wilkie Law Group, our North Carolina military divorce attorneys offer legal support tailored to the unique challenges of military divorce, including issues related to spousal support, child custody, the division of military benefits, and more.

Contact The Wilkie Law Group at (910) 333-9626 or complete our online intake form to schedule a consultation with an experienced spousal support attorney today.

Schedule Your Consultation Today!

If you’re facing the many complications of military family law matters such as those involving spousal support, The Wilkie Law Group is here to help. Our experienced attorneys are committed to providing legal guidance tailored to your specific needs. Don’t navigate these complex matters alone—reach out to us today for a consultation and let us advocate for your rights and guide you toward a favorable resolution. 

Jacksonville, NC Military & Criminal Defense Attorney